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What Are The Specific Programs Aiding African American And Low-Income Learners To Attain College Success?

Review of the Related Literature

Completing college is a significant challenge to the poor and low-income earners. For instance, college completion rates have stagnated, a fact that has made them face different odds of getting to graduation. However, newer studies indicate that the students, most of them African Americans can graduate at promising rates if they are offered with financial support from external entities (Hubbard 368). Such includes parents, guardians, well-wishers, governments, among other stakeholders. Each of the named entities has a specific role to play in ensuring that the designated students attain graduation, although much emphasis is given to the combination of both which gives rise to the community.

Whereas some of the programs offer financial assistance regarding college fees, others cater for transportation, food and other logistics that enable the low earning students to survive efficiently at school (Obiakor et al. 18-29). Other programs essentially provide continuous support through counseling services, where the students are encouraged to stick to school programs irrespective of the challenges they face. Below is a detailed explanation of such programs, their effectiveness, and mechanisms of assisting the mentioned parties to graduate successfully. Other programs, as explained in other parts of the research provide scholarships and other forms of support, all geared towards ensuring that the African American learner and the learners from poor backgrounds efficiently compete with their white counterparts.

Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID)

Through this program, students who have been previously in the general and vocational classes have been placed in the academically rigorous category. Most of these students are African American ones and those who hail from low-income families. Teachers and counselors facilitated the criteria used in selecting such students. The teachers and counselors provided recommendations on the students that showed exceptional academic potential, and as a result, they were absorbed by the program. Therefore, bright but needy students are given the chance of full filling their educational dreams, which is a significant move that facilitates educational empowerment.

Currently, the program has been very successful in ensuring that Africa American students attain colleges(Hubbard 363-383). As confessed by some of the successful participants, the aspect of joining college and graduating was far beyond their expectations although they had a desire for the same. Also, the program has helped participants maintain their grades hence becoming a motivating factor as they are instilled with beliefs that success was and is still possible. Such gives them a positive view towards education, making them work extra harder in school.

The Empowered Youth Programs

The empowered youth program is a program that acts as a link between parents of the African American students and the educational community. Through this program, academic and social activity enhancements that need developmental and comprehensive approaches are determined. Also, the program facilitates the promotion of after secondary school education and provides mechanisms through which parents can spur the academic success of their respective students. The program recognizes the role of parents since they are one of the significant players in facilitating the education of their children.

Therefore, to enhance the effectiveness of this program, several subcomponents are availed. Some of them include the Saturday Academy, academic advisement and the exam lock-in. On the same perspective, the Saturday Academy helps the participants understand some of the complex attributes of university courses. It is held on Saturdays, and a considerable number of students have successfully enrolled on the same. Besides, the academic advisements sub-component seeks to ensure that participants successfully enroll in college irrespective of their previous pre-college grades. Well-trained advisors facilitate the same. Finally, the exam lock in subcomponent is meant to prepare the students for examinations. It is carried out towards the end of every semester and incorporates intensive examination preparation strategies, facilitated by tutors. The effectiveness of this program has been partly reached because of support from the community, parents, and government, towards the facilitation of this program.

The Resulting outcome of the Empowered Youth Programs.

Data obtained indicate that more than 98% of the Empower youth programs successfully graduate from high school, and as a fact join institutions of higher learning. Such is contrary to non-participants where only 54% of Africa American learners graduate and are at risk of not participating institutions of higher education (Bailey et al. 64-74). Additionally, the program has enhanced school-parent communication, an aspect that makes African American parents share information with teachers and other stakeholders. Through this communication, parents and teachers share essential information regarding the educational development of the student, a fact that enhances useful progress in their education.

The African American Alumni Organization

This program was established in the 1800s and is one of the oldest African American initiatives in the world. Although not many African American joined college during these periods, the establishment of Black colleges led to the increase of number in admissions of the blacks to the colleges (Murry & Mosidi 441). At the moment, the alumni play a significant role in ensuring that their counterparts in post-secondary institutions join college consequently graduate upon finishing. For example, the alumni plans and facilitates fundraisings, with the intention of helping the African American learners, and in some instances facilitate internship and other endeavors of the African American students.

Other than the elements mentioned earlier of ensuring that the African American students efficiently graduate, the Alumni organization has also been in the forefront in providing scholarships to the learners. Furthermore, they provide funding to mainstream programs meant for the African American students and learners from low-income families. Data obtained indicate that through this alumni, more than $175,000 has been disbursed as grants, and an additional $252,000 has been disbursed in the form of scholarships. Also, more than $7.25 million is expected to be released this year for the same, with African American and students from needy families targeted

Moreover, data obtained indicates that activities of the African American alumni organization, as presented above has ensured that more black students are enrolled in school especially through reunions planned by the alumni(Bailey & Lonnie 417). During the gatherings, some interaction achieved acts as a motivating factor, where following plans of the organization get executed. It’s through such meetings that funds for scholarships and the criteria for determining successful applicants is defined.

The Neighborhood Academic Initiative

Is a college and university preparation project based at the University of Southern California. The program was created to assist low income and urban minority students. With this project, family involvement is given priority to developing the social and cultural elements of the families in the Neighborhood initiative academic program. Furthermore, data obtained indicates that the program recognizes barriers that are faced by learners when enrolling in college and most importantly, as mentioned at the beginning incorporates the family during this process.

The Mission of the initiative, according to their official website is that Family and neighborhood are essential aspects of learning. Therefore, through this blueprint, the organization strengthens the local community in different ways, identifies and celebrates some community understandings regarding identity and identity development, and finally, the program creates academic capital (Dyce & Cherryl 155). The named attributes, from a general perspective, play an essential role towards ensuring the success of education.

For instance, the cultural capital demonstrated above is used by the learner’s education and most importantly, for higher education preparation. The cultural capital encompasses diverse values like academic knowledge, as well as cultural values and behaviors that are not only relevant but also promote educational development. On the other hand, social capitals incorporate the connections between individuals in the family and the best possible ways through which the said connections facilitate action concerning educational development. At the moment, the program supports more than 3500 children in different programs, most of them through college access programs. It also helps close to 600 children in preschool and early literacy development programs annually. Furthermore, through this program, more than 1,000 students have enrolled annually.

The American School Counsel Association

As research indicates, counselors play a significant task in promoting student progress. The American school counseling initiative defines the subcomponents of the counseling plan, which is relevant to both students and other involved stakeholders. Through the program, different counselors with one vision and one voice are brought together, focused on ensuring that student achievement is a success.

Other than the above named fundamental roles, the program also ensures that learners from low-income families access equitable education, and systematically delivers counseling programs to the students (American School Counselor Association 169). Identical to the applications discussed before, this program identifies the collaborative efforts of the counselors, parents and other educators towards promoting student achievement. As a result, all of them get incorporated into the program.

Therefore, when delivering, counselors present their offering to students, parents, school officials and staff and finally, the community. Areas covered in this program include Student planning and enhancement, where the counselors monitor ongoing activities, enhanced at helping the students achieve their personal goals and objectives. Also, the students, through this program are taught to be responsive to their immediate needs and concerns, a fundamental life aspect.

The Brother To Brother Organization.

This is a program created on October 17 1990, at the campus of Georgia western university by Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe. Its aim of the establishment was to seek solutions to challenges faced by African American students in the institution (Zell 70-80). Incentives provided by the program include academic support if different forms that include seminars and empowering program, financial assistance, advising of the students, increased motivation amongst the students, and development of leadership and skills through community services and engagement programs in the campus.

The movement‘s mission statement aims at empowering students, and promote brotherhood through embracing of different principles of accountability, effective leadership, self-discipline and intellectual development (Goings et al 346-368). At the moment, the movement has established more than 200 chapters in various institutions of higher learning including schools, colleges, and universities across the United States of America.

Contrary to conventional expectations, the organization is not a social organization but rather an academic, social organization whose intention, as mentioned at the beginning is to guide respective registered members to achieve their members achieve their desired educational goals. Other than academics, the organization, through different programs, urges its members to give back to the community (Gibson 70-82). For example, they offer clean up services during annual earth day cleanup, which occurs on every April each year. Furthermore, the movement provides different community partnership programs, to support and mentor local youths.

Lastly, the program gives back to the society through organizing different leadership conferences across various campuses and other selected parts of the country. Through such, members are allowed to participate in multiple forums that are enhanced to improve their leadership skills (Kelly & others 80).

Student African American Sisterhood.

This a nonprofit organization whose roots can be traced to Indiana University, and was established in 2004, to help and motivate female African American students in their university to diversify their academic networks and personal support(Guiffrida 308-311). Through such collective supports, problems could be amicably solved, as compared to individual processes of doing the same. After experiencing a massive expansion and transformation, the organization was restructured and the new concepts allowed for the providence of intentional programming, associated with intensive academic, social and support strategies. Therefore, to facilitate the achievement of their goals and objectives, the organization incorporates different aspects to their working functionalities. These include academic excellence, service learning, financial literacy, social unity and cultural awareness.

According to the organization’s objective is to African American women through different developmental aspects of sisterhood, through which problem-solving is enhanced collectively (Carby 753-754). Furthermore, the organization aims at creating different networks that support African American ladies, and provide practical strategies through which attainment of educational success is improved. This program encourages its registered members to adopt decisive leadership and sisterhood in the academic environment and the society in a broader perspective (Chavous 1076-1090). Some of the everyday activities they carry out in universities include serving as advisors and sponsoring different departments across universities.


Education is an essential aspect of the society, and therefore, its role cannot be underestimated. However, at some points, the attainment of learning becomes expensive, and therefore, several members of the community find it difficult to finish their educational programs (Cameron & others 450). Organizations, such as the ones mentioned above, therefore, play that role. Some of the organizations offer financial support whereas other provide guidance and counseling, and additional critical logistical support. As research indicates, the programs have supported a significant number of students across the USA, enabling them to fulfill their dreams.

Works Cited.

American School Counselor Association. “The ASCA national model: A framework for school counseling programs.” Professional School Counseling (2003): 165-168.

Bailey, Deryl, and Mary Bradbury-Bailey. “Empowered youth programs: Partnerships for enhancing postsecondary outcomes of African American adolescents.” Professional School Counseling 14.1 (2010): 64-74.

Cameron, Stephen V., and James J. Heckman. “The dynamics of educational attainment for black, hispanic, and white males.” Journal of political Economy 109.3 (2001): 455-499.

Carby, Hazel. “White woman listen! Black feminism and the boundaries of sisterhood.” CCCS Selected Working Papers. Routledge, 2007. 753-774.

Chavous, Tabbye M., et al. “Racial identity and academic attainment among African American adolescents.” Child development 74.4 (2003): 1076-1090.

Dyce, Cheryl Miller, Cheryll Albold, and Deborah Long. “Moving from college aspiration to attainment: Learning from one college access program.” The High School Journal 96.2 (2013): 152-165.

Gibson, Yolanda Barbier. “The value of mentoring programs for African American male college students.” Journal of Mason Graduate Research 1.2 (2014): 70-82.

Goings, Ramon B., et al. “The influence of mentoring on the academic trajectory of a 17-year-old Black male college sophomore from the United Kingdom: a single case study.” Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning 25.3 (2017): 346-368.

Guiffrida, Douglas A. “African American student organizations as agents of social integration.” Journal of College Student Development 44.3 (2003): 304-319.

Hubbard, Lea. “College aspirations among low‐income African American high school students: Gendered strategies for success.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 30.3 (1999): 363-383.

Kelly, Hollie D., and Pamela M. Christian. “Mentoring programs promoting the retention and graduation rates of African American males in college.” NAAAS Conference Proceedings. National Association of African American Studies, 2014.

Murry, Earl, and Reuben Mosidi. “Career development counseling for African Americans: An appraisal of the obstacles and intervention strategies.” The Journal of Negro Education 62.4 (1993): 441-447.

Obiakor, Festus E., and Floyd D. Beachum. “Developing self-empowerment in African American students using the comprehensive support model.” The Journal of Negro Education (2005): 18-29.

Williams, Lonnie, et al. “Recasting college outreach approaches to engage African-American alumni.” Journal of African American Studies 18.4 (2014): 417-431.

Zell, Maristela. “I Am My Brother’s Keeper: The Impact of a Brother2Brother Program on African American Men in College.” Journal of African American Males in Education 2.2 (2011).



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