Lone Star College - Kingwood creates program to increase minority male participation in college

Lone Star The Lone Star College - Kingwood Men's Center hosts programs aimed at young men.[/caption]

Lone Star College-Kingwood’s Men’s Center will host about 40 seventh through 10th-grade minority students June 20-23 and encourage them to pursue higher education.

The participants will learn interviewing skills and how to better present themselves during the African American and Hispanic Institute for Males, said The Men’s Center Director Al Dorsey. Registration for the program is closed.

“It’s almost like teaching a baby to walk–you don’t wait until they’re 9 months old to start, but as soon as they start to crawl around,” he said. “It’s never too early–the earlier, the better.”

Students will be drafted into groups based on how they present themselves to faculty and staff members, who will serve as mentors and group leaders. The mentors will present on becoming an adult, how to be a successful student and finding a purpose in life.

Each group will have a namesake, such as civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and W. E. B. DuBois, or astronaut Jose Hernandez. Namesakes are intended for students to learn about African American and Hispanic historic figures.

“The students will be allowed to ask personal questions about [the mentor’s] success, when we were in college, middle school, and high school,” Dorsey said. “We will discuss how we navigated those situations.”

He said he hopes the institute will have a lasting impact on the lives of participants. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, men made up only 44 percent of nationwide undergraduate students in the fall of 2014. At LSC-Kingwood, only 36.6 percent of its students were male in spring of 2016.

Dorsey said he believes the lesser number of males enrolled is because many men have other plans after high school, such as entering the workforce immediately after graduation or joining the military.

“Some of our guys may want to [pursue professional jobs],” Dorsey said. “But we have some outstanding workforce programs for factories or for skills like welding.”
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