AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: Housatonic Community College - You Can Do It (YCDI)

Program Name

Housatonic Community College - You Can Do It (YCDI) 


Andrea Macnow 

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Contact Title

"You Can Do It" Program Coordinator 


Housatonic Community College  


900 Lafayette Boulevard 

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Program Description

The You Can Do It (“YCDI”) Program is focused on minority male students, where they feel welcomed, understood, motivated, and supported to become successful students at Housatonic Community College.  The YCDI Program gives students direct access to intensive support services that start when they enroll in the YCDI program through graduation with an Associate’s Degree.  The students receive information on counseling, financial aid, advising, registering for courses, and tutors.  The YCDI Program helps student participants register every semester, monitor their academic progress, and encourage students to successfully complete academic coursework with a grade of “C” or higher, graduate with an Associate’s Degree and/or transfer to a four-year university.  In addition, the YCDI Program assists in helping students envision positive futures, encourages students to take summer college courses, and helps male minority students understand and absorb the skills necessary for academic careers and beyond.

The YCDI Program goals are to provide the participants with the necessary academic skills to meet their college goals; (1) Ensure every student progresses at his rate by providing intensive support from staff, faculty, tutors, and their peers.  (2) Provide guidance and support to YCDI students when they have academic difficulty or related issues.  (3) Develop students’ leadership skills within Housatonic Community College and the greater Bridgeport community.  (4) Support YCDI students’ social, emotional, and academic growth from enrollment through graduation.  (5) Make sure students are progressing in their academic studies.  To date, YCDI continues to serve minority males within the college. 

The YCDI Program encourages and empowers African-American, Latino, and other minorities.  The Program has sponsored several academic enrichment trips to expose students to local four-year universities with which Housatonic Community College has transfer articulation agreements. In addition, the program enriched students’ cultural experiences through visits to area museums and art galleries. 
Students have given back to the Greater Bridgeport Community through involvement in college-sponsored community service activities including collecting food, clothing, and toiletries for local social service agencies and participation in the College’s Blood and Bone Marrow Drives. 

The You Can Do It Program has a summer program component.  Students are selected to enroll in two developmental courses (English and Mathematics), to give them a jump start on the academic year.  During the summer, YCDI students are limited to two (2) courses English 043 and Math 075.  In math, students review basic arithmetic and pre-algebra skills in a self-paced format that combines traditional instruction with one-on-one tutorial assistance in a computer lab setting.  In addition, MyMathLab software is utilized to reinforce classroom instruction and to allow students to move forward as skills are mastered.  The English course strengthens students’ grammar, English composition, reading, and study skills while at the same time incorporating literature relevant to the students’ background and experiences. The summer program runs July 9, 2012 through August 9, 2012.  During the summer program, representatives from various offices on campus conduct workshops for students to familiarize them with the College.   The workshops cover topics including: Financial Aid, Counseling Center, General Studies, Advising, Career Services, Security Department, and Library Services.

Program Services

Tutoring; Career Planning; College Survival Skills 

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Program Start Year


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Program Initiated

The Housatonic Community College (HCC) You Can Do It (YCDI) initiative was piloted in the summer of 2009 to address the low rate of college completion among African-American, Latino, and other minority male students.  The Program initially started with 15 students and has increased to 75 students in the 2011-2012 academic school year.  The Program in its pilot phase provided an initial intensive summer college prep program and expanded to include an ongoing academic year program.

The mission of YCDI is to empower African-American, Latino, and other minority male students to develop their full potential by addressing their unique needs for success in college. YCDI works actively to support college success for minority males from the Greater Bridgeport area, including graduating seniors from secondary schools within the College’s eleven-town service region, current HCC students with 30 plus credits and other targeted populations including veterans, former offenders, and foster youth.

The YCDI Program helped to serve as the catalyst for the implementation of the College’s Men’s Center which opened in 2009 as a nurturing and welcoming environment for male students to network with their peers and attend college/career readiness workshops.

Program Funded

The Program is currently funded by the Community College Scholars Grant Program of the State of Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education, and the Developmental Education Initiative grant from MDC, Inc. in addition to in-kind support by Housatonic Community College.                                            

College President and Administrators Involvement

The College’s Administrative Team led by Housatonic Community College President, Anita T. Gliniecki, has been supportive of the YCDI Program.  The Coordinator of the YCDI Program reports directly to the Dean of Students, Dr. Avis Hendrickson.

Program Success Story

One of the Program’s success stories happened with Arthur, a 2011 YCDI participant.  He was very shy and apprehensive of being part of the college campus.  As time progressed, he soon grew to understand the support systems in place for him at YCDI and at Housatonic Community College.  Arthur learned to appreciate the academic guidance of his professors, the YCDI Coordinator and the peer support from his YCDI classmates with whom he quickly bonded, especially at the weekly YCDI meetings, the rap sessions, and workshops.  As Arthur has said, “in the weekly meetings, I can communicate my feelings and I believe I can do it.  The weekly meeting allows me to connect with peers, the workshops challenge me to ask questions I would not have considered, and I like learning how to take notes and why note taking is important.”  Today, Arthur smiles a lot.  On, Wednesday, June 27, 2012, Arthur brought his mother to the YCDI office to show his gratitude for the support services provided by the YCDI Program and to show how well he did with his grades at Housatonic Community College. 
Created at 7/23/2012 10:28 AM  by System Account 
Last modified at 7/27/2012 12:25 PM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
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