This track will highlight the benefits and challenges of non-traditional career paths for men of color. It will also encourage Black and Latino male college students to consider an expanded view of non-traditional careers paths within a variety of popular industries. Many times students perceive that many of these career paths focus only on performance occupations rather than other types of skills combined with creativity that can lead to other successful occupations within the same career field. The goal of this track is to encourage Black and Latino male students to consider a non-traditional approach to a variety of career pathways often overlooked by college students of color.
This session will address nontraditional career paths in fields such as professional sports journalism, medical technology, entertainment, college administration and faculty, television/radio, production and, of course, STEM related jobs. Scholars in career counseling and theory as well as professional role models in nontraditional career paths are encouraged to submit proposals. Proposals should include information about research that relates to personality assessments, career assessments, and advisement about access to careers.
The America’s Promise Alliance released a report, “Building a Grad Nation” (2015) indicating the United States is on track to graduate record numbers of high school students by 2020. However, the gap between black men (59%), Hispanic men (65%) and their white peers (80%) has widened based on the SCHOTT Foundation for Public Education Report (2012). “Boosting College Success Among Men of Color” (MDRC, 2016) stated, “The moment men of color are admitted to a college or university, their experience should look different from that of the majority of students, as we know they are resilient, remarkable, and capable of excelling when given the tools to do so.” Yet many colleges and universities are not accommodating men of color. They lack African American and Latino male professors, mentors, mentorship programs, and specialized financial aid advisors to develop the “whole person” (McBride, 2017).
This session will present “best practices” and theories on successful minority male mentoring programs in college and communities with the goal of improving college retention and completion. Presentations are encouraged to include baseline data, cohort-tracking data, testimonials, and represent the increasing number of successful minority male collaborative consortiums across the country.
In the United States, Blacks and Latinos face systematic disenfranchisement through individual and institutional racial/ethnic discrimination (Hope, Keels & Durkee, 2016). These authors promote political activism as one way racially/ethnically marginalized youth can combat institutional discrimination and seek legislative change toward equality and justice. The “All Hands on Deck” theme focuses on the need for more collective communities in education, business, law and community-based organizations to commit, contribute and support more men of color to succeed. This collective outreach is critical toward affecting upward mobility in in education and economics across generation. According to Shaun Harper (2014), “Viewing these men through deficit-colored lenses sustains depressing one0sided narrative about the social and economic outlook”.
The presentation proposals should include current data, research, policies and/or testimonials if applicable, that substantiate the need to continue to address social justice problems for men of color. Moreover, the proposals should include successful remedies, strategies and best practices that college men and practitioners can apply to reduce these challenges.
According to Dulabaum, (2016), Black & Latino males reported a variety of success barriers, which include the lack of financial resources; lack of college readiness; balancing college with work and family; lack of focus and self-motivation; and the need for assistance and engagement from instructors, counselors and tutors. Carnevale & Strohl (2013) state “College readiness is important in explaining low completion rates, but the polarization of resources in the higher education system is one of the root causes of increasing college dropout rates and increasing time required to complete degrees”. They further state, “But this study’s data clearly show that race matters, even controlling for readiness — high-scoring African Americans and Hispanics go to college at the same rates as similarly high-scoring whites but drop out more often and are less likely to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.
This track focuses on strategies that include programming, use of social media, technology, coaching/advising, developing help-seeking behavior, and financial resources that empower Black and Latino males in college toward successful retention and completion in a reasonable timeframe.