Things to Know – Friday, April 14, 2017

Today is Southwestern College’s Men of Color Conference. This is important step in our awareness efforts to close the opportunity achievement gap for student transfer, completion, and achievement. I don’t know about you, but I find this persistent gap “separating Latinos and Black males from other student groups on measures of academic progress and college completion” as unacceptable. As community colleges, we are open access institutions and the place where most diverse students attend. Race matters…and as noted in the report Aspirations to Achievement: Men of Color and Community Colleges, the following matter (link follows):

  • Personal communications matter
  • High expectations matter
  • Instructor qualities matter
  • Engagement matters

Walter G. Bumpus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges notes:

 Are we in danger of losing the American Dream?

The 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges recently concluded that we are. Incomes are stagnating, the middle class is shrinking, and the promise that every child has opportunity—the promise of upward mobility—is fading. These downturns are associated with declining educational attainment rates in the United States relative to other developed countries—and with the fact that our nation’s distribution of education is as polarized as its distribution of wealth.

I leave you with the following quote, and hope you will take the time to read the report or do some research on the MOC issue. We are and should be the college that leads in achievement for all students because of the demographics of the SWC service territory, and the importance of this issue to the social and economic interests of our students and community.

“Black and Latino males are among the least understood community college students. Most educators are aware of that, overall, women are doing better than men . . . but few understand the reasons behind these gender inequities and, most important, what to do about this perplexing issue.” — LAURA RENDÓN PROFESSOR, EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY STUDIES DEPARTMENT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO

If you don’t have time to read the report…at least view this video:

Chancellor Eloy Oakley noted recently that we are finally realizing this opportunity gap is beyond a moral issue, beyond a civil rights issue, it is about the sustainability of our economic way of life, and we must change this.

I sincerely hope you have a nice Easter.