FAMU’s Black Male College Explorers Program Still Relevant 30 years After Inception

Famu news

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

For 30 years, the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Black Male College Explorers Program (BMCEP) has helped hundreds of young black men channel potential into success in the classroom and adulthood. 

Since its inception in the early 1990’s, the program has expanded its scope with academic and personal life choices. It also continues to offer six weeks of direct and supplemental instruction in mathematics, science, language arts, mentoring, and academic planning.

BMCEP Director Errol Wilson said the program is still relevant because disparities persist in the high school graduation rates for African American young men and other ethnic groups.  

“There remains a need for academic support to assist with narrowing the achievement gap for males of color,” Wilson said.  Despite improvements in the graduation rates for black males across the state, Wilson said, the Florida Department of Education high school graduation reports indicate that they graduate from high school at or near the bottom compared to other ethnic groups. 

“Given the potential explosion of the achievement gap caused by COVID-19 and the socio-economic realities of our target population, services, and interventions provided by the Black Male College Explorers are needed more than ever,” Wilson added.

BMCEP was initially implemented during President Frederick S. Humphries, Ph.D.’s tenure and operated under the College of Education’s umbrella, with Tommy Mitchell as its first director. The program was initially funded by a grant by the Florida Legislature.

The grant funded the program annually for several years along with state appropriation funds and support from private donations. Its blueprint was crafted to prevent “at-risk” Black males from dropping out of high school, directing a path toward college admission, and increasing the chances of college graduation.

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