Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Prairie State College (PSC) was one of nine colleges recognized as an Innovation Award Winner by the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators (ICCCA) for its Man Up! Program. The Innovation Award is presented to community colleges whose creative programs and services help its students.
The objective of the Man Up Program! is to enhance the success, retention, and graduation of African American male students. The program is in response to the College’s recognition that many black male students were not continuing at PSC after their first semester, or even mid-semester. This was of concern at the time since 52 percent of PSC students are African American. As a result, PSC asked four black male professors in four different disciplines to lead the program. The one-credit hour Man Up! course was first offered in Fall 2008 and enforced guidelines that would lead to a successful college career. It gave the professors the opportunity to welcome and initiate a new generation of black male students into college. The class discussions focus on African American male identity and relationships, goal setting, learning styles, motivation, and communication skills.
Man Up! has been successful with its 155 participants since it began. “We received accolades for the Man Up! College Success Program that was a brainchild of PSC’s former Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Uzureau,” said Mary Reaves, vice president of student affairs and dean of students. But, the most important feedback has come from the students who enrolled in the program. The course evaluations for the Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 courses were very positive and have proven to make a difference in students’ lives.