Archive | January, 2016

Social Involvement as a Retention Model

16 Jan

Students-Gospel-Choir

By:  The Curious Counselor

As an educator and student services professional, the recent onslaught of violence against African-American youth, particularly males, has created a quandary of sorts as we begin another academic year. I find it immensely important to critically examine the retention and persistence policies in community colleges as a solution to the harsh perceptions toward African American youth that has been ingrained in our country’s social fabric.

A number of researchers have developed theses and respective practices for promoting retention, persistence, and ultimately, student success. One of the most compelling and poignant ideas floating around the educational advising blogosphere is social involvement behaviors as a construct built into first-year student programming. Vince Tinto, a leading educational researcher, broadly defines social involvement behaviors as: relationships with staff; building peer relationships; personal experiences; using campus facilities; and extracurricular activities.

So…what should a successful first-year experience look like for African American students? Prestigious universities like University of California, Los Angeles and Fayetteville State University in North Carolina offer the Freshman Summer Program (FSP) and the Freshman Year Initiative (FYI) respectively. At both universities, students are provided comprehensive, student success driven programming which involve academic and personal support services tailored to individual student needs. Students are provided remedial math and writing services, peer advisors, and targeted course scheduling/patterns. Additionally, students are exposed to the campus environment in a way that promotes connections to the staff, faculty, current students, and surrounding communities.

These programs could be easily replicated to fit the demographics and environmental norms at community colleges across the country. Whether newly matriculating from high school, returning from combat, or retraining for vocational/career advancement, a strong first-year experience for new students is an integral facet of higher education programming. Hopefully this inspires other educational professionals to begin to develop and aim for social involvement as a key methodology in student engagement.

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Save the Date for 2016 Annual Bus Tour of Black LA

14 Jan

lacityp_026831Join the LACCD Black Faculty & Staff Association in one of its biggest Black History Month culminating highlights of the year!  reserve your spot now for the 3rd Annual African American Heritage Bus Tour of Los Angeles on Friday, February 27, 2016.  The bus will leave from LATTC at 8 a.m. and return at 4 p.m.

Going “Black” in Time…  Discover the 1781 African connection to the founding of Los Angeles; travel to the Bridget “Biddy” Mason Memorial and learn the history about the first African-American—a former slave—to purchase land in Los Angeles; learn about the history of tbiddyhe Watts Tower; view the Mother of Humanity sculpture and tour the Civil Rights Museum; learn about the old school black entertainers like Louise Beavers, Pearl Bailey, Hattie McDaniels (first African American to win an Oscar), Earl Grant (jazz organist), and Ray Charles, of “Sugar Hill” in the 1940s; visit the historic mural in the oldest black church in Los Angeles, First AME; and more!

toni humberLeading this journey is Tour Director, Dr. Toni-Mokjaetji Humber, retired professor of ethnic and women’s studies at Cal Poly Pomona and member of Our Authors Study Club, Inc., the Los Angeles chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc., established in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month.

The cost of the trip is $10 for BFSA members and $20 for non-BFSA members.  There will be limited free spaces for students.

There will be stops in Leimert Park Village, so guests should bring spending money for shops such as Eso Won Bookstore or Laura Hendrix’s Gallery Plus.  There will also be a lunch stop at Dulan’s on Crenshaw for the soul food buffet for $15.

RSVP with Toni Johnson at x 7111 or johnsotn@lattc.edu.  Speak to your Professional Development Coordinator for information about flex credit for this event.  Reserve your space now!  Click the following link to download a flyer:  SAVE THE DATE – Black History Bus Tour of LA 2016.  Check out pictures from last year:  https://flic.kr/s/aHskg2JH1T.