The University of Memphis has announced plans to launch The African American Male Academy in an effort to increase graduation rates among this population. This will build on President M. David Rudd’s well-received testimony to the House Committee on Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on “The Cost of Non-Completion” last May. The university has previously received national recognition as one of the Top 12 Universities in graduating African American students.
“We’ve worked diligently to identify and develop solutions for the greatest challenges facing our students,” said President Rudd. “I’m proud of the progress we have made and hope to continue further with The African American Male Academy. The challenges facing today’s college students are well known, with concerns about college costs, student loan debt and return on investment representing a recurring theme nationally.”
The new initiative will take an applied development approach to ensuring the success of African American students. Starting in middle school, the initiative will identify, recruit, and induct African American male students into a culture of inclusive excellence. These students will be set on a path toward college completion by exposure to academic and career preparation, peer and faculty mentors, textbooks and educational supplies, and integration into college life.
“I applaud the leadership at the University of Memphis for taking the bold step in creating this outstanding initiative,” said KB Turner, chair of the African American Male Academy and the department of criminology and criminal justice at the the University of Memphis. “It demonstrates not only their awareness but their desire to address many issues African American male students confront during their matriculation. I look forward to working with the university and the community to help in improving the chances of success for our African American male students.”