California Community Colleges continue to work on closing equity gaps for black students
Barstow, CA- According to The State of Higher Education for Black Californians, a report recently published by the Campaign for College Opportunity, while blacks comprise about 6 percent of California’s population between ages 18 and 24, black students are underrepresented at UC schools (2 percent) and CSU’s (4 percent) while close to representation at community colleges (7 percent).
The report also reveals that while black student enrollments are on the rise for starting college, they are finishing college at lower rates than whites. For example, blacks’ six-year completion rate at UC was 75 percent compared to 86 percent for whites, 43 percent compared to 67 percent at CSU and 37 percent compared to 54 percent at community colleges.
Recent data suggests that despite statewide targeted programs and support initiatives, African American students have yet to find parity with other groups for course completion and other student success metrics.
When asked about African American students’ success, Dr. Eva Bagg, Superintendent-President of Barstow Community College, said more needs to be done. “Barstow Community College (BCC) is one of only 13 California Community Colleges to completely close equity gaps for Latino students’ completion of college composition in one term. This is excellent news and shows that our efforts are yielding better outcomes.
As for African American students, more needs to be done to achieve equitable outcomes. At BCC, our faculty continue to review curriculum and work hard in making it culturally relevant. We strive to improve African American representation and are deeply committed to exploring and implementing innovative approaches to help students feel a stronger sense of belonging on our campus and more highly engaged in the entire educational experience.
One such innovation is happening through a partnership with Barstow Community College, Growing Inland Achievement, Garner Holt Education Through Imagination, and Barstow Junior High School. The Creative Confidence pilot program is the first of its kind, targeting 8th grade African American males through an innovative approach that centers on hands-on skill development, innovation, mentorship, brotherhood, and leadership.
The initial results are promising, and we are looking forward to our first Student Showcase Event on May 18th to celebrate boys in the program and the many community partners who have helped bring this program to life.”
Dr. Helga Wild, an organizational psychologist, ethnographer, and lead research scientist supporting the program and spearheading the development of the first tool ever designed to assess students’ “creative confidence,” says traditional approaches to assess, cultivate, and support talent in our youth are falling short.
She said: “Many of our students do not receive the support needed to develop and nurture their creativity and confidence. But with the Creative Confidence Tool (CCT), we hope to create a new way to assess, support, and nurture innovation in our youth that doesn’t suffer from traditional biases or limited ways of thinking around who or what deserves support.”
Martha E. Reyes, Dean of Students at Barstow Junior High School, said she’s seen nothing like the Creative Confidence program and is so thankful her students had the opportunity to participate.
Reyes also noted that “Parents have stated that they’ve never seen their students so engaged. They also remarked how their kids are thinking about careers in engineering or science for the first time.
Our kids are also growing as leaders and creating a brotherhood of mutual accountability. It’s been fascinating to see our kids developing positive relationships with their peers, educators, and mentors in the program. And I just can’t wait for the upcoming Student Showcase where our kids get to share all they’ve accomplished in the program.”
To learn more about the May 18th Creative Confidence Student Showcase at Barstow Community College, go to https://barstow.edu/cc-showcase. www.barstow.edu/creative-confidence
For media inquiries contact: Barstow Community College, Director of Public Information, Communication, and Marketing, Amanda Simpson, email: [email protected], phone: (760) 252-2411 x7348
Notes to Editors:
Creative Confidence Student Showcase Details: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Barstow Community College Performing Arts Center, 2700 Barstow Rd, Barstow, CA 92311, Time: 2:00-3:30 pm (doors open at 1:45 pm)
Creative Confidence Showcase Event Flyer/Banner
Creative Confidence Introduction Brochure
Barstow Community College
700 Barstow Rd
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No People Reportage journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.