Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at Ohio State University
In 2002, national and local research studies about the performance of African American male students in college were conducted: These studies led concerned administrators at Ohio State University (OSU) to implement an experimental effort to better understand and, if possible, to improve retention and graduation rates for this subpopulation of undergraduates. The resulting program, which came to be known as the Black Male Initiative, represented a joint effort by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (formerly the Office of Minority Affairs), the Office of Student Affairs, and interested individual members of the faculty and staff. Regular group meetings, frequent personal interaction with individual undergraduates, invited guest speakers and academic support services each played a role, along with information gleaned from the experience of other schools and researchers.
Significant improvements in student satisfaction, performance and retention to graduation were quantitative measures of the program’s success. The first-year retention rate of African American males in 2002 was 78.1 percent, compared to 82.6 percent for African American females. By 2008, the first-year retention rates for African American males had increased to 91.2 percent, compared to 88.1 percent for African American females. Further, the second-year retention rate increased from 67.1 percent in 2002 to 84.7 percent in 2008. As a result, OSU continues to see an increase in the graduation rates of African American males, yet the full impact of the program will not be known until 2012 when the program’s first cohort of students graduates.
So that the campus as a whole might benefit from the lessons learned through the Black Male Initiative, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion established a centralized location to concentrate efforts to increase the retention and graduation rates of African American men. The establishment of this center was approved in 2004, and the Todd A. Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male was opened in 2005.
Further Information: http://oma.osu.edu/current-students/bell-resource-center/