WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College this week announced it has joined a consortium dedicated to advancing success of men of color in community colleges – the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) National Consortium on College Men of Color.

The M2C3 Consortium, launched in February 2015, facilitates an exchange of ideas among community colleges across the nation to boost the success of historically underrepresented and underserved students.
Community colleges convene to share their efforts and learn about new strategies for enhancing the success of men of color.

“Rio Hondo College is committed to ensuring the success of all of our students,” said Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss. “We provide services especially tailored to help those who face the greatest challenges, but we can always do more. This consortium will help provide us with new tools in this campaign.”

Nearly seven in eight male students at Rio Hondo College – 86.8 percent of men who declared ethnicity – identified themselves in 2014-15 as men of color. The group is more than 80 percent Latino, 8 percent Asian, and 4 percent African-American.

In the United States, only 17 percent and 15 percent of African-American and Latino men, respectively, earn certificates, degrees or transfer from a community college to a four-year institution in six years, despite programs designed to enhance outcomes for men of color.

Figures for men from other ethnic groups (e.g., Native American, Southeast Asian) also indicate a significant need for improvement.
While Rio Hondo College’s graduation rate for men of color exceeds those national averages, College educators believe targeted support services can help students significantly improve their success rates.

The College offers a rich array of programs tailored to its high-needs student groups. In spring, it held its first-ever Men of Color Conference. It is also planning a Women of Color event in 2015-16 and is launching a diversity committee to help coordinate efforts.

As an M2C3 member, Rio Hondo College will benefit from

  • Access to M2C3 webinars on men on color;
  • Access to the M2C3 virtual discussion board;
  • Participation in information-sharing on promising practices with other community colleges; and
  • Participation in an annual working group meeting hosted in San Diego.

In its first few months, the M2C3 has already seen much success in information-sharing between community colleges. An average of more than 1,000 consortium members participates in each webinar.

“This unique partnership will provide a rich opportunity for our talented faculty and staff to discover new and stronger ways to serve our students,” Board of Trustees President Madeline Shapiro said.