Helping Black/Brown Men with Opportunities in Programs that will advance their Education or “HOPE” is a targeted pilot program designed to improve the retention, graduation, and four-year college transfer rate of African-American and Hispanic males. Special Assistant to President for Equity and Special Programs Dr. Joan Holmes created the initiative in an effort to address the acute need to strengthen minority male graduation rates.
To become a HOPE Scholar, a student must have completed at least 12 hours of college course work with a minimum grade point average of 2.3 in order to qualify for selection by the committee. Students are assigned a faculty mentor by the program coordinator Dr. Keith Berry. To date, there are 22 faculty mentors in addition to graduate assistant Brian Rodriguez that are available to provide guidance and support for the young men.
We are very proud of the fact that the HOPE program plays a role in providing an avenue toward success by encouraging retention and graduation. In fact, this past semester, HOPE Scholars Rafael Lugo, Carlos Rodriguez, and Anthony Langhorne all maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Additionally, recent data supports the efficacy of the HOPE program. For example, HOPE Scholars have a higher retention and completion rate than their collegewide counterparts. Moreover, HOPE Scholars maintain a higher number of credits attempted and completed than their collegewide colleagues. Positive administrative support from Dr. Ken Atwater, president of HCC, and his dedicated faculty are the reason why 72% of the HOPE Scholars have been retained in the program or transferred to four-year institutions.
The entire HCC family should be proud of the accomplishments of our students as they continue to take advantage of the avenues of success that we provide each semester.
Article written by: Dr. Keith Berry