AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: Jackson Community College - Student Diversity Initiatives

Program Name

Jackson Community College - Student Diversity Initiatives 


Cynthia Sue Allen 

First Name


Last Name


Contact Title

Executive Director of Community Relations 


Jackson Community College  


2111 Emmons Road 

Address 2











(517) 796-8612 

Phone Ext



(517) 796-8642 

Program URL


Program Description

Over the course of the past several years, Jackson Community College has taken a comprehensive approach to increasing the number of students of color who enroll for classes in the institution.  During the course of this time, diversity has been a very high priority for the College – it has been critically important to the Office of the President, the College’s Board of Trustees, and it is a fundamental part of the College’s strategic plan.

Program Services

Tutoring; College Survival Skills; Service/Community Learning Opportunities 

Program Start Month


Program Start Year


Current Number of Students


Program Initiated

On May 2, 2008, the “Jackson African American Summit” was hosted by and held at Jackson Community College.  The total number of attendees exceeded 160 and varied in professional background such as students, teachers, principals, college faculty, administrators, law officials, mentors, business and community leaders and concerned mothers, fathers and grandparents.  The summit focused on increasing successes and considering barriers regarding young African American males in three primary areas:  Education (K-16), Family’s Role and Penal System. The objective was also to offer those who are working with young African American males further possible insight on how to achieve greater effectiveness. 

Program Funded

The college’s general fund and the Achieving the Dream grant

College President and Administrators Involvement

“Achieving the Dream,” is a grant-initiated initiative that is part of the college’s effort to increase the percentage of students of color who enroll and persist.  Using data, the college locates potentially at-risk students and gives them additional support systems and places them in classes in cohorts.  Another initiative is “Men of Merit,” a student organization which focuses on increasing retention, campus and community engagement, and academic success among the colleges African American male students. Community leaders (men of color who are highly successful in their perspective field) voluntarily present at meetings and serve as mentors and provide support.  A group of African-American women came together to form the “Sisters of Strength,” which is similar to “Men of Merit” in that it helps the female students connect and support one another.  The college also recently began a “Call Lee” campaign that is a partnership between Lee Hampton, director of the Office of Multicultural Relations, and a local African American newspaper, “The Blazer News.”   A special “Call Lee” Ad runs in every issue and flyers are distributed throughout the Jackson community as a way to reach those who may not be ready to meet with or even call an academic advisor. 

Program Success Story

Anton Allen is studying Business Administration at JCC.   He is a supplemental classroom instructor and walk-in tutor for mathematics. He is also a member of the Men of Merit, and he has spoken to several groups on their behalf and for the college, including local schools, JTV, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and a Michigan legislative subcommittee in Lansing.   With the Men of Merit, he hopes to urge his fellow members, as well as the community, that a college education is important and necessary in today’s world. “One of my main goals with the Men of Merit is to lower their attrition rate and raise their retention rate,” Allen said. “I want to help them graduate and be successful.”  In his own future, he plans to finish his studies at JCC in the Fall, then hopes to transfer to a four year university and continue his studies and earn a bachelor’s degree in business. He hopes to someday run his own non-profit organization that will help children who are less fortunate to learn and impress on them the value of education, as well as becoming an entrepreneur with his own business.
Created at 3/15/2010 2:33 PM  by System Account 
Last modified at 3/17/2010 11:59 AM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
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