MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The University of Memphis wants to continue being a national leader in graduating African American students with the implementation of their newly announced African American Male Academy.
The university hopes to start young African American male students on the right path to a college degree early in their education.
“It is not done at the expense of other groups,” said Chairman of the African American Academy Dr. KB Turner. “It’s done to address a population that has a documented, long historical history of challenged when it comes to academic success.”
The program will begin with students in middle school -- recruiting African American males and helping them get an early exposure to academic and career preparation, peer faculty mentors and integration into a college like atmosphere and more.
In May, University of Memphis President Dr. David Rudd testified in D.C. about how the University has been successful graduating students from low income families.
University representatives say the new African American Male Academy hopes to build off this exposure and increase graduation rates for African American men.
“We wanted to capitalize off that momentum,” said Turner. “We anticipate and it is our goal actually, to have a 55 percent graduation rate by 2025. We’re somewhere around 37 percent right now. So we have lofty goals and it is a goal that we have every intention of meeting."
In addition, the program plans to also focus on recruiting African American men into UofM’s masters, doctoral and law school programs.