The College Futures Foundation has awarded a two-year $410,000 grant to support the California State University’s (CSU) Young Males of Color (YMOC) Consortium in its efforts to improve degree completion for male students of color by identifying, validating, and scaling encouraging practices at five CSU campuses. The grant is funded from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021.
California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) serves as the YMOC’s fiscal agent, while working closely with consortium partners CSU Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Sacramento, and CSU Bakersfield. The five campuses were selected to be part of the consortium for their success in advancing male-focused initiatives and their intentional efforts to produce quality outcomes. While the grant will allow all 23 CSU campuses to collaborate, these five campuses will be directly involved in evaluating programs and monitoring outcomes.
The YMOC Consortium was designed to advance a systemwide focus on improving outcomes for young males of color in the CSU system. Its efforts are guided by the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025 and its goal of eliminating all equity gaps for historically underrepresented students.
“As the consortium wraps its second year, I am excited to continue to lead this effort,” said William Franklin, vice president of Student Affairs at CSUDH, who serves with CSUDH Interim Associate Vice President of Student Life Matthew Smith as co-principal investigators on the systemwide initiative.
“I’d like to thank our growing list of funders,” Franklin added. “Their generous support will help us continue to interrogate the institutional barriers contributing to the gaps in student success outcomes for males of color, and their support will allow us to document the most promising evidence-based practices that lead to success.”
The College Futures Foundation partners with organizations and leaders across the state to catalyze systemic change, increase college degree completion, and close equity gaps and create a seamless educational path to opportunity becomes a reality for all students. Additional organizations that have awarded funding to the consortium during the College Futures Foundation’s grant cycle include the Annenberg Foundation, which has committed $100,000, and the Angell Foundation, which has donated $150,000 to help the consortium reach outcomes delineated in the grant agreement.
The consortium received its first grant of $200,000 from the foundation in 2017, which facilitated the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 Pre-Symposium on Young Males of Color in 2017, and a series of focus groups with young males of color at a number of CSU campuses across the state.
In 2018, the consortium amassed and analyzed qualitative and quantitative data gathered by each campus. The findings generated a number of reoccurring themes and amplified several institutionally-controlled barriers. The consortium also launched the first annual CSU Young Males of Color Forum at CSU Bakersfield in April 2018.
This year, the CSU Young Males of Color Forum will take place Nov. 6 at the California Endowment headquarters in Los Angeles. Working in partnership with the California Community Foundation and Southern California College Access Network, the primary goal of the forum is to develop a legitimate mechanism for students, leaders, and educators to learn from one another, and to collaborate with regional and national experts to explore strategies for improving outcomes for young males of color.
“It is an honor to partner with the California Community Foundation and Southern California College Access Network on this ambitious and necessary endeavor,” said Smith. “Their contributions to the forum, and by extension the overall success of the YMOC Consortium, will have a profound and positive effect on our male students of color for years to come.”