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Podcast

Spotlight on the African American Male Initiative at NC Central

Episode 82

November 30, 2021 34 minutes

Summary

Dr. Roderick Heath explains how his own experience and his study of noncognitive behaviors inform his work as Director of the African American Male Initiative at North Carolina Central University.

In a conversation with EAB’s Michael Schwengel, Dr. Heath discusses how he combines data, technology, and a range of motivational tactics to engage these students and foster a sense of belonging he says is crucial to their academic and personal development.

Transcript

[music]

0:00:11.8 Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. Our guest today was a first-generation college student who dropped out, returned a few years later, and then proceeded to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and ultimately his Doctor of Education. Today, he leads an innovative program at North Carolina Central University, designed to help young black men build a sense of belonging and a sense of community that he says makes them better students and much more likely to graduate and launch successful careers. Give him a listen and enjoy.

[music]

0:00:49.9 Michael Schwengel: Welcome to Office Hours with EAB. I’m Michael Schwengel, student success strategic leader at EAB, and a dedicated consultant to our partner institutions using Navigate, our student success management system. Today, I’m delighted to be joined by Dr. Roderick Heath, Director of the Men’s Achievement Center and the African American Male Initiative at North Carolina Central University. Dr. Heath, welcome.

0:01:14.4 Roderick Heath: Well, welcome, welcome. Thank you for having me today. It’s a honor to be here to talk about some things that I’m passionate about, so thank you for the opportunity.

0:01:22.8 MS: Absolutely. Dr. Heath, I’d love to begin with a little bit of background about yourself, NCCU and the historical challenges related to black male student success. Can you talk a bit about your institution and some of the metrics that guide your work?

0:01:38.1 RH: Yeah. So a little bit about me, I’m a first-gen student myself. I was a sports guy in high school, and I wasn’t an engaged student, all I thought about was sports and athletics. And so, I went to Livingston College first and didn’t finish, quit, and I went back to Central at the age of 22. I only had two bags of clothes and hit 85, and I never knew what a dorm looked like. So that’s when my work began. Just getting there changed my life. And so at the time when I came, Central was in the process of growing. We’ve grown so much since I’ve graduated 2006. And so the institution has really grown, can seat about 5000-plus undergrad, and you add in the law school and the other graduate programs, pretty decent-sized university. And so on this campus, when I came, there wasn’t a Men’s Achievement Center, so a lot of those young men that came in with me didn’t graduate. A lot of them didn’t graduate, a lot of them played sports and didn’t graduate. And so recently we just started this program called an End Zone program. And so what happened was, I started going back, asking some of my guys that came in with me, “Have you heard about this End Zone program, it starts you off where you left out, where you left at.”

0:02:58.1 RH: And so, if you left during your junior year, they would start your credits from there and put you in this Behavioral Science degree. And so I’ve been recruiting friends to come back as well. And so now at North Carolina Central, a lot of metrics we do now, we’re looking at the scale of how students come in now. Often-times we try to put all these students in the same box, the same structure and as a university, we had to break it down into increments of small silos of what is needed. You had your first gen student, you had your single parent home student, you had your distant-ed student, you had your rural student. And so how do we as a university make sure that we tap into everybody’s true potential? And so, we created these different initiatives. The Men’s Achievement Center started in 2009 right around the time when they were trying to increase the enrollment for African American males. And so here we are today in Cohort 13.

0:03:55.7 MS: And with those points in mind, can you share a few more details about the Men’s Achievement Center and the African American Male Initiative, which you serve as the director of? How the program came to be, how it is supported and maintained, and how the student cohorts are selected and structured.

0:04:11.3 RH: Sure. So, with this program, why I find it so amazing is that, they started it in 2009. They began with bringing in cohorts of 100 students. And so at that time, that was a big number for the office. And so what we do, we don’t look at GPAs coming in. If you get accepted into the university, and we go on a recruitment tour, we send all the freshman males letters and saying, “Hey, how are you doing? This is the Men’s Achievement Center, the African American Male Initiative, we wanna help you through your transition through college. And so when they started out in 2009, they realized that bringing in 100 students may not be the right thing to do with your staff. You don’t have the capacity to help all these students, and so we broke it down to cohorts of 40. We felt like 40 was a good number that we could follow and we could really see some residual successes. And so over the years, the program had went through different metrics and different changes, and now we feel like we have the perfect model. It still could use some work. And so what I do, I recruit freshmen, have parent meetings… Contact the counselors in the area, and then we have a meeting with each student.

0:05:24.9 RH: So I meet with each student, just to make sure it’s something that you wanna be in, because I don’t want you to just sign up for something and not be engaged. And some young men come from high school and like, I just wanna be a free college student, I just wanna… And I’m like, “Okay, in this program, you can have freedom.” But some guys still decide, “No, I don’t wanna do it.” But often-times those guys come back around by their sophomore year looking for some help. And so with our program, we break them down into cohort model, like I said earlier, we’re in Cohort 13. And so we have from senior down to freshmen. And with these models, we try to make sure each cohort is doing something different. So, freshmen, I particularly focus on acclimation, getting you engaged on campus, making sure you join clubs, making sure you know how to navigate the community, which is the university, we call it the community, and making sure that you’re successful so that you’ll return your sophomore year. You may have some hiccups your freshman year, but that’s okay.

0:06:19.8 RH: Sophomore year, we focus on, okay, let’s look at your freshman year, you came back, so that lets us know you wanna continue this education journey. And so we do a lot of one-on-ones, we do some program planning, we do a goals and assessments with these young men during their sophomore year to make sure that they’re in the right… One, the major, making sure you’re in the right major. Because by the time you get to a junior year, we want you to be solidified in your major, making sure that this is what you wanna do for the rest of your life. And so that whole junior year, we’re just focusing on making sure you have a successful transition from your freshman and sophomore courses into your major, and we’re setting that up. And then that senior year is solely focused on career development. So but if I get you through all these stages, by your senior year, we focusing on making sure you’ve had internships, making sure you have a LinkedIn page, making sure your resume is solid, making sure that you’re applying for jobs, grad school, applying for scholarships. So your whole senior year, that’s all we work on. I don’t really care about you coming into too much programming, because over these four years, I feel like you’ve done enough programming. So if I can get you to your senior year, let’s just focus on the exit plan. And so that’s how we break it down.

0:07:33.7 MS: And in addition to, of course, these student cohorts representing the black male student population at NCCU, what are the other identifiers that are tracked by you and your team at the Men’s Achievement Center as you select and support these students from matriculation to graduation?

0:07:50.9 RH: Well, we definitely look at… With our chancellor’s initiative. He has a heavy focus on getting the rural students to the university. We look at a lot of the rural areas. We recruit heavy in North Carolina in some of the rural areas. If you know some of these rural areas where the mean income is 27,000, 30,000 a year. And so we focus heavy on a rural first-gen students, we focus heavy on STEM ’cause we have a great STEM program now. And we recently just connected with different programs, as far as the Marathon Teaching Institute. So we’re looking for young men who wanna be teachers. And so with that being said, our focus is really to find men in the trenches, find out where they are, go to the community colleges, find out which young men wanna transfer or are looking to extend their education journey. And so that’s how we really look at it. We really engage with the counselors on the K-12 level and seeing which young man has that potential but may not even know it.

0:08:51.0 RH: And so that’s when I call and reach out, set-up an appointment with their parents and let them know that we really wanna recruit them. If they come to my program, I will follow them for four years and I will treat them like they were mine. I’ma make sure… I’ma call them out when they’re doing wrong, and I’ma love ’em up when they’re doing right. And I think once you… Once parents know that their child is going to something that’s gonna look out for their best interest, they’re more prone to discuss the program and push the program. And so we never have a issue with getting students in, we always fill up fast, and I always end up with a waiting list from young men who are looking to join the program.

0:09:28.5 MS: Now, you’ve spoken a bit about the year-over-year journey of students participating in the AAMI program. Can you talk a bit more about the living-learning community model and other areas of focus of the program like mental health and belongingness?

0:09:41.2 RH: Okay. So as you know, you think about it, a freshman student, depending where you’re from, let’s take a student from California comes to North Carolina, and that’s a totally different environment from which he is used to. And that’s when that mental health will come in. We’re not thinking like mental health where you need some type of medication, it’s just mental health like you’re in a new space, you don’t… You feel like you don’t belong, the weather is cold at times. And we put them in these living-learning communities. And I created a partnership with the Residential Life department, because what I found out was, once these young men decide their junior year they wanna move off campus and then that’s another barrier that they face and gotta pay bills now. Now you gotta work, now you’re gonna slack somewhere in your education. And so with the new facilities having kitchens and individual rooms, we create a four-year living-learning community, and we have several floors, it’s just our guys. And so now it becomes a learning hub a study hall hub, guys belong to each other. They know who is who, I’m gonna go down the hall for support.

0:10:45.2 RH: And so what we found out in these living-learning communities is that they were some of the most well organized ’cause we would think, all these young men on these four floors. We know it’s gonna be total chaos, but it was the total opposite. What we learned is they found a community, and they found out that they started helping each other, when someone needed a ride to the store, when someone needed something, they would share, at times they would play video games together. And you create this brotherhood of making sure every… No man was left behind, something that’s similar to the Army. That’s something that we always say. And the beauty of this thing was we were voted the best organization far as a living-learning community because we had no issues, no fights, no nothing. It was just young men just having fun, being able to come and engage and feeling like this is our hub, this is our brotherly, our community. And the beauty of it was, when random guys would come to the area, they would know. They was like, we don’t know this guy that’s on the hall.

0:11:44.3 RH: So they became territorial to make sure nobody messes up their space, because with this they would get… Before housing, they would open up for my guys before any students got to choose rooms. And so that was another perk, because I don’t have scholarships. And so when we moved to this mental health aspect, I used to do room checks, not looking for anything illegal or anything… Just to check on them, ’cause I also believe that the room tells me a story as well. So I’m knocking on a door, and I see a young man, his room is in disarray. And I’ll be like, This look like depression, this looks like something else. And so I could see how they’re living. And so that was when I noticed that I really needed to do some mental health conversations. I would bring in the Counseling Center, we started this program called Brother. You’re Not Superman. And we would have these round circle focus groups where these young men, would disclose their kryptonite for the week. And whether it was, I partied too much, I hung out… I played video games when I should have been studying. I hung out with too many young ladies this week or…

0:12:47.5 RH: Even in those did some drugs or marijuana this week, and I’d tell them to be open. This is not a judgmental space. This is a space to know your weaknesses, and as a team we’re gonna come together and find ways for you to learn from your mistakes so that you won’t do it again. And so the young men, they’d be begging, when are we gonna have another round circle? They wanna start exploring. And lastly, I’ll say to that question with the mental health, I started a hugging program, when you come in the building, you see a brother, just give him a hug and say, “How are you doing today man?” You never know what that young man is going through today, and we want to teach young men that it’s okay to have feelings, it’s okay to go through something, but you have to share those feelings so that we can help you get through those feelings. And that’s why the mental health piece is real important for me.

0:13:33.3 MS: And as we think about some of those tactics and strategies, and as we think about EAB’s Navigate platform, how is it that your team is leveraging this technology to ensure the success of the students participating in the African American Male Initiative program?

0:13:47.9 RH: Well, I think the system is great because you know, we can look at student’s GPA, we can look at who was attached to that student, who their advisor is, who some of the professors that they’re taking… I can send all out emails to my students all by a click of a button. And I can get alerts when the students are not going to class, I can run a spreadsheet and say, let’s see who didn’t go to class today. And if the faculty and staff put those attendances in the system, I can see. And from there, I can email all my students who didn’t go to class and say, come and see me today, what’s going on with you, I’ve seen that you’ve missed two or three classes. And then also, the fact that it gives me data, it gives real time data of what meetings the faculty leave notes inside of the system. And so we all can read it. So now they can tell me one thing. And I was like, Nah, that’s not what your professor put in the notes. And so now it gives us leverage over them too so it’s kind of like that, father, daughter, or father or mother’s situation when the child tried to play the parents against each other. Like, no, we have the data. I have, I know you miss class.

0:14:56.9 RH: So now that they know that, they know that I might as well be open and honest. And so for us, just tagging those students and I can keep up with them. It makes my job so much easier. Because all I have to do is go in the system and just pull the data. It gives me scores, I know their midterm grades, I can see it all. And so it’s all of a click of a button. So when I email all my students, and I could tell which students looked at the email and reply. And so I think the Navigate system is great for me. It’s helped us really transform how we work with students and faculty.

0:15:32.7 MS: And I know through some of our conversations that Navigate has been used to support grant compliance and reporting. Can you talk a little bit more about that and how that data is then used to help fund the program?

0:15:43.4 MS: Yeah, so part of our program is fund… It’s a two-part program. So the Men’s Achievement Center, that’s for all men that want some support on the campus. But the African American Male Initiative is supported by Title III, which is a federal grant. And so every quarter, I have some mandates that I have to do with the young man, for instance, one on one meetings. And so if I set up meetings, I have to email the students, they wanna see correspondence, how many students did you email this month, and they wanna see examples of those. And so I could just pull out the system and show that I emailed all my students a total of 50 times during this quarter. And I can just show them examples of certain emails that I’ve sent, they don’t wanna see them all. But they just wanna make sure that we’re maintaining contact. And so when I wanna pull those GPAs, Navigate gives you visuals that I can screenshot, the trajectory of the student, the GPA, you know, the credit hours, how close the student is to graduation.

0:16:43.8 RH: And so that information makes my reporting easy. Because once I pull the visuals now, all I have to do is write to what the data is telling me is going on, which it helps my reporting because I never get any, what’s this mean, like they’re so clean. And so the federal government always we’ve been able to keep the highest you can get in point value is a 3.0. We’ve never been under 3.0 since I’ve been there, just because the data’s collection is so precise. And we can write off that data. So I think that’s why we love the system. And that’s why it helps us.

0:17:22.5 MS: And as we talk about leveraging technology to positively impact outcomes, can you speak a bit more about the student outcomes that have been achieved by your AAMI program?

0:17:33.6 RH: Yeah, so I will say, my past senior group, the last two cohorts, the average GPA was a 3.0. A higher graduating majority of them guys went on to grad school, we have a 90% retention rate. And that’s all being consistent, being able to email, being able to contact the professor staff, their advisors, their academic advisors, so we one unit, the system has allowed us to just create spaces and I can pull a student in my office and pull up the Navigate system he can watch it with me and I can let him see the behind the scenes information and that’s why I think these students are visual, so when I show them this and show them okay, you failed… One piece of Navigate that I really enjoy that really opened up one of my student’s eyes. He had failed about six classes and so what I did, I looked at the average credit how much an average credit hour cost and I multiplied that by the number of classes that he failed, and I put it into a numbers form and say you’ve thrown away about $4000 on your journey. So Navigate had all those classes, I could just pull it down, and it blew his mind, I put it into a visual form and a chart and show him how much money was added on just because he wasn’t doing what he needed to do in the classroom. So that, I love that feature that they can really see what the classes that they failed in.

0:19:09.9 MS: And I know that both retention rates and four-year graduation rates for students participating in the AAMI program exceed that of the NCCU population at large and also exceed that of the national average for black students. Can you talk a little bit more about that data?

0:19:27.5 RH: Well for me like I said, we collect data on everything, the number of contacts, we have a center so every time they come in the center, they have to sign in or the number of times we see them on Navigate. So with us, we’re collecting data, I’m always using technology to see where they’re at. When I say see where they at, we use Group Me, we use email, we use Instagram, Facebook, I’m always engaging the guys and so what I’ve learned that consistent contact, see with young men, majority of these young men play some type of sport and with sports come structure becomes… So they look at me sometimes as the coach, so I come in as a coach, whatever you see me as, a father figure a mentor, I really don’t care as long as you do what you need to do to be successful. And so what we do is, say for instance I’m looking at my contact hours and I pull the data and I said, “Well, I haven’t seen John any time this month.” So that lets me know either he’s going through something, he’s not engaged or I need to make contact with him.

0:20:34.4 RH: So by looking at all these different systems that we use including Navigate it lets me know which students are falling through the cracks and that’s how we’ve been able to maintain. And so I have a group of graduate students with who I call my success coaches and I give them a list of students who we haven’t seen or who are struggling right now. And then they go out and find that student, conduct one on ones and they create an academic success plan with that student. And then they meet with me and then we’ll finalize the plan and then my success coaches follow that student throughout the semester. And so I feel like with these young men, consistent contact, having system to provide you the trends ’cause young men… People are trendy, that’s… If you look at technology even if you ever watch Facebook and then you say, “I wanna go to Best Buy,” the next thing you know TVs are popping up all over your screen, so I look at it like that. They’re trendy, they’re creatures of habit. And so I have to study their habits and find out who they are as a person.

0:21:33.9 RH: And that’s how my national numbers were higher. I’m not saying that the university is not doing a great job but I have a smaller population, I’m more intentional of the work that I do and our students have bought into what I’m selling them. Meaning, from being inducted into the program, we have a big induction ceremony, we have a parent committee so now you’re hearing it from me and I’m engaging your parents on what’s to come, what kind of program is coming up. And so the parent is also reaching out to that young man and saying, “Hey, I see Dr. Heath is having a financial literacy course, make sure you attend.” So I’m giving them the information and the father, the mother, whoever their guardian is, saying, “You need to be there.” So now we have a whole village approach around this young man because he’s hearing it from me, his parents, faculty, staff advisors and everybody.

0:22:24.0 MS: Okay. And a few of those outcome metrics for our listeners, a 90% retention rate for students participating in the AAMI program as compared to 76% for NCCU overall as compared to 68% as a national average for black students. And for a four-year graduation rate, 57% for AAMI students versus 27% for NCCU overall versus 21% as the national average for black students.

0:22:53.4 RH: And I would like to attack that 57% for us, right, and I think that’s gonna change and be even higher. So what happened was when I first took over I started seeing a trend in young men changing their major. And so I noticed… I started going in and using Navigate again, I was looking at how many of these young men had repeated math courses or repeated Spanish courses. And so what I did, I connected and created a program with the UNC system called math Pathways. And so we created… Throughout COVID we’ve been meeting monthly creating, writing grants. So we’re trying to build foundation classes ’cause what happened was I had a young man from Thomasville North Carolina, and he discussed that during his senior year he had a substitute the whole year. And so I’m like, “Well, a substitute is not the same thing as a teacher.” So when he got to campus there was some areas in math that he was struggling with but it wasn’t his fault that he has a substitute teacher.

0:23:46.5 RH: And so the UNC system is trying to narrow to create foundational classes for young men who may feel like they didn’t get the proper math instruction. And also, we also have our first pilot all male black male math course that was taught this semester, so I’m excited to see those details in a few weeks and so that… That is gonna change the game because this young man had flunked math one or twice, three times and so that added on an extra semester or sometimes a year, a year and a half depending on how the major’s set up. And so we hope with this math foundational courses and providing this math structure that we can boost that 57% up, high as we can.

0:24:29.0 MS: Well, certainly impressive data driven results that are both energizing and inspiring, and that I’m sure have our listeners asking themselves, “How can I recreate what Dr. Heath has done at NCCU at my institution?” And with that, I’d love your thoughts on best practices and considerations as one might set out to found a program that explicitly supports black male students, both from the perspective of an HBCU as well as from the perspective of a predominantly white institution or a PWI.

0:25:00.0 RH: Yeah, I will say the first thing is building a foundation. I would say this, never bring in more than you can really pay attention to meaning, oftentimes, we build these capacities and we wanna just bring them in just to bring them in. If you don’t have the support system that hurts a student even more because now you’ve overloaded and brought all these participants in, you don’t have the capacity or the staff to maintain the needs that they need, because this new generation has different needs than they had in the 90s, 2000s in the 70s, so you have to look at your population.

0:25:36.9 RH: I will also say you have to really… When I say to build the foundation this has to be a team effort. You have to have academics involved, you need to have student affairs involved, residential life involved, you really need to build a strong team. Even sensibilities everybody needs to be involved, parents. And then when you’re building this program find the right staff. A lot of people… You have to be passionate with this work because with this work there’s gonna be ups and downs. I will be on here doing you a disservice if I say my program is perfect. There’s days I have headaches with young men that I really see potential in and I… They don’t see the potential in themselves, but my background, my history of my… How I was raised, it pushes me to understand that you have to teach young men grit, right? And once we get past this imposter syndrome, I can get these young men to believe that they’re supposed to be here and not just on a football field or dribbling a basketball.

0:26:39.8 RH: And so I would tell universities, I’m gonna speak on HBCU first, find the funds, there’s funds on this campus, there’s funds… Really look at trimming the fat. Do we need all the funds to be pushed to one area? For instance, at North Carolina Central, my program is supported from residential life. You think about it, there’s a lot of beds on campus, and so I get a percentage of that budget to produce, and that’s how I have the living-learning community. And so, we know we have to fill those beds, so that’s one of the bigger budgets on campus is housing, and so they provide us with that support. And when you look at the PWI, I work with NC State often times, and they have a program, but they don’t have a center on campus, it’s kind of like them finding space for them to get together once a month.

0:27:30.5 RH: And when I was doing my dissertation, I looked at the difference between PWIs and HBCUs, and I looked at non-causal variables, and my research showed me the young men who were at PWIs felt isolated and alone. They felt like when they went into classrooms, most people thought they were athletes. And so, if they weren’t an athlete, they were just a regular Joe just on campus, and sometimes they felt like, “Well, I’m not an athlete, do they even see me?” And you think about it, if you go to a big campus that has 20,000 students and majority of the black males on campus are sports, basketball, football, baseball, what have you. And it’s only about 2000 of you guys here on the campus, and 20,000 of you all in different majors, sometimes you’re in rooms by yourself or you go to a major… You’re the only brother in the room and so you’re looking around like, “How did I end up here? I don’t play football. Do they see me?” And you just feel out of place.

0:28:31.2 RH: It’s just not even having to do that with nothing racial, it’s just that common ground and just being in like spaces, seeing people like yourself motivates you to do other things. And so, once you know, the athletes get their share, they’re in isolation, and so they kind of run in their own little circles. You kind of feel like an outcast. And then I think on the PWI level, a lot of these young men struggle. So if you build these type of foundations, and my goal is to, within the UNC system, is to get a men’s center on every campus. So, if I was to happen to go to grad school, like UNC Chapel Hill, I know for sure they have a men’s center, so I know what… I know what they’re there for, I know what they provide so I can get acclimated into their campus because I’m gonna have like-minded people there in the program or going to NC State, ECU or ANT, wherever I decide to go, there’s a center, there’s a place for me to get support and help.

0:29:26.6 RH: I feel like if we wanna be successful in making sure these young men are here, ’cause young men, minority men are… They can be leaders or followers, right? . And people say, “Why do you say that?” Because if you look at society, you look at fatherlessness, you look at homes, you look at gang activity, young man will follow that because there’s a leader, someone had took the time to lead them, even though it may be down the wrong track. So, vice versa, if you put them on a college campus, and you providing them services and you leading them, and you’re showing them what it takes and what greatness looks like, and if you follow these tangible items that I put in front of you, you can get to the stage, you can graduate, you can go be successful, and you can become a successful father, entrepreneur, what have you.

0:30:16.7 RH: And so I feel like these systems have to be in place before you bring them there. I think we do a great job with entertaining our athletes, and this is not a shot at athletics, but they do a good job at it. They have everything they need. But what about the other young men that you bring on campus, and that even goes to high school, you think about it, you have pep rallies for the athletes, what about the other, just regular guys, just going to high school or just trying to graduate? We have to build these systems and not box our minority men, our black males in like, “Okay, you belong over here, you are a lead athlete. You’re just a student.” So, in the Men’s Achievement Center, I provide these young men with paraphernalia, shirts, polo shirts, jackets. So when they go on campus, they feel like, “Yes, this is my brand, this is what I’m a part of.” And they protect that brand, so they try to make sure their other brother don’t slip. When you put these coats on, when you put this shirt on, you go out with pride, you go in the classroom, you show up and you get the job done. So, it’s kind of like their uniform. I’m teaching them like, “This is your pride. You’re not an imposter, you belong here.”

0:31:23.4 MS: Yeah. Well, before we go, Dr. Heath, I wonder if you might offer your best pieces of advice to other student success leaders who aren’t seeing the kinds of results they need or desire from the strategies and tactics they are currently using to support targeted populations of students at their respective institutions?

0:31:43.4 RH: Let’s say this, one, you need to have a great system in place. Navigate, like I said, does the job for me. You need to have a great system in place. You need a capacity, you need to really strategically plan how you’re gonna motivate and support students, and not just bring them on campus. I feel like that’s a quote that comes to mind, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,” by Fredric Douglas, is a quote that I live by. A lot of these students come from brokenness, and so be able to accept them and what they bring to the table. So, I do a lot of surveying, I want these students to tell me what their needs are, and oftentimes as universities, this is what we offer. But what you offer may not support what that young man needs. So find their needs and build it, and so if you build it, they will come. And so I’ll tell people all the time that, don’t look at these young men as not being able to do the work, these are geniuses. You just gotta tap into their true potential and show them that they’re wanted in those spaces because society, media, portrays them in certain ways and these young men really wanna be heard, really wanna be seen, and really wanna be productive citizens. And so I will say this, build it, have the capacity and find the strategies that you need for your particular campus and your population and you can be successful.

0:33:07.1 MS: Okay. Dr. Heath, thank you for joining us on office hours with EAB.

0:33:12.5 RH: Right. Thank you for having me. It was a great opportunity.

0:33:22.3 Speaker 1: Thank you for listening. Please join us next week when we host a conversation about racial healing and the importance of addressing institutional legacies marked by racial oppression. You won’t wanna miss it. Until then, thank you for your time.

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