Facilitating Student Success for Men of Color in Community Colleges

Facilitating Student Success for Men of Color in Community Colleges

November 7, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Good morning, and thank you all for being here and thank you all for having me. I’m Frank Harris, III, and I have the — it’s an absolute honor and privilege to be able to serve as one of your keynote speakers for opening day today. Before I get into the contents, I want to make sure I make an announcement about the most important matter of the morning, the sign-in sheets will be here in the stadium after the presentation, so if anyone’s wondering how do I sign in and get my professional development credit at the end of the presentation, it’s my understanding the sign-in sheets will be available here. So now that we have the most important business taken care of for the day, I want to — I’d like to begin first by thanking President Say, Dr. Nancy Glass (inaudible) who is one my cohort mates as a master student at Northridge in the Common Studies program, Of course, the entire Professional Development Committee for their efforts. They invited me to speak today. And I think you all know they asked me to frame my remarks around a critical issue that is facing all of us in postsecondary education today. And that is around facilitating student success for men of color in community colleges. And the important role that every educator in this room, every educator on this campus faces and — and has to assume to ensure their success. And in speaking with you today, I’ll be sharing the work that my colleague, Dr. Jay Lukewood and I have been engaged in over the past several years through the Minority Male Community College Collaborative, M2C3, for short. And M2C3 is an initiative, an initiative we created to facilitate partnerships with community colleges throughout the country for a series of improving the status of men of color at their institutions. And I know SMC is one of your institutions, so it’s an absolute honor and privilege to be here. And also wanted to mention that I completed my freshman year of high school right up the road at Sambo High, so in many ways this is like a — I wasn’t a — not a graduate of Sambo High, started high school here, so it’s like coming home. I remember skipping class during my — trying to come here to SMC to hang out and then whisk back up the road. So it’s a pleasure. For those of you who utilize social media, Twitter in particular, I encourage you all to — to Tweet any thoughts of your questions that come to mind throughout our time together here. So feel free to do that. If you would be so kind as to use the hashtag M2C3, and if you’d like to — to mention me at all in your Tweet, my Twitter handle is @FHarris3, but if you could use the hashtag, that would be great. In terms of what I hope to cover today, I’ll admit it’s a pretty ambitious agenda, so first we’re going to spend some time discussing critical issues and trainers that impact student success for men of color in community colleges. I’m also going to sort of pick up where Dr. Sand and Dr. Lorenz and Dr. Marlowe left off this morning, in really advocating the institutional responsibility and accountability perspective in making sense of outcome gaps and disparities, particularly disparities that — that have disproportionate impact on men of color in community colleges. I’ll also propose a framework for use in institutional needs assessment to inform practice of serving men of color equitably and responsibly. And last, but, I think which is probably going to be the most important part of our discussion today is I’m going to highlight some teaching and learning strategies that have proven effective to facilitate student success for men of color in community colleges from an institutional responsibility perspective. And to give you a quick preview related to this last bullet point, I have a big secret that I’m going to tell you. A lot of the strategies that work and are facilitative of success for men of color are facilitative of success for all students. So we’re going to talk specifically about what some of those are, and we’ll talk about why they happen to be particularly salient in the success and experiences of men of color, but it’s not magic. A lot of these different — are things that work for success for all students, so we’re not asking you to sort of — we’re asking — maybe asking you to do some things differently, but not something that’s outside of anyone’s capacity to do. As I mentioned, M2C3 is the venue that a lot of the work that — that I’ve been doing over the past several years has happened, and we created M2C3 for a couple of reasons, in particular, we thought it was really important to build capacity to work with community colleges to build capacity to serve men of color equitably and responsibly. Why is that? Because as some of you or most of you probably know, if we’re concerned about the success of men of color in postsecondary education, an overwhelming majority of them are enrolling in community colleges. So community colleges are absolutely critical if we’re talking about student success for this population. And I think there was a point there where Dr. Woodie and I recognized there was a lot of work, a lot of empirical work, focused on men of color in community colleges, but most of that work was happening at four-year institutions. So what does that leave us to do in the community colleges is either to adopt models and insights and frameworks that were developed based on the experiences of a population that doesn’t mirror the population that you see and work with every day, right? So we thought that that was a problem and concern. Through M2C3 so far, we’ve partnered with 40 community colleges in eight states, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Maryland, to name them, and in doing so we’ve developed our flagship — what we call our flagship needs assessment tool of community college survey of men, as well as some other tools that I’ll touch upon later. I promise this is not a political speech, but I did want to point out that some of you did notice that recently the White House launched an initiative called My Brother’s Keeper, and the focus of the initiative was to really improve education and life outcomes, and opportunities for men of color with a particular focus on education. Now many of us, perhaps some of us in this room, have been focused on this issue and doing this work long before it was, quote, unquote, sexy and popular to do so. But I will say it’s nice to have some national momentum and, you know, some discourse at — at sort of the highest level focused on this issue. I’d also like to talk about why we focus specifically on men of color, recognizing that all students need our support, all students deserve our support and attention and focus to improve outcomes, students who are from White backgrounds, are women, women of color, and so forth. And I’ll start by saying that if we look at most indicators of student success in community college, unfortunately, men of color rank at or near to the bottom, so regardless of how you slice the pie, we tend to see the same groups clustered at the bottom of indicators in those groups, African-American, Latino, Native American, and Southeast Asian students, in particular. And then part of it also is this is part of the national dialogue, as I mentioned in the previous slide. There can be some economic impact, so we know that men of color are overwhelmingly concentrated in low-wage jobs, or experience unemployment at an incredibly high rate, so helping to improve outcomes, educational outcomes, can have some impact on their ability to gain — gain gainful employment and perhaps have some potential economic benefits for the sake of the region and state and so forth. With regard to the prison industry, I’ll keep this short, I’ll just say this: We can educate three black men per year for every one that we incarcerate, so I think that speaks to our priorities as a society as it relates to this population. In terms of a rich pool of talent for jobs, we often hear about the lack of folks who are able to go into stip fields and go into certain fields that require some specialized training — well, I think we have a rich pool of talent here that could perhaps fill those positions and roles. This will come as no surprise, with regard to the student anomy plans, reducing outcome disparities that impact historically underrepresented and underserved students has become a key component of statewide equity and accountability efforts. I think that’s an important piece here. And as I mentioned earlier, the strategy that worked for these students was students who reside at the academic margins of the institution, when integrated throughout the system, benefits all students and not just men of color. So, you know, of course, you know, being that I spent a lot of my time doing research and mulling over data, I would like to spend the next several minutes sort of highlighting some data points that I think underscore the importance of why we’re here and why we need to — to work towards improving success for this population. So I’ll move through it quickly, but to begin, the data you see here are from the national postsecondary student age study, and these data are from 2012 and represent a population of many community colleges. In particular, this slide focuses on grade-point average distributions; those with GPAs lower than 2.5, between 2.5 and 2.9; between 3.0 and 3.4; and 3.5 and above. And as you can see, Black men, closely followed by Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander — Pacific Islander men have the highest percentage of men at the 2.5 or lower threshold. And also a smaller percentage of Black, Latino and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander men have GPAs in the upper echelon of the scale, so — And I know some of you are probably thinking — recognize that there’s a lot of diversity within the Asian-American category, and the Latino category, so, you know, the one concern when we use Federal data is that it lumps these groups together and doesn’t — doesn’t really account and disaggregate data and experience for this population, so I think that’s — I’ll speak more about why that’s problematic, but this is — this is a limitation that we have to sort of work through when we use Federal data. Okay, moving along. Data percentages here come from the beginning postsecondary students’ longitudinal study, DPS, it’s also a Federal data set, and it depicts transfer outcomes for a quarter of men who enter community college during the 2002/2003 academic year, and presented are the percentages of men in each racial, ethnic group who transfer within six years, so by 2009, and it’s important to note that these data are for men who indicated an intent to transfer. And as you can see, the ratio of Latino and Black men are lower than the 43 point — excuse me, 43% rate for all men in the cohort. And I understand that transfers — that community colleges have many missions, transfer being one of them. This slide particularly relates to transfer, but we’ll talk about how the other missions are important and how they factor into this discourse as well. And let’s look at our home state of California. And, as I mentioned, the vast majority of men of color enter postsecondary education [in a community college]. And as we can see here, about 83% of Black men who enrolled in California public postsecondary institutions are at a community college, compared to about 12% and about 5% who are enrolled at CSU and UC institutions respectively. And I can also say that a similar pattern exists for Latinos, Southeast Asians and Native American men as well. And the key takeaway from this slide is this, is that the community college — community colleges are uniquely positioned to redress disparities in college-degree attainment for men of color in this country. Moving along, this slide comes from an infographic report that we developed and released through M2C3 this past spring. It’s available on our website and I’ll be happy to share a web address with you at the end of the presentation. The point here is this, that this aggregation of data, even within groups, is absolutely critical, because there’s a great amount of heterogeneity in the experiences and outcomes of men from — with different backgrounds, even within groups. So, for example, we see here that while the overall completion rate for Latino males is 38.1%, there are significant differences between those who enter college underprepared and those with disabilities and those who are between the ages of 20 and 29. So while we need to be attentive to the unique needs of men of color, we cannot assume that they are all the same. Thus the second piece of data is very important as we move forward in doing this work, even in this aggregation of data within group, very — it is very important. This next data point speaks to the completion agenda. And what we have here are six-year completion rates for a core of men who entered community college in 2006/2007 and who either earned a certificate degree or a transfer or became transfer eligible six years later. Now what I’ve done for you is highlight in red the racial ethnic groups whose rates fell below the statewide average for men, which is 48.1%. Now some of you are probably noticing, well, none of the rates are particularly good. But the rates of those men that are highlighted in red are especially troubling. Now we also need to consider these rates in light of yesterday’s announcement of the state’s goal to produce 227,000 more certificates, degrees, and transfer students over the next ten incoming classes. Now this would mean that the statewide completion rate will need to increase from 48% to nearly 63%, right, so we’re talking about substantial — substantial gains, substantial gains. And I would argue that those — that goal cannot be met, it cannot be achieved without attending to the status of men of color in community colleges. Men of color have to be a part of this agenda. Now, quantitative data are great, right, we — we love our quantitative data, they tell us a lot. But we know that they only tell us part of the story. Equally important are what students have to say about their experiences as men of color in community colleges. And looking across the published literature on the experiences in our accounts of men of color in community colleges, some salient themes are evident. For example, men reported regularly encountering racial prejudice and stereotypes based on their appearance, i.e., baggy clothing, tattoos and braided hair, as evidenced by the second quote on this slide. Quote, they — they being staff — look at me like I’m crazy because I’ve got dreds. They look at me like, quote, what are you doing here on this campus? And I’m like, Damn, I paid tuition. Don’t be looking at me and always judging me. They also reported experiencing conflicts related to their masculine identities, notably a reluctance to seek help with personal or academic problems. Another conflict related to gender is the tendency to view college exclusively from the perspective of a breadwinner. And we see an example of this conflict in the quote on the bottom left of the slide. Quote, What kind of man has two kids and quits working so he can go and read poetry in some community college? And, finally, we see an apprehension to engage in classroom discussions because they fear being perceived by faculty as, quote, academically inferior. Now both of the quotes on this slide speaks to this issue, but I’ll read the second one. Quote, I mean, if the teacher asks me to say something, or asks me a question, then I’ll answer it, but I’m not going to just raise my hand, I’m not a person like that. I’m not shy or anything, I just don’t want to embarrass myself. Now Summer Bensobone who’s a professor at the University of Southern California and codirects the Center for Urban Education, offered this concept called Equity-Mindedness. And Equity-Mindedness really underscores the work that we do at M2C3 and the way that we partner with community colleges. And Equity-Mindedness simply but powerfully suggests that faculty and administrators have an important role in creating campus context that facilitates student success for all students, but particularly those who have been historically underrepresented and underserved in postsecondary education. And the extent to which they can be encouraged to embrace Equity-Mindedness will be the key to their doing so. And she defines Equity-Mindedness as funds of knowledge that place the responsibility and accountability on the educator to become an institutional agent of minority student success. Now what does Equity-Mindedness look like? First, Equity-Minded educators are cognizant of exclusionary practices and systemic inequities that produce outcome disparities in educational context. Second, Equity-Minded educators attribute outcome disparities to breakdowns in institutional performance, rather than exclusively to student deficits or behaviors. Third, Equity-Minded educators continuously reflect upon their roles and responsibilities for student success. And last, and perhaps most important, Equity-Minded educators challenge their colleagues to also be Equity-Minded educators. Now from a traditional student success perspective when we encounter disparities, we might ask ourselves this: What the heck is wrong with these guys? Why aren’t they doing what it takes for them to be successful here — here being the Santa Monica College or an ADM institution. Now I should note this: That we as educators are taught in graduate programs and socialized professionally to view student success exactly this way. Consequently, when students do not do well academically, we’re inclined to look exclusively into their behaviors for explanations and fail to notice the ways in which we unknowingly and unintendedly create the conditions that prevent students from behaving according to our expectations. Now when we look at outcome disparities from an institutional responsibility and accountability perspective that reflects every-mindedness, we might ask ourselves this: What are we doing or not doing as a college, a campus, or a department, that results in our male students of color not doing as well as other students? So we have the same question, but it’s approached from two different standpoints, and thus will likely yield a different set of insights and strategies in response to it. Now to facilitate Equity-Mindedness and with the (inaudible) contextualized primal defining, we developed two tools through M2C3. And the first tool is a community college survey of men. It’s a comprehensive instrument that was developed to assess the needs of men of color in community colleges and measure their impact — factors that impact their success. The CCSM is comprised of 23 question blocks with multiple scales and subscales in each block. And it was designed to collect data on issues that impact the educational experiences and success of men of color in community colleges. And it was informed by the published literature on community college student success, college male masculinities, and racial ethnic equity in education. And also, unlike most student success surveys, the CCSM is grounded in the institutional responsibility and accountability perspective in that it prioritizes the role of campus ethos factors in influencing students’ success, students’ academic and [now cognitative] outcomes. The second tool, the community college student success inventory, is an inventory that looks at salient practices identified by researchers and subject matter experts as being integral to the success of men of color in community colleges, and it is comprised of six areas each that has a set of indicators of effective educational practices to serve men of color equitably and responsibly. And those six areas are, financial aid, student support services, the context of teaching and learning, institutional research, minority initiatives and programs and early alert systems. Now the CCSI was designed to be used as a starting point to guide discussion and collect (inaudible) and the CCSI for men of color is available on our website and can be downloaded as a hard copy issuance. Now I’d also like to spend a few minutes discussing the social ecological outcome to model. And this model guides all the work that we do and all the data that you’ll see presented later in this presentation. Now don’t worry, I — I won’t spend time talking through everything in the model, but I would like to direct your attention to the SCO domains that are positioned in the middle of the model. And each domain contains a specific set of variables that impact student success of men of color in community colleges. And the domains emphasize interactions between social, environmental, intrapersonal, and campus-based factors that influence student success. So first we have the non-cognitive domain. The non-cognitive domain relates to students’ affective and emotional responses to social context and psychosocial factors that influence students’ identities, their self-efficacy, their locus of control, their intrinsic interests, and the overall meanings that they derive from their experiences. And in the CCSM some of the non-cognitive questions that are situated and informed by the non-cognitive domain, that we ask, quote, I am confident in my academic abilities, being one, or related to their identity. Quote, I am comfortable asking for help when I need it. The second domain is the academic domain, and it captures variables that are related to students’ academic experiences that ultimately shape academic outcome, such as faculty-student interaction, students’ academic engagement and commitment to a course of study. So, for example, quote, I talk with faculty about academic matters during class, or How often do you utilize academic advisors? Our third domain is the environmental domain, and it captures factors that are situated outside of the campus context that have a direct influence on the men of color’s engagement and success at community colleges. And these factors have a tendency to direct students’ time, attention and resources away from their college endeavor; however, some factors in this domain can have a positive effect on student success, and actually mediate barriers to their success. For example, commitments, how many individuals depend on you for financial support? And we also ask about stressful life events. How many major stressful life events have you experienced in the past year, among other things? Now I do want to mention this: That the environmental domain is the one that we probably have the least amount of control over as educators, community college educators, but it tends to be the one that we focus on most often. Now the campus ethos domain is the fourth one, and this is the one that we have the most control over as educators. And it accounts for students’ connectedness to the campus and the extent to which they have meaningful interpersonal interactions with peers and partake in student activities. It also encompasses structures, people, policies, programs, campus resources and practices that shape the way students experience and succeed in community college. So we ask about sense of belonging. Quote, Faculty members believe I belong here. Simple question, but could have a measureable influence on how students feel about their experiences here and the extent to which they’ll persist when they’re challenged or when they run into difficulty. Connectedness; I feel a connection with other students on this campus. Campus resources; campus services are available when I need them. And this last one is critically important. Validating agents. There’s at least one staff member at this institution who tells me I can succeed in college. And all the questions here are representative examples of questions that we ask in the CCSM that are aligned with each domain. And now what I’d like to do is share some salient insights, some things that we’ve learned from the CCSM data. These data come from aggregate samples of colleges that participate in the CCSM. It represents approximately 4,000 respondents. So this chart depicts students’ responses to the total number of staff members on campus who regularly communicate to them that they belong at the institution. Now beyond validation, there are other ways to examine how men, and in particular men of color, experience community college. But as you can see here, roughly 50% of men as sampled do not receive validation from staff, and that’s depicted in the — unfortunately the labels at the very bottom of the chart aren’t showing up. But looking at the — the bars on your far left, those are students who report that they received no validation from — excuse me, from staff at their institutions. Another measure of students’ experiences on campus deals with their perceptions of care. Now we measured perceptions of care that they receive from academic advising and career counseling, tutoring, computer lab, and some other key areas. And this particular slide focuses on academic advising. And we see here that 24% of Asian and 22% of Mexican-American men disagree at some level that staff members in academic advising care about their success. But these data are even more interesting when you really look at the data on the next slide, and this slide focuses on students who report using academic advising services. And we can see here that upwards of 30% of all male groups avoid doing so here, and 41% of Asian, 34% of Mexican-American men say that they never use academic advisors. Now given the importance of academic advising and assuring that students are getting the courses and information that they need, this is a real area of concern. Now in our analysis of data from this slide and the prior slide, we found something very interesting. The men who reported that academic advisor staff do not care about them are largely the same men here who reported not using academic advisor services on a regular basis, which speaks great volumes about the effect of illustrating authentic care for students on their use and engagement with both faculty and staff on campus. Now this last table we’ll show you here deals with masculinity. And I’m going to tell you, we cannot talk about student success for men, and in particular men of color, without talking about them as gendered beings, without addressing issues of masculinity. And we focus on masculinity in four different areas. And we look at men’s — first we look at men’s perceptions of their role as breadwinners; we look at their competitive ethos, so to what extent do guys feel like they have to compete with other students, or other men in particular. We ask about their views of help-seeking, are they comfortable asking for help, and their perceptions of school as a feminine domain or school that’s a — that’s a context that’s suited for both men and women. Now these data in particular come from our help-seeking scale. And men in the sample were asked whether they were comfortable in asking for help from others, such as faculty and staff. And as you can see, 26% of Black and Latino men reported not being comfortable seeking help. In our work, and as you’ll see, we’ve found that help-seeking to be a core factor that influences outcomes for men of color. So this has real strong implications for both academic and student affairs. At this time, I’d like to take a moment and sort of check in with you all and see how you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, maybe take a few questions before — before moving forward with the rest of the presentation. Any questions, thoughts, reflections so far? Was Santa Monica College part of the data? That’s a great question. So yes and no. So Santa — Santa Monica College was actually the — we piloted the very first version of the CCSM with students at Santa Monica College. But those of you who developed surveys and developed instruments, you know the very first version of any instrument that’s developed is usually not very good, so the data that we collected using that first version of the instrument is not really usable at this point, because the instrument has changed substantially since the first time we developed it, but SMC was the first college where we tested the efficacy in each group. Great question. Yes? Any thought on the influence of faculty representation? I’m sorry, sir? Any thought on the influence of faculty? Faculty color — faculty — White, Asian, whatever, how does that impact the success of men of color? So we don’t — we don’t have quantitative data related to the impact of faculty of color, for example, but we do know just from qualitative insights that we’ve obtained that faculty of color do matter, particularly for men and men of color. Now that being said, so I — so one implication of that that we usually often hear is, Okay, great, we need to hire more faculty of color. And while I don’t disagree with that, I also think part of the — what needs to happen is we have to work to build the capacity of the faculty that are already at the institution as well. So we know hiring faculty can be a lengthy process, and rarely do most departments get the opportunity to just infuse new faculty in their department. So I think hiring and being mindful of who you’re hiring and making sure that they’re culturally competent is a big part of this, but it doesn’t mean that you can leave the colleagues who are already here behind, right, we have to approach it from both perspectives. But, yes, having faculty of color, particularly men of color, do matter for men of color students, male men of color students. Yes? Yes, you had exclusionary practices on one of the slides. Could you give me an example of — a specific example of what’s considered an exclusionary practice? Sure, great question. So out of — I’m going to offer some examples a little bit later, so — so, but — but I can take a moment and answer. So a faculty member has internship opportunities or some opportunities for students and doesn’t reach out to particular students for — to men of color, for example, doesn’t reach out to those students and provide those opportunities, but provides opportunities, say, for White students or other students who they, for whatever reason, believe is more deserving of those opportunities might be one — one example. At the top — oh, sorry, that’s an elbow, not a hand. Yes? Yes, sir. The last slide seems to suggest that there are cultural constructs of masculinity that are preventing success? Is that like a Tiger Mom argument or a (inaudible) argument about what cultural biases that prevent success in particular areas? No, I — I — I don’t think it’s a Tiger Mom argument, I think it’s a very real issue and real concern, and I actually — before I started doing work on men of color in community colleges, I spent most of my time studying the social constructions of masculinity in education. And we know that they’re — that men and boys, beginning pretty early on, that they’re socialized to perform masculinity in a very narrow way, right? And one way is that you’re strong, you’re tough, you’re independent and, by all means, you do not ask for help. Right. And this can be particularly salient for men of color, especially men of color who haven’t necessarily had very positive experiences with educators before they even get to a Santa Monica College. Right. There can be a lot of mistrusts. First of all, mistrust that underlays the — the negative experiences they’ve had, but then we also have this — this other pressure, this idea of, I’m a man, and by no means here, if I were to ask for help, then that means I’m weak and it means someone’s going to question who I am as a man, that means someone’s going to decide that I’m not going to cut it, and, by all means, that means someone is going to think that I’m feminine or perhaps even gay, right? And I would rather fail than to have someone question who I am, question my identity as a man. I guess what I was getting at is that’s a larger cultural issue — Yes. — that issue is tackled as a larger issue than the need for hyper-masculinity within Black and Latino cultures would then be mitigated. Is that — that’s where I was going with the argument. Yeah, it’s a larger cultural issue that extends far beyond Santa Monica College, right? But it’s something that we have to be mindful of as educators so we know, okay, I may have students, I may have — some of my men of color students may appear to be disengaged or may not be as willing to come forward and ask for help, and I can’t assume that everything is going okay or that they’re not into it, that they’re dealing with this other pressure of trying to project an image of masculinity that, from their perspective, will allow them to maintain some dignity and some respect as men, right? It is a — I think you raise a point that I agree with completely, that it could be especially salient for men of color, so Black and Latino men who perhaps come from cultural backgrounds that — where it’s so — you have masculinity on steroids, to some degree, right? It’s like — so there’s that, but they also — there’s this — this notion of racial prejudice, that is always intersecting the experiences of men of color, and that also complicates this whole idea of identity. It’s not just masculine that — so it’s the intersection of masculine identity and racial identity and racial prejudice and racial stereotypes, and all sorts of other social, cultural phenomenon that’s literally squeezing guys, right, when they come to campus, that have some influence on how they engage and interact, and then some of the behavioral things that we see. So, yes, are we going to solve that with any — any one initiative or any one program? Absolutely not. But I think we have to just be mindful of that as educators, that this is the baggage that guys are coming in with, and the influence how they show — if they show up on a regular basis. Great question, I love when I can talk about gender and masculinity and (inaudible). Maybe time for one more question. This gentleman. Yes, sir. My guess is that these stats [they are humbling] and not a great surprise. I know that my dad says that we’re all conscious of this and we’re doing our best, but we’re not doing well enough. Do you have any of that case studies(inaudible) examples of interactions that can, you know, help us do better than regular? I do, and that’s a perfect segue to — I have a short video that I want to show that really gets at the core of your question, right? So — so the way I hear your question is, like, okay, we know there are disparities, we know there are gaps, so what is it can I do as a faculty member to address the problem. Like, give me some — give me some — some proven practices, some salient practices that we know that works, right? So the narrative I’m going to show you is four young men and I’m going to apologize in advance because the camera angle is a little awkward. I mean, this was taped on — one of my graduate students taped it on an IPad, but the content is really good, but it’s four young men, two of them are African-American, two of them are Latino. And we called it Mirrors of Success because all four of these men began their postsecondary education in community colleges and they weren’t necessarily the best students coming into community college, but they’re going to talk about the people and practices that really matter and help allow them to get to where they are. I’m not going to — I’m not going to tip off where they are, but I’ll let them describe where they are for you. It’s about 12 minutes, so it’s a little bit lengthy, but from there it’s going to segue to this next part of the presentation about what is it that we can do in the classroom, what are some practices that work in the classroom that really help facilitate student success for this population? What can I do every day as a faculty member? What can I do? And I think that’s — that’ll probably be the more insightful part of the presentation. Sounds good? Yes. Okay, so let’s hope this works. It worked earlier. My name is (inaudible). I’m a senior at Santa Monica State, my regular (inaudible) Rosemont College. I’m originally from (inaudible). My name is Nathan Kline.
I was born and raised in San Diego. I was born and raised in a single-parent household. average student through high school, graduated with like a 2.3, started at a junior college, Rosemore College, and finally an engineer, after about three or four years of navigating the system, so — Well, my name is (inaudible). I’m from south San Francisco, where I grew up most of my life. After high school, I really didn’t think higher education was for me so I joined the United States Air Force and from there I got out (inaudible). So I was worried about my parents in 1986, because I was born in Mexico, I wasn’t born in the United States. Through the — 1986 I haven’t seen my father who was able to get his documents and bring him over. After that, I went to high school in Warren county, and then I — I didn’t see (inaudible)– I was in the Marine Corps for four years and (inaudible). (Inaudible) (Inaudible) no school. That transition was kind of hard, because being told, okay you are a good (inaudible) student in coming here, and then told okay you’re kind of mediocre with your writing skill (inaudible). It kind of brought me down just a little bit, but I know the system was different after the first semester, so I go, okay, over and over in the brain, kind of like, you know, (inaudible) started reading, started looking at different styles of writing. I just thought, okay — just started reading a little bit more, researching different styles of writing within the system. So that’s one way I got — I got through — it was kind of like teaching myself, in a sense. So it was like (inaudible)for a regular student they come in and say 50% but you have to do 150 to have the same results that they put into it. (Inaudible) entrance exams, I scored into basic math, 90 and then also I scored into for a writing class, English, 98, which was a couple levels below college level courses. So that was a little humbling to me, ’cause I really didn’t feel like, you know — those were remedial classes I was in, they called them remedial classes, so once I — when I did that I was a little bit discouraged but my English teacher said, you know, you can take a — take the next-level class if you want, you think you’re ready, but when — first couple days, we’re learning the grammar and writing and stuff, I realized, like, this is stuff I don’t know. So it was better for me to start down and build from the ground up. It might take me a little longer, but, you know, if I tell myself that’s what I’m going to do — and so I’m glad I took that because it’s helped me with my writing and, you know, comma slices, run-ons, so I still remember the teach — when I was talking — so it took me a lot longer, but it’s helped me polish my writing skills, so when I first entered I definitely don’t think I was adequately prepared, but it’s something I work on, and still working on, so, yeah. Adjusting. What do you mean? Adjusting, I really doubted (inaudible). Why is that? It was so hard for me, you know. Especially (inaudible) very well, especially for them it comes easy. When the people said (inaudible) you know, people told me, Oh, yeah, I did this pretty quick, you know identify pretty much (inaudible) and, you know, that’s some skills, man. Now my skill, is with my hands, it’s working and when they made it so easy about academics, (inaudible)depends on the challenge study and this and that. For me that was just like demoralizing I just didn’t know what I was doing then. First year, my resource was my — my professors. If I didn’t do well on papers, I would talk to my professor because that’s your interest to improve in that area. Uh-huh. She pretty much — she pretty much helped me out guide me, helping me out and always seek resources in the student learning center to better myself. That’s where I spent most of my days then. I mean, there was a few teachers that really reached out to me. For example, like, my first English teacher, she taught me 110 in the summer, and I loved her so much I took her again. And I remember thinking it was a writing assignment and it was like a creative writing assignment. We had to make up like a short fictional story or something. And like she — I was discouraged, I know this was not my forte, like — and she — she saw that in me. I didn’t say it. She stopped me after class and said, like, What’s going on? Like you seem like you comped it off. And I just felt like that was a gift that she had as a teacher, because she told me. I mean, I was ready to drop the class when she was on that assignment, say I can’t do this. And she said, Whatever you need, I’m here for you to help you. And she helped me. She brought me to her office hours. She gave me some tips. Helped me brainstorm, get some ideas, and it turned out to be a great paper. I ended up getting an A on it. And not only did she do that for me, but she saw that I couldn’t read the textbook, and she gave me her (inaudible) textbook, and her name was Sydney Brown, so — I was just like, Man, that was amazing, like, for her to do that for me. It’s just like — she show — it shows she really cares. And I tried to give it back to her at the end of the semester, like, Thank you. And she wouldn’t take it. She said — she said, Keep the book, you know, ’cause — and so she was like, If you want, then you can pay it forward but I needed the book so much, (inaudible) grammar, that I kept the book as a reference, and I still have it. And then Kathy Harvey was another teacher that I developed a close relationship with. She was my very first English teacher. She’s the one that inspired me to stay where I was at when I first entered, just because — the way she taught, she really broke it down, and even though I was still learning and struggling to catch up to the college level coursework, she didn’t make me feel like I was any less than any other student there, so she helped me build up my confidence and so that I could compete. Professor (inaudible) was — he was a — he was an attorney and guidance counselor for the [API] for 20 years and he was now teaching criminal law classes. So I started asking questions and then — kind of like he — it just fell in place where he was trying to mentor, help me in it, help me (inaudible). And a different professor saw — he taught sociology classes And between both of them, I would be able to get my questions answered I would ask them, What do you think I should do, or Do you think this is a good idea, or I’m not so sure about this. But I think (inaudible)you have to find certain people you click, or professor that you can click with to see what they can do for you. So before this semester started I went to see the counselor, another counselor because that counselor wasn’t — still on vacation or something, and I (inaudible) classes. So in a sense I kind of a wasted a — like, a whole semester of classes I had taken that I didn’t need. But then I started enrolling, (inaudible) and I (inaudible)academy and I told him exactly what I wanted to do. Okay. And he (inaudible) evaluation, and he said, Okay, if you transfer and this is exact — just follow what (inaudible)this is exactly he gave me step-by-step instructions what you need to do. And at the end of — when I was doing my application, I went to him I’m like James, I’m missing two individual classes; two prerequisite classes for my (inaudible). One of them was a (inaudible) and one of them was (inaudible) and two other classes (inaudible) because they can only tell you two things, yes or no. And I thought, Hey, on his recommendations (inaudible) waited until I was taking those classes and waited until the following year, (inaudible). Counseling seemed like it was, like, (inaudible). (Inaudible) okay, based on this (inaudible), you know, But had they listened to me went along, see what my interests were and (inaudible) get to the place where I want. So I’d go through some of them (inaudible) My brother encouraged me. If it wasn’t for them (inaudible). But, yeah — so (inaudible) just started taking the required classes,I would have to meet with counselors and make sure that I was taking the required classes to try — that counted for the state university. (Inaudible) available or some counselors tend to be more interested, more disinterested, in helping students. So (inaudible) goal to — and based on that it’s true technicals like, for example, Latino, the minority counselors would seem to have a lot more interest in your — your future education, as a — as a Latino, as a minority. And you would go to them and go to their (inaudible) classes a day (inaudible) transfer. Don’t be shy; speak out. (Inaudible) (Inaudible) Okay. I’ve got to do it myself, I’ve got to work hard. You know, if you stay in a room, studying all day, hopefully you’re understanding better today it doesn’t work like that. And that’s how I kind of felt– It took me a while to go to the tutors, but, you know, my (inaudible) was when I talked to the professors, I continue to do this, go talk to the tutors to help me out. And once I started understanding that, it’s okay to say, Hey, I need help. Uh-huh. You know, I know — I remember in high school I hated tutors. I did. They made me feel stupid. I feel very — I feel (inaudible). That’s why — I didn’t read too well in high school. Because I’d go to in high school, need help, they would belittle me, like oh you’re a student, how do you not know this. So I’m asking your help here, you know. And that’s how I kind of (inaudible) and sometimes I thought (inaudible) couple students, but I took a hard swallow, (inaudible). (Music) So, thoughts and reactions to the narratives? Yes? I know I’m not a man of color, but as a woman of color, some of these narratives really struck home for me and some of the issues that — that I kind of struggled through to get to the point where I was at, so it was very familiar. I think that — you know, you were talking about cultural sensitivity and cultural knowledge, I think that helps us navigate some of these issues more successfully because there’s some — I don’t know, there’s — I just felt really connected to what they were saying, because it just felt so — so familiar. Yeah, you know, I hope I made this — this point clearly earlier in the presentations, the — there are some issues that are experienced across multiple student groups, right? So some of these issues aren’t specific to men of color, but they are some things that — that have a different — they show up different culturally — Uh-huh. — when we’re talking about, and talking with men of color. And I should also mention Chui the student who was in the — the room that was painted yellow, he didn’t mention in the video, he’s also a law student. So the two Latino students are law students and the two African-American students are currently undergraduates at San Diego State. Other thoughts and reactions? Well Dodgers and then… With the comments of the young men, sometimes as the child is growing up, especially males, I believe, they’re not encouraged to ask questions and asking for help. So they go through grammar school, high school, then they get to college — or even in high school, they don’t ask for help. Just like the young man said, because the teacher may make them feel stupid. And in some cultures, especially like Latino cultures, and I’m sure that — well, every culture, when you’re made to feel stupid, you back off and you never ask again. I’ve had the same experience in my career as a nurse, when there were no nurses of color and the White nurse called me stupid and put her finger in my face. So that gave me enough backbone, I guess, if you will, to encourage my son, ask for help, and he’ll — and never let anybody demean you like they demeaned me. But sometimes those experiences helped us then teach others how to go forward. I don’t think it’s as bad now as it was, you know, back in the ’60s, but it’s still there; definitely still there. You know, I think that’s an important comment, right? So that’s an important — an important insight, because I think we see in the conversations I’ve had with young men, there’s sort of a fight-or-flight response, right? Either they shut down and they say forget it, my time is not — not best fit here. I’m going to go and do something else. I’m going to go to work, I’m going — I’m already kind of feeling apprehensive about being here, being a student and not investing this time in work, or to take care of my family. But to have someone make me feel like I don’t belong or I’m not capable, my time is better spent elsewhere. Or you get some students who say, Okay, I’m going to — call it the prove-them-wrong hypothesis. I’m going to prove to Professor So-and-so that I do belong here, that I can be successful. But I don’t know if that’s always the best motivation, right? Because there’s some costs — there’s some costs in — in the prove-your-own approach as well. So I think we have to be mindful of that. Yes.
Looking at the videos, I reflected on my background, being a nursing major at 17 years old down in Mississippi, then graduate school in Alabama. Oh, yeah, I’m from Louisiana, so I — Yeah. — I’m with you. Louisiana, as well. Right. And I think that we talk about cultural and awareness. We need to really be very clear that that’s the lowest level of awareness. We can look around and see that we all are different; we come from different geographic backgrounds; you can have colored cultural knowledge and skills. But you talked about the problems and the things that men of color encounter, we have to be very careful that we don’t say one size fits all. Right. And the thing is that — because you do have some students who come in who do well and might be castrated in the process as well. But I think that what’s most important outside of the cultural knowledge, cultural skill and one of the persons that was interviewed alluded to caring. People of color just want you to care; that’s the first thing. I mean, they don’t care about failing and succeeding, but if you care, it’s a motivating thing for a student faculty. But my thing about all the cultural knowledge awareness skills, what’s pivotal for faculty members is to have cultural encounters, because each one of them are different. Right. And you learn from each interaction. So it’s like growing constantly and evolving constantly, because you cannot have ten or 12 cultural encounters and think you know it all. I mean, the classes change each semester; the student needs changes; so I think having cultural competence of cultural encounters is more pivotal than anything. And the aspect that people of color just want you to care. I’m — I’m glad you — the word care is really important. And that’s going to come up very shortly. And I’m — I’m a big believer, I think, cultural competence, cultural awareness, cultural encounters, incredibly important. But at the core is authentic — what we call authentic caring. Yes. And that has — it has to come from an authentic place. It doesn’t matter if you’re a person of color or if you’re White, or whatever you may be, if students — first of all, at least with this population, they have to know that you care. It doesn’t matter how good of a professor you are. It doesn’t matter how good your pedagogy is. If they think you don’t care, you’ve lost them. It doesn’t matter. So — and it has to be authentic; it can’t be this patronizing sort of care, you know, let me help you poor little person of color, student of color, helpless, let me — let me help you because, you know, you can’t help yourself. So you can’t — it can’t come from that place, but it has to come from I care because I know you can succeed and it means a — it means a lot to me to see you succeed, and I’m going to do what I can to support you in succeeding. Like it has to come from that place. We’re going to talk about that and why it’s important. I think we’ll take Edna and then we’ll — we’ll transition to the next part. I just want to say I was involved in a — a Latino male of color study from community college of (inaudible) and the program, what we found was that the reason that we got the number of males of color that we did was we invited them multiple times and we told that it was important for us to have them participate in this, and we felt that that was the reason that they were able to succede in this as well (inaudible). And we can look at that in two ways. That can be a form of caring as well, right, you didn’t give up on me, you know, so you’re giving me this — you’re continuing to reach out — reach out to me, that’s important. But the cynic in me says, Well, men like to have their egos stroked a little bit, right, so maybe part of it is, Hey, I’m really wanted here, I’m — you know, (inaudible). Let’s go with the first one. Okay, all right, so moving forward. So there’s this — this student development. I learned this in Donna Clorenza’s class, by the way, this thing I’m going to mention, when I was a graduate student, name (inaudible) Stamford. So this study is written about student development. And he tells us that an optimal balance of both challenge and support is necessary to facilitate student learning, student growth and student success, right? And that if you have too much of one, too much care or — excuse me, too much challenge or too much support, can result in students regressing or not maximizing your full potential, right? So there has to be this balance. You have to challenge students, and you also have to support them, give them adequate support. Now, Luke and I, we added two additional elements that we think are also necessary, in that challenge has to be mediated by high expectations. And not just high expectations, but it has to be accompanied by the message that you fully believe the student is capable of meeting your high expectations. So it can’t be, I have these high expectations, I have these high standards, and I don’t think you can really make it. It’s I have high expectations, I have high standards, and I’m holding them to you because I know you can do it, and I’m not going to let you get away with anything less, right? So that’s — that’s an important mediator of challenge. And similarly, authentic care, which we heard about earlier, is also important. It has to be — that’s a precursor to support. So, in other words, a student must believe that you are supporting them because you truly care about them and you care about their success and the support is coming from a genuine, transparent and authentic place, right? And we say that challenge that’s mediated by high expectations, support that’s motivated by authentic care are the four elements that really help propel success for men of color in classrooms. Now let’s — help me out. Here’s my — way over there. So I’m not going to spend a lot of time on these next two slides because I think we’ve spent enough time on them already, but I do want to sort of tell you some of the things that we’ve — we’ve come across in the work that we’ve done. Challenge that impedes success for men of color in the classroom, feeling unwelcome and disconnected from faculty and peers; low expectations from faculty — so we often say, you’re asking me to lower my standards, you’re asking me to lower my expectations. Actually, no, that’s not what anyone expects, and once — and we find that that’s not helpful to the student either. Isolation, marginalation, being the only one, so when one of our colleagues talked about being the only — you know, being one of the few men of color in nursing, if you’re in fields that may not have a lot of representation across gender or across race, this is something you have to be mindful of. Academic self-confidence, particularly students who’ve had some negative experiences coming into college from high school; stress and stressful life events, speaks for itself. Lack of comfort engaging, sharing knowledge and asking questions, I think we saw one of the slides I was sharing earlier about a young man essentially saying, Hey, I’m here, I know the answer, but I’m not going to raise my hand because I don’t want to be embarrassed, right? Under-preparation, poor study skills, difficulty navigating the, quote, hidden rules of college. Yes, we know a critical mass of students are coming into community college underprepared and that argument would resonate with me a little bit stronger if we were at Harvard or UCLA, but we’re at a community college. Open-access institutions, we have to expect that students may not be as prepared as we would like them to be, and we don’t have an option to say, Okay, you underprepared students, go back to Santa Monica high school, we can’t have you here, right? So that’s my — my — my response to that — that challenge. So others — lack of faculty role models, which gets at some of the points we raised earlier about how important is it to have men of color on the faculty serve as role models; very important. That being said, you do not have to be a man of color or a person of color to support the success of men of color, right? Curricular irrelevance, we find that some guys find that what they’re learning is just not really relevant to their lives from their perspective. Racial profiling speaks for itself, I’m not going to say a lot about that, but we make judgments about who they are based on how we look. Difficulty negotiating attention between masculine identity, academic engagement and being cool, right? So for some young men, it’s just not cool to be scholarly; it’s not cool to be a nerd, right? At least that’s the message that they may have internalized. So even if they’ve been out of high school for years, even a decade, I think the average age for men of color to be in community college is about 26 years old. They’re still sort of — some of them, not all, are still coming in with trying to unlearn some of these messages about what it means to be academically engaged, what does that mean for you as a man and as a man of color, and can you still be cool and be a good student? I say yes; I’m cool, and I was a great student. Some of you are too, right? So we have to let them know that. We know that there are financial and resource constraints that can impact their experiences and external pressures. Now, challenges out of the way, I’ll just give you — sort of know what these are. I don’t think this is a big surprise to anyone. This is what we call our pyramid of student success. Now we typically think of student success in the classroom as being predicated exclusively on effective and engaging pedagogy. And, of course, it’s absolutely critical that you’re effective, that you’re a good teacher, that you’re engaging, and et cetera. But for men of color the relational component of the teaching and learning relationship is absolutely critical, particularly those — for those who may have come from academic experiences that have been less than desirable. And you see we have this relational component as the foundation, as the base of the pyramid. And if you don’t — if you aren’t able to develop trusting relationships that are grounded in authentic care and mutual respect, you can be a great instructor, a great teacher, but you’re not going to reach that student. And we know that’s ultra-absolutely critical for student success, so some of you are probably thinking, Okay, great, how can I tend to this model of the pyramid? What are some strategies I can employ to build better relationships with my men of color? So some things that we’ve found. Keep an open mind and don’t judge based on appearance, right? First and foremost, so I think we all, at one point or another, we — we consume media, we consume images, and we make assumptions about who people are based on how they look. And I think it’s important that we check those assumptions and we’re mindful of those assumptions and that if a young man comes to — I’ll admit, it drives me crazy to see a young man with his pants hanging down almost to his knees, right? I hate it. I have a son, you know, I — no way would I allow him to do that, but it doesn’t mean that that student is not capable of being successful. It doesn’t mean that that student is not here for the right reasons. Another rule, welcome students warmly when they enter the classroom. If you can, arrive a few minutes early, greet them if you can, because we know that sense of belonging, having someone say, Hey, Frank, it’s great to see you, I’m so glad you made it to class today, I’m glad you’re here, that — that agenda, that sense of belonging, that sort of engenders a sense of authentic care, that’s really important for this population. Routinely and authentically communicate care for them, their success and their well-being. We’ve talked about that; they have to know that you care and you have to be authentic, right? You have to be authentic. Now some of you are probably wondering or thinking, okay, What about office hours? I have office hours and no one ever comes or my men of color, my students of color never come. You know what? They’re probably not going to unless you provide some incentive or give them some reason to do it. And what’s great about office hours is, yes, you get to kind of talk about the course and talk about algebra and talk about chemistry, the things that are important to you, but it also gives them a space for them to talk about themselves in a one-to-one conversation, you get to know them on a more personal basis, right? You get to develop and start to develop relationships that are a precondition to engagement in the academic or the more cognitive matters of the class. This one, this next one is really important. Avoid the approach me first and the prove yourself stances. So I’ve spent a lot of time talking to colleagues who say, I don’t do internships or I don’t invite men of color to work with me because they don’t approach me, right? Or I got to make sure that they’re here for the right reasons. I have to make — they have to prove to me that they’re worthy of my time and attention, right? We have to reconsider that — that mindset, right? You may have to approach them first. You may have to prove yourself to them before they’ll engage you, right? So think about it that way. All of us are good; none of us are perfect; many of us have experiences, challenges in our educational journeys. To the extent that you can be comfortable, and be transparent with them, let them know that you’re a human being and that you’ve experienced challenges too, and you understand where they’re coming from and that — and share strategies with how you overcame, I think that goes a long way to establishing some common ground and some connection, right? And letting them know, like, yes, I understand that these are some things that you may be experiencing, but I’m still going — I still expect you to achieve at the highest level, right? I understand. It’s not an excuse to not be successful. Checking in frequently with the students, especially those who may disappear. We’ve all had students who’ve been in the class, and seen that they’re doing well, and midway through the semester, they’re gone, poof! You wonder what happened, right? Send an email to those students. Give them a phone call; reach out to them; let them know you notice that they’re not there, and you’re wondering what’s going on and you’d like to have them back, if at all possible. Follow through on promises. I think that one goes without saying. If you tell the student you’ll write a letter for them or you’ll send an email on their behalf to Dr. Lorenz about a situation that they’re dealing with, follow through and make sure you do that, all right? Criticize privately; praise publically. Really important. We should not — well, I – personally, I don’t think you should call any student out in class if you could avoid that. I know sometimes students do things that drive us insane and we wonder, What is this person thinking? Have the conversation in private, right? But it’s important to praise publically, particularly with this population, particularly a population that’s feeling some reticence about can I be successful here; do I belong here, right? Really important. And support services. We — I know that there’s some wonderful support services that are happening here that are available to students here at Santa Monica College. I think it’s great to list in your syllabus what those support services are and how they can be accessed. I think it’s also great to let students know what they are. I think it’s wonderful to facilitate a connection, right? Make a phone call; walk them over to — to Sherry’s shop; introduce them. Now what that means is that you have to get some — spend some time establishing connections with those who offer those support services, right? So that puts some pressure on you as faculty to do your homework as well, but also making sure that you can facilitate connections, right? Especially if they’re services where we know it’s a population that’s going to have some real hesitation about seeking help. If you walk them over or if you tell them, Listen, I’m going to make a phone call, and I’m going to put you in touch with Dr. So-and-so, and the next time I see you I’m going to ask if you were able to make that connection, then that kind of puts some accountability on the student. Some quotes — I do have a couple of quotes that I will share that underscore some of the points that I’ve made here. As an African-American female, I have my own work and also being a counselor, I check in with myself to make sure that there’s no transference happening in my interactions with Black males. I have an advantage because I do genuinely care about their health and well-being and success, but I also depend on them and they need to know that, right? They are my future and they’re worthy of holding that responsibility. Another colleague wrote: As a teacher you need to be open to their situation and understand that they’re trying to improve their skills. However, at times, life simply gets in the way, whether it’s working and hustling, or dealing with baby-mama drama, these men have something valuable to offer, it’s our job to support and nurture them. Now I was very reluctant to share this quote because I knew I want to convey the message that only men of color have, baby-mama drama, only men of color have to make decisions around hustling. I think all students, you know, have similar decisions to make at one point or another, but I think part of authentic caring and part of getting to know them on a personal basis is kind of understanding their situation and the circumstances and it allows you to make better decisions about how you can support them and facilitate their success. I have nine minutes. I also have — so that was at the bottom of the pyramid. I have some strategies for the middle of the pyramid, too, affective pedagogy. Would you all like me to — at least the rest of my time and share those? Okay. All right, I’ll move through these, all right? So relationships are important, but you still have to be a good teacher, right? And I’m going to tip you off again. I think what I’m going to share, these are things that you’re going to to say, Oh, I knew that, or, Wow, that works for men of color? That works for all my students, so hopefully you will feel that way. Establish high but fair expectations and support students in meeting them. We talked about the importance of balancing challenge with high expectations, but you also have to give students the tools to meet those expectations, all right? Creating an inclusive learning environment, I think is important, particularly a culturally inclusive learning environment. What does that mean; what does that look like? It means delivering the curriculum that’s relevant. It’s providing opportunities where students can connect their personal experiences to the content. Perhaps it means opportunities for students to work collaboratively. There’s a lot of different ways to do it; mutual respect, opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning, lots of things you can do. Facilitating gainful and meaningful interactions. So not — try to avoid just the talk-and-chalk strategy, right, where you come to class; you have this content, and you spend most of your time on the whiteboard with your back turned to the class. Engagement. Allow students to be engaged in what they’re doing and what they’re learning. Right, sometimes it means we have to work a little bit harder to kind of think through and prepare learnings experiences that allow us to do things that are more efficient and easier to do than just writing on the board or by taking the talk-and-chalk strategy, but it doesn’t facilitate student success. Think about that. Recognize and validate students’ experiences and points of view. Provide opportunities to share relevant personal experiences. If we could let students talk about themselves or situate themselves in assignments, it really allows them to take some ownership and it really allows them to see the value of geography in their lives, right, whatever it may be. Connect course content to themes and issues that are relevant to their lives and experiences, so what we find with men of color, technology, pop culture, music and sports, recognizing that not all men of color are the same, and that these are just examples that may or may not resonant with some of your students. But it also means that you have to take the time to figure out what those themes might be, all right? You may have to listen to a little bit of Jay-Z. You might have to watch MTV a little bit, or whatever it may be, but you got to figure out what — what are the themes and issues that are relevant in their lives, and connect your content to those. Collaborative learning opportunities. Learning should not be a competition, right? Learning should not be a competition. Allow students to work collaboratively. And it doesn’t mean that you need to have all of your men of color working together, right? Get them working with other students; get other students working with them, right? Provide opportunities for collaborative learning. On the same lines, experiential learning opportunities are really good to expose students to different cultural experiences. We need to experiential learning. Some of you may already be doing this. Internships, service learning, field trips. The science that requires students to get out of the classroom, to get out of the textbook and actually explore, right? Another way to facilitate and create an inclusive and engaging learning environment. I have more. Recognize their strengths and create opportunities to utilize them. How about this, and this is — I’ll say this as a faculty member, this will be really scary, but provide different options to students to meet course outcomes, right? So if you have three or four learning outcomes in your course, maybe you have three or four different assignments that can be done for students to prove that they met that outcome and give students some choice. For some students it may be writing a paper. For another student it may be doing some sort of role-playing or some sort of dramatic performance. For another student it may be using art or video, but give students some options and allow them to take ownership of their learning. Regular and consistent feedback on assignments and close performance is critical. Students should always know where they stand. Of course, I think that goes without saying. Reflective journaling is another good teaching and learning strategy, particularly for students who may be reluctant to speak up, but this is something that you might incorporate. Early alert systems. I’m a very big believer in early alert systems. And I’ve seen them run from things that are pretty informal to something that you just do as a faculty member, to things that are more elaborate and are integrated with Blackboard and Moodle and so forth, but students need to be alerted when a low performance on an exam or a major course assignment, they need to know how that may affect their overall grade in the course, but you need to alert them early enough to where they can recover from it. If they’re missing assignments; if they have excessive absences, whatever it may be, but give students the opportunity to know, this is where we are, this is where you are, and if you’re — if you do not perform at XYZ level on these other assignments, then this is what that might mean. And we might assume that students already know that. They know that my course is based on 100 points, if you get — you know, if you get 28 out of 40 points on the first assignment, then they should be able to calculate and figure out what’s the highest grade than they can get. So there’s some really good stuff. Or maybe it means if you see a student didn’t do so well on their writing exam that you can — an early alert system will allow you to direct that student to resources or support services. But being able to — to let them know where they stand and to be proactive and keeping them informed of their performance and resources that might help can get really good. And I have some quotes here. I’ll — I won’t pick through it. I had it — engagement activity, we don’t have time for. At this time, I’ll take any questions that you may have. And I hope you enjoyed and learned something today. I’d be happy to share the PowerPoint presentation — I — with the Professional Development Committee, if I provided a copy, would that — that will work? Okay. Thank you. Two minutes remain for questions. Yes. So one thing that really struck me was the concept that some people this comes naturally. Like I think that voice is really what’s preventing students from having that confidence, it’s really important. So I don’t know if the instructors in here ever address the fact, that no, it actually doesn’t come naturally. That’s a myth. It’s — no matter what the student is telling you, oh, that student is putting in the hours to get that A, or is seeking tutoring at home. So what tools can we really use to — to kind of dispel that myth that you’re working two times harder than a student because they’re naturally gifted at calculus, whereas you are not. You know, I — I think that’s an important point. I think there’s certain conversations you can have at the very beginning, the first day of class, and say, Listen, this is what it takes to be successful in my calculus course. It means putting in XYZ hours during the week. It means visiting the math lab, so if you can sort of normalize the idea that anyone who does well here is working hard, that no one is doing well because it comes easy — you may have a student who’s a genius and calculus comes easy, but — you know, if we sort of just sit that aside and just kind of give everyone permission to seek help, give everyone permission to work hard at the very beginning, then I think it kind of helps to break down some of those myths about what does it take to be successful. Because I think Chui, one of the students in the video said, Yeah, I would read some of my — my classmates’ writing, and was, like, Wow, this is brilliant. They’d say, Oh, it didn’t take me that long or I did this last night. Well, we know half the time students are lying about — students are putting in more work than what they might actually — what they might actually admit that they’re doing. I learned that in graduate school. Yes. Other questions. In the back, we’ll take it. (Inaudible) I’m was wondering if the work you’ve done for collaborative, the research, what — what is the impact of class sizes, and what is the impact of having classes that are majority minority? Great question. We have not — we haven’t really looked at the impact of class sizes. I’m sure that class size has a huge impact, particularly if you’re teaching a writing — course that requires a lot of feedback, detailed feedback on assignments, I’m sure that that has some impact. I hesitate to say that it has more impact on students of color or men of color than it might have on other students in the course, although I haven’t studied that, so that’s why I’m a little hesitant to say. But, yeah, I’m sure that it’s one of the challenges that we’re — we’re saddled with as — as educators in the California public postsecondary sector, right? We have some less-than-ideal circumstances. But I also think that we can overcome those circumstances and overcome those challenges if we’re approaching it from the right place. I mean, the second question about the impact of a majority minority class, what impact might that have on student success? My sense is that it may be — you may have some students that feel like, Great, there’s some other students who look like me in this course, right, or, Wow, we’re in calculus and I’m not, you know, the only Latino male in the course. And that — it might engender a sense of — greater sense of belonging for students. I think it’s dangerous to assume that. I mean, I still think that we have to do the work as faculty to make sure that, regardless of who’s out there, that we’re creating an inclusive learning environment that’s — that’s facilitated for success with this population. And I hope I made the point that — on the pedagogy strategies that I shared, you’re like, Oh, this works for all students, not just men of color. So I hope I answered the question. Last one here. Yes. This online learning environment which we’re kind of gradually or not so gradually moving toward, are there special opportunities or special challenges that you’ve encountered? I haven’t studied, but I — I would imagine that relational component that I spent a lot of time talking about probably looks different in an online learning environment. I still think some of the pedagogy strategies are still important. I still think you can check in with students who disappear. For some students, maybe they might be a little bit more comfortable in an online learning environment. Most of the students, at least the community college students that I’ve talked to, haven’t reported that, is what I would say. But we know that that’s a reality, right? There’s going to be more online learning, there’s more expectations of us as faculty that we teach online. So I, you know, I think — I don’t know that the research has caught up with that, but it’s a great question. Okay, last one, sir. (Inaudible) Yes. You do? I can’t hear. Yes. Repeat it. He says as a Black teacher he has — he’s learning he has to be a teacher first and not Black, is that what it was? (Inaudible) Black. Instead of being a Black professor, you’re a professor who happens to be Black, right? Yes. Yes. That’s right. And you’re not just the professor for black students, you’re the professor for all at the colleges, right? Treat them all the same. Okay. If I could just — Yes, please do. Is that Frank Dawson(sp)? Yes, it is. According to the work you do, and it’s really wonderful, given the fact that there are two sides to this relationship, you know, in terms of a faculty being on one side, do you also do work in terms of what students can do as far as student success is concerned? Yes, we do. So sometimes colleges invite us and say can you do some student success workshops? Can you come and talk to these guys and tell them (inaudible) you know, tell them how things work here. So we — we — we engage in that type of work. I’m always — so part of me — I think I’m going to reach the point where what I want to say is I’d be happy to come and do some student — happy to come and talk to your students, but only if I get the opportunity to talk to your faculty as well. I’m not — I haven’t done that before, but I think that’s where I’m heading. I think you’re right, there is this relation component, right? The students have to bring something to the table; the faculty has to bring something to the table as well. But I think we have a greater responsibility as educators because we’re getting paid to do this, we’ve been trained — presumably trained to do this. We can do it well, so I think we — you know, it’s — I hate to use this — this analogy. Maybe it’s inappropriate, but there’s certain things that I have to do as a parent to build a relationship with my children, and I can’t expect my children to take the first step in doing so. And I think it — it comes into play here as well that we have to — we have to sometime extend the olive branch and give students permission to be good students, all right? Okay, thank you.