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MAKE IT HAPPEN: Supporting African-American Men in Higher Education

Back view of an African American male in graduation attire

May 17, 2023

With the 2023 US graduation season upon us, Boyd would like to congratulate this years graduates for their academic achievements!

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

Over the last several years, Boyd staff have actively supported African American men considering higher education by participating on panels during the annual Make it Happen conference hosted by the Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC). We’re proud of our team members participation in their local communities and for providing valuable insights and advice to empower and inspire African American men to pursue their goals and dreams.

Boyd takes pride in fostering a diverse environment. By supporting initiatives like the Make it Happen conference, we help encourage opportunities for African American men and promote a more diverse and inclusive society.​

Make it Happen: African American Males in Higher Education

Make It Happen is a mentoring program initiated by Southside Virginia Community College focused on promoting African American male enrollment in higher education across 5 counties, improving retention rates, and encouraging academic success.
heat sinks
The State of Black Students at Community Colleges

Historically, retention and graduation rates of African American men have been lower compared to other ethnic groups and their female counterparts. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Centre, enrollment in community colleges experienced a 24% decrease among African American males between the fall of 2019 and 2021, compared to a 15% decrease among African American females during the same period.

This significant disparity reflects the ongoing challenges that African American men face in accessing and completing higher education, such as systemic racism, economic inequality, and limited support service access.

Addressing the enrollment crisis for African American Men

Through Make It Happen, SVCC seeks to address disproportionately low college representation of African American males and challenges they face in accessing and completing it. The program offers a range of activities and events designed to build community and academic success which include individual and group counseling activities, annual goal planning, leadership development activities, including participation in the National Black Student Leadership Conference, academic support seminars, and peer tutoring.

The Make it Happen program helps address enrollment disparities by helping these men develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to succeed in college and beyond. With improved access, retention, and graduation rates, SVCC’s Make it Happen program participants have gained recognition and respect for their learning achievements within the community. The SVCC encourages other colleges and universities to implement a similar strategy based off Make It Happen program’s continued success.

Supporting Local Boyd Communities

Boyd is proud of our involvement in Southside Virginia Community College’s Make It Happen mentoring program. We hope to continue to see positive change and better representation of African American men in higher education as Make it Happen continues to thrive.

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