AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: Illinois Central College - Harvesting Dreams

Program Name

Illinois Central College - Harvesting Dreams 


James Bryson 

First Name


Last Name


Contact Title

Harvesting Dreams Coordinator 


Illinois Central College  


1 College Drive 

Address 2



East Peoria 








(309) 694-5229 

Phone Ext




Program URL


Program Description

Harvesting Dreams was designed to enhance a sense of inclusion, and increase retention, personal, academic, and career success of African American males attending Illinois Central College. The program model embraces the idea that retention will be increased when African American males develop a sense of community by having the availability of African American males as mentors and role models on campus. It is our belief that students will feel more competent and utilize more resources to increase academic success such as advising, mentoring, community, and college involvement. 
Harvesting Dreams assists students in the successful transition through the academic process and development of African American male students. The program increases personal, professional, and social skills by offering opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and examine the issues and challenges facing African American males through the annual African American male conference.

The program meets weekly and provides students guest speakers from the community, businesses, staff, and faculty. These meetings augment personal, academic, and career success.  Many local businesses offer students employment opportunities. Our case management and intrusive advisement gives students assistance with academic survival, transfer, and basic college requirements for completion.

Academic coaches serve as mentors that monitor and refer students to ICC’s academic resources such as the Learning Labs, tutorial services, and one-on one advisement appointments. Our coaches also refer, and monitor students to tutorial services. Students participate in college activities as well as those in the community and make presentations at grade schools, high schools and other colleges.

Harvesting Dreams also has its own radio talk & TV show and provides staff training, and classroom and community presentations regarding student success.

Program Services:
Weekly Meetings
Case Management
Academic Coaches
College/Community Activities/Events
Special Workshops
African American Male Conference
Radio & TV show

Program Services


Program Start Month


Program Start Year


Current Number of Students


Program Initiated

Program Initiated
Harvesting Dreams was an initiative born from Illinois Central College President Dr. John Erwin’s African American Male Committee meetings. The committees were designed to examine and develop strategies and initiatives to enhance the recruitment and retention of African American male staff and students at the college. Harvesting Dream’s mission is to help address the issues and challenges facing African American males and enhance their personal, academic, and career success.

Program Funded

Student Success Grant

College President and Administrators Involvement

Harvesting Dreams was born from Illinois Central College’s President, Dr. John Erwin’s African American Male Initiative. The college and administrators all have been strong supporters of the Harvesting Dreams program. The college has embraced the program and has partnered to provide and develop resources to accommodate our students. Faculty and staff routinely participate in our weekly meetings as well as other activities and events. The college has allowed us to have our own radio talk show. Faculty has become more engaging with our students, which has helped create a greater sense of inclusion for our students. These activities have resulted in a greater utilization of academic resources by our students.  Many at the college consider our program a valuable resource that provides services to the college and community and specializes in African American issues.  

Program Success Story

Since fall 2009 to the present, the program has grown from six to 75 and has graduated four and transferred seven. Two of our students have received academic honors.  In fall 2010, Harvesting Dreams started hosting its own radio talk show which has over a 1000 hits on FACEBOOK and in October 2011Harvesting Dreams got its own TV show which airs bi-monthly.  The program has developed grade school, high school, and college chapters. The program has received corporate and community sponsorships. Harvesting Dreams has been featured in numerous newspaper articles and TV appearances. Since our existence, not only have we consistently exceeded the next-term persistence rate for minority students but we also exceeded the student persistence rates for all students. Harvesting Dreams members have the highest next-term persistence rate college wide. In June 2011, Harvesting Dreams member Morri Douglas graduated with two degrees and was nominated by the college as “Student of the Year.”  Morri contributes his success to the techniques and strategies that he learned from the Harvesting Dreams curriculum and the support he has obtained from the program enhanced his sense of inclusion and academic success.   
Created at 2/29/2012 5:16 PM  by System Account 
Last modified at 3/6/2012 1:14 PM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
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