|Without “My Brother’s Keeper,” Gerard Williams doubts he would be Santa Fe College’s student body president. Juliun Kinsey may not be graduating this fall with his associate’s degree in elementary education. And countless other black men at Santa Fe would be without the resources they need to navigate college, administrators said.
Santa Fe College is focusing on improving the retention and success rate of black men after the number of black men pursuing a degree dipped in the previous year.
According to data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, 52 percent of black male students who were first-time degree-seeking students came back to Santa Fe College in 2010. That number decreased from 76 percent the previous year, halting progress made in that demographic since the inception of My Brother’s Keeper in 2006.
Comparatively, the retention rate for all Santa Fe College students in 2010 was 70 percent, while the rate for white male students dropped to 67 percent in 2010 from 70 percent the previous year.
My Brother’s Keeper was spawned from a frank, closed-door discussion among black students, faculty and administrators, said President Jackson Sasser. The club helps to encourage black male students to make good grades, navigate financial aid and classes, and create good habits.