New program to help men of color launching at LMC

Los Medanos College’s Extended Opportunity Program and Services is launching a program called the Brothers of Excellence Program designed to improve the academic and life results for men of color who attend LMC.

This program will create and nurture academic and community partnerships that guide, inspire and motivate students to reach their full potential.

The Minority Male Community College Collaborative of California studied and highlighted the negative outcomes for men of color in the California Community College system in 2014. This study showed that African-American men had the lowest overall persistence rates and credit course completion rate and the third lowest graduation/transfer rates — with just a two percent difference from the bottom.

“Minority students are at the bottom of statistic rates when it comes to transferring and graduating, and this program came out with an initiative to improve the success of these students” said EOPS Counselor and BOEP Coordinator Richard C. Hanzy, PhD.

BOEP is recruiting and hopes to maintain 25 or more students each semester. Students will be encouraged and supported in setting their academic goals and will be assisted in creating an educational plan to achieve these goals.

Meetings will be weekly in order to mentor and support the completion of both the short-term goal of passing the course and the long-term goal of graduating and transferring.

These meetings will be with BOEP coordinators Richard C. Hanzy, PhD and James Noel, PhD.

“These barriers include life barriers, anything that prevents these students from studying, or asking questions of their teachers,” said Hanzy. “We’d like to meet with these students and have them do problem solving group work on barriers to get by in school.”

For the last year, Noel has been hosting a weekly study workshop, and looks forward to working with LMC’s counseling team.

“The program is all about helping people improve their work and their school experience,” said Noel.

The program is also in the process of being added to local high schools, said Hanzy, targeting potential members in schools like Pittsburg, Antioch, Deer Valley, Freedom, Heritage and Liberty.

Although BOEP’s website states it is a program that focuses on “providing comprehensive guidance, mentoring and support to historically underserved minority male students,” the program is available to anyone who would like to join.

BOEP meets on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the English department. The Friday meetings have pizza as well, Noel added.

If you are interested in joining this program, you are encouraged to contact Richard C Hanzy, PhD and James Noel, PhD in the upper level of the Student Services Center.