Learning College Manual
Minority Male Fellows Project (MMFP)
Submitted by Isothermal Community College
Johnny Smith, Coordinator
Jeremiah Councill and John Quinley, Project Developers
Minority males come to the college with lower academic skills, unclear educational goals, and vague ideas of college life. These factors, as well as a lack of appropriate role models within academia, may lead to lower levels of academic achievement and persistence. To meet this challenge, the MMFP will increase personal engagement with faculty members, staff, and college life; will provide academic and personal skills development focused on the minority male experience; and will develop experiences and academic materials within learning community curriculum classes relevant to the context of the minority male.
Fifteen full-time associate of arts or sciences students (the fellows) will be recruited from high school faculty and staff referral and college committee decision. It is anticipated that the majority of fellows will be African American; however, special effort will be made to include Native American and Latino members. Overall coordination for the MMFP will be provided by the career services director, supported by an advisory board consisting of the president, vice president of instruction, student affairs dean, and two faculty members. All minority male fellows will participate in three interrelated areas of activity.
Mentoring— Bi-monthly meetings focusing on personal and career development, leadership, and academic success will be developed and led by the MMFP coordinator. Fellows will be taught and encouraged to be supportive of each other and eventually, former fellows will work with new fellows. The mentoring program will include community service and attendance at the annual minority male conference. Fellows will give reports reflecting on the significance of the program to the college leadership team, the board of trustees, and other forums.
Enrichment—From the local community and beyond, a variety of speakers will be brought to the campus to address issues pertinent to the program. These events will be open to all minorities and the entire college community. The fellows will spend additional time with speakers and support these sessions in other ways. These events will also include performing artists appropriate for the minority male focus.
Learning Community—Fellows will form a learning community of selective courses. The content of these courses will be shaped to be more relevant for the fellows. First semester courses include study skills and a humanities class on the history and culture of the modern civil rights era. Second semester courses include social problems and oral communications. The humanities class includes a travel/study experience to key places of the modern civil rights struggle and the social problems class includes an extensive focus on local community service projects. Students will write reflections of their experiences to be shared with the college community.
Fellows will be recruited from the current college population in spring 2008. They will participate in mentoring and enrichment activities that are currently being planned, the modern civil rights travel/study, and the minority male conference. They will also help evaluate these for implementation in academic year 2008–09.
MMFP faculty members will develop the curriculum for the four academic classes that are included in the learning community with a minority male focus. Recruitment and publicity materials will be developed for recruitment efforts in summer 2008.