Gordon State Receives Funding Award for African American Male Initiative Program

For the second year in a row, the Gordon State College African American Male Initiative program has received a $15,000 funding award from the University System of Georgia’s AAMI.

AAMI is a University System of Georgia initiative designed to increase the number of African-American males who complete their postsecondary education from any of the 26 USG institutions. Its mission is to provide an integrated program model of academic and social tools that helps students adopt a positive mindset and successfully complete classes, elevate their cumulative GPAs, matriculate through each academic level and graduate.

Data collected by the University System of Georgia’s Office of Research and Policy Analysis reflects significant increases in the enrollment, retention, and graduation of African- American males within the USG. In fact, African-American male enrollment has climbed by 84.04 percent from 17,068 students in Fall 2002, the year the program began, to 31,413 in Fall 2017. Further, the number of bachelor degrees conferred increased 193.27 percent from the inception of the program – 1,294 in 2003 to 3,795 in 2018.

Last academic year GSC members of AAMI maintained a 2.74 GPA while the overall campus-wide GPA for African American males attending Gordon averaged 1.9. Two members graduated in Fall 2018 while six graduated in Spring 2019.

“The GSC AAMI 2018-19 cohort had a successful school year and proved the value of this program. Not only did they exceed all of the academic metrics, they felt empowered to take on leadership roles in campus clubs and organizations.  They did not stop there; they worked on local food drive programs, built wheelchair ramps for members of the community, and helped renovate one of the busiest non-profit facilities in the area,” said Ryran Traylor GSC AAMI Sponsor and Director. “This year's funding will be used to provide peer mentors to assist with the academic, social, and cultural development of the AAMI Living-Learning Community participants through scheduling weekly meetings, facilitating involvement in social/cultural activities, and serving as academic role models. The funding will also be used for tutors who will provide individual coaching in the areas of math, English, and science.”

Traylor also noted that participants would experience cultural and educational trips to places like Savannah, where they will explore the city’s rich African American history in an attempt to create a sense of pride and belonging. 

“This, along with many other strategically planned events, will help to produce graduates who are poised to challenge and improve the communities in which they live,” Traylor said.

Less than a month into the 2019-20 academic year, there have been 80 students show an interest in the organization while 25 members are returning from last year’s group.

System wide, AAMI is committed to significantly increase the graduation rates and the number of degrees conferred upon African-American males in the USG. This will be achieved through the implementation of customized programming that is aligned with the AAMI Integrated Program Model. The model includes the following four key components:

  • Academic Skills Enrichment: Provides supplemental literacy, writing, math and study-skill activities to help pre-college students transition to college academic life during the summer and assist enrolled AAMI participants with retention, progression, and graduation throughout the academic year.
  • Student Support Services: Makes available internal and external resources, information, and learning tools to enhance students’ academic and social successes.
  • Adult & Peer Mentoring:Connects AAMI students to vetted adults and peers who encourage achievement, foster positive attitudes, as well as a sense of belonging through personal and academic support, while reinforcing RPG.
  • Leadership Development:Provides multi-faceted professional and soft skills forums to help develop and strengthen participants’ leadership skills.
As such, AAMI alumni will have a positive impact on generations to come by contributing to increasing our state and nation’s educational attainment levels and economic growth.