BCCC Project involves minority men

Published 11:10 pm Saturday, September 15, 2012


A new club is being organized this month at Beaufort County Community College, with the goal of improving the retention and graduation rate of BCCC minority male students.
The club, Men of Success, will hold its first meeting from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Thursday on the BCCC campus.
The club is part of a revitalized minority-male mentoring program now in its second year at BCCC that is designed to provide positive role models for minority men and enhance life experiences of those students.
It also strives to give participants leadership and academic skills and encouragement to continue their education at four-year colleges.
Not only are students in the program mentored, but it is hoped that they will later serve as mentors themselves and as program recruiters.
The program is funded by a $20,500 grant from the North Carolina Community College System, which established the first minority-male mentoring program for its students in 2003.
Funding will be used to provide training for mentors, buy educational materials and pay for travel by club members to the state’s historically black colleges and universities for cultural events and campus visits.
BCCC is one of 41 community colleges statewide with a program aimed at improving the retention and graduation rates of minority male students.
Although mentoring programs have achieved limited success at the college in the past, the new leader of the program brings personal experience to the issue of minority-male college graduation rates.
And he hopes his own story will serve as an inspiration to new club members.
“I’m very passionate about this,” said Daniel Wilson, director of admissions and recruitment at BCCC.
Wilson was recently tapped to serve as program coordinator for BCCC’s Minority Male Mentoring Program, also known as M3. “I want to work to keep these students engaged and involved in activities here so that they will feel a part of the college and will know where to turn for help if they need it.”
“Many of these students are like me. I came from a background where I knew nothing about college,” said Wilson, a native of Belhaven, who joined the BCCC staff earlier this year. “But I had basketball to keep me focused.”
Wilson said he personally understands how outside issues can affect young college men.
In high school, Wilson wasn’t interested in school work because of his athletic ability. But after arriving at Louisburg College, he discovered that his basketball career would end there. So he changed his focus to concentrate on his studies.
Wilson said he would work with BCCC counselors, financial aid and Student Support Services staff to give participants the information and support they need to help them stay in school.
Generally, state and national statistics show that college graduation rates for minority males lag behind graduation rates for other groups. Statewide, only 12 percent of minority males entering a community college for the first time in the fall of 2007 graduated within four years, according to state community college statistics.
The top reasons for dropping out among this group include financial and transportation difficulties, conflicts with work schedules, incarceration, personal and family situations and distance from home to the college.
However, a report by one Southern think-tank recently noted that colleges with male mentoring programs that provide support and intervene when a student needs help can succeed in helping more of these students graduate and begin successful careers.
Wilson said his first goal is to recruit second-year students at BCCC who will volunteer to be peer mentors for first-year minority male students.
For more information about the M3 Program at BCCC, interested persons can contact Wilson by telephone at 252-940-6233 or by email at danielw@beaufortccc.edu.
BCCC trustees to meet
with Board of Commissioners
The Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees will meet in a special session with the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Multi-purpose Room of Building 10 on the BCCC campus. The purpose of the meeting is discussion of the 2012-13 fiscal year budget.
Manage your debt and credit before starting a new business
If credit issues are preventing you from achieving your financial goals, then this workshop sponsored by Beaufort County Community College’s Business and Industry Services is for you.
The workshop will run from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday in Room 830 of Building 8 on the BCCC campus.
Participants will learn strategies they can implement immediately to improve their credit scores in as little as three to six months.
The seminar, taught by nationally recognized author and columnist E. Gregory Frank, focuses on building and maintaining positive credit and dealing with inaccurate items on their credit reports.
Frank is the founder of the Financial Freedom Coaching Center. Since 1996, he has successfully taught thousands to get ahead financially by eliminating debt and spending smart. As an educator, Frank neither sells nor endorses any financial planning, investment or insurance products.
It is co-sponsored by the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.
The workshop is free, but preregistration is requested in order to allow for the preparation of materials. To preregister, contact the Small Business Center at Beaufort County Community College at 252-940-6375 or by email at evap@beaufortccc.edu. Information about BCCC’s Business and Industry Services is available online at www.beaufortccc.edu.