AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: Queensborough Community College - MALES Initiative (Men Achieving and Leading in Excellence and Success)

Program Name

Queensborough Community College - MALES Initiative (Men Achieving and Leading in Excellence and Success) 


Ruth Griggs 

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Director of the College Discovery Program 


Queensborough Community College 


222-05 56th Avenue 

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Program Description

The MALES Initiative at Queensborough Community College (QCC) offers at-risk students academic support programs, staff/faculty mentoring, peer mentoring and personal development. The target population is black and Latino males; however, all programs and activities are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff without regard to race, gender national origin and other characteristics.

Program Services

Cohort Study Sessions; Service/Community Learning Opportunities; Leadership and Professional Development; The MALES Initiative offers students academic support programs, staff/faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, academic advising, career planning and transfer college counseling, self development programs, a men’s roundtable group, workshops and internships. Th 

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Program Initiated

In the fall of 2004, the Chancellor of The City University of New York established a Black Male Initiative Task Force which examined issues regarding the enrollment of black men and proposed nine recommendations. Through funding from the New York City Council, fifteen projects were initiated to improve the enrollment support services and graduation rate of students from underrepresented groups, particularly black males. Established in 2006, the MALES Initiative at Queensborough Community College is one of twenty-seven units of the Black Male Initiative of The City University of New York.

Program Funded

The New York City Council funds the Black MALE Initiative, which allocates a yearly grant to the MALES Initiative at Queensborough Community College. In an effort to diversify the teaching profession and expose CUNY students to careers as New York City public school teachers, CUNY BMI created a teacher awareness/development program with the generous support of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Called the Teacher as Leader Project (TALP), it was expanded to the Queensborough Campus in the spring 2009 term. Following the recommendation of the CUNY BMI, the MALES Initiative at Queensborough was the first BMI project to partner with the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) to supervise and mentor youth offenders on campus prior to college enrollment.

College President and Administrators Involvement

The President and Vice Presidents at Queensborough Community College have been very supportive of the MALES Initiative. The QCC Central MALES Initiative staff is comprised of college administrators within the Student Affairs Division from the College Discovery Program (an opportunity program for academically and economically disadvantaged students), the Academic Advising Office, the Admissions Office, the Testing Office, and the College Opportunity to Prepare for Employment Office (COPE) which provides support services for students on public assistance. In addition, approximately twelve members of the staff and faculty volunteer as mentors to students.  Peer mentors are selected and trained to mentor students individually and are given a stipend at the end of each semester.

Program Success Story

Queensborough student Chiedu Uzoigwe dressed in over-sized hip-hop gear and sported a do-rag and sideways cap. He looked down at the floor when he spoke, avoiding eye contact. He came to Queensborough’s Writing Center preparatory writing workshop, having failed many writing exams in the past. It was clear that Chiedu lacked confidence not only in his writing ability, but also in his personal life. 

A Writing Center Specialist took a personal interest in Chiedu and used a little humor and a lot of heart to motivate him. Over the course of one semester, she got him to look her in the eye when he spoke and he started to gain self respect. By the end of the semester, he came in with a new haircut, dressed in well-fitting sport clothes and had a proud, bright smile.

The following semester, Chiedu enrolled in the MALES Program and obtained an internship with NYPIRG. Chiedu quickly found his passion: to get legislation passed that would allow a city bus line stop on campus. At semester’s end, Chiedu, dressed in a business suit, described with pride how he’d stood on the steps of City Hall next to local politicians speaking on behalf of QCC students to get the transportation legislation passed.

Chiedu passed the writing exam required for graduation, graduated from Queensborough, and transferred to Queens College to get a business degree. The MALES program was instrumental in helping him formulate his life’s goal to be a community activist.

Created at 3/1/2010 1:04 PM  by System Account 
Last modified at 3/3/2010 12:49 PM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
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