Aspirations to Achievement: Men of Color and Community Colleges

This report explores the role of race in community college education, specifically as it pertains to African American and Latino males. 

Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Center for Community College Student Engagement
Publication Year
Resource Type
Number of Pages

Data shows a persistent gap separating Latinos and Black males from other student groups on measures of academic progress and college completion. These gaps exist across higher education. Men of color have high aspirations when they begin higher education. Why are these aspirations not matched by similarly high outcomes?

The report explores two reasons that community colleges can—and should—take the lead in this work. First, community colleges open their doors to all students, and they are the higher education institutions most likely to serve men of color. Second, open access is just the first step toward attaining the equity ingrained in the mission of community colleges. The more significant work is ensuring that every student has the support he or she needs to succeed. If community colleges can make this experience the norm for every student, the gaps will close. The Center for Community College Student Engagement has spent the past two years exploring data related to men of color in community colleges. Center staff members have worked with experts in the field, listened systematically to students, and conducted new analyses of Center data. The result is actionable, practical information that colleges can use to create the conditions for success. Directed to community college educators, this report adds to a body of work by respected scholars and practitioners. It seeks to build understanding of the experiences of Latinos and Black males in community colleges—and offers strategies colleges should consider as they work to strengthen those experiences so they lead to better outcomes

What the experts say

This is an excellent resource for community college programs interested in exploring the challenges men of color face in higher education. It provides easy-to-read and understandable background information delineating the problem with concrete and realistic suggestions on how to address this issue.

This is an important report with applicability in most adult education programs. Some of the findings reported in this resource are unexpected and are worthy of discussion and exploration by adult education program leaders.

This resource could be an invaluable article for adults education programs that are struggling with effectively serving males of color.

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