To improve the graduation rates among African-American men, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation aims to dispel the notion that this group is underrepresented in institutions of higher learning.
According to a recent report, "Challenging the Status Quo" partially supported by the CBC Foundation, black males make up 5.5 percent of all college students age 18 and over, which is proportional to the adult black male population in the United States.
Challenging such myths are important since it can perpetuate stereotypes that African-American young men are somehow disinterested in higher education and could even prevent them from obtaining the courses, mentorship or college preparation needed to succeed in college.
"The idea that black males are completely disaffected and beyond any reasonable efforts to remediate is an attitude that we frequently encounter when we train school leaders and educational administrators," argued the authors, both of whom are education professors. "The cynicism and apathy among people who work with black boys are far more threatening to our future than the black male issues so ominously dramatized in the media."
The authors argued that such a false notion can influence a teacher or counselor to steer such students toward institutions with lower completion rates, such as community colleges.