Guiding Our Future Toward Successful College Completion

The University of Memphis has worked hard to identify and develop solutions for the greatest challenges facing our students. These challenges include concerns about college costs, student loan debt and return on investment. We are dedicated to ensuring our students can access affordable, high-quality education that prepares them for success - both in career and in life.

This new initiative takes an applied developmental approach. Beginning in middle school, program leaders will identify, recruit and induct African American male students into a culture of inclusive excellence. Through this model of early exposure to academic and career preparation, peer and faculty mentors, textbooks and educational supplies, and integration into college life, African American male students are set on a path towards early college completion.

Two sets of boards will serve as thought partners to support the success of this initiative – an internal board comprised of faculty and staff and an external executive advisory board consisting of leaders from the community, state and across the nation.

light bulb icon

What makes this unique?

• The creation of a hub of inclusive excellence that exposes middle school boys to African American professors and staff to engage them in research
• A cohort of middle school boys to facilitate social interaction with peers and goal orientation to college completion – a departure from other programs that begin at the high school level
• A strengths-based model for positive youth development grounded in an ethic of care and love - a departure from the deficit-based model that tends to dominate the teaching of African American boys

icon: person in front of chart
Benefits of Participation

• Exposure to a college environment and African American professors
• Leadership development/career readiness/self-efficacy through mentorship and education
• Overcome traditional barriers to academic achievement (for example, mastery of mathematics) and to develop racial pride/self-awareness
• Improve health, wellness, fitness and financial literacy through education
• Develop career readiness through mentorship
• Develop scholar identity-view of self as intellectual

icon: silhouette of African American male

Participant Requirements

  • Monthly on-campus Saturday workshops
  • On-campus one-day residency program
  • Online individualized tutoring by college Honors students.

Curriculum includes:

  • College/ACT/career preparation
  • Cultural/community experiences
  • Summer bridge to high school and college


Contact us for more information >