African American student success initiative to improve graduation rates - Southern Maryland News: A newly launched male leadership and mentoring initiative, The Men of Excellence Mentoring Program, is working to improve retention, graduation and transfer rates for African American males who enter the College of Southern Maryland as first-time, full- or part-time students.
The Men of Excellence is a cohort-based model designed to accept students annually and to work with students to ensure they persist each semester until they transfer or graduate from CSM with an associate degree, certificate or letter of recognition.
For the upcoming academic year, the program begins with the Men of Excellence-Summer Academy Aug. 4-14. The academy provides students with an orientation to CSM and its resources through student engagement, summer academic enrichment, team building and leadership development prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Academy benefits include a textbook stipend for the CSM College Store, transportation voucher, lunch, and student and faculty networking.
“The college has taken a proactive approach toward championing behind student success efforts aimed at eliminating the achievement gap and thereby improving graduation rates among students who are most at risk for non-completion due to a number of factors,” said Executive Director for Institutional Equity and Diversity Makeba Clay. “Research has shown that building close faculty advising and peer mentoring relationships can actually reverse a growing national trend of college success gaps. The CSM program will prepare students to experience a greater level of academic success,” said Clay.