Participation Type

Experiential Presentation

Session Title

Berea College's Appalachian Male Initiative

Session Abstract or Summary

This presentation will provide and up-date on Berea College’s Appalachian Male Initiative (AMI), the lessons learned from its initial implementation year and their impact on the program’s continued development. Included will be a brief history of the program’s purposes, development, and implementation with emphasis on program’s vision, goals, experiences, and outcomes. As one component of a larger program including the Black Male Initiative and the Hispanic Male Initiative, the program emphasizes construction of cross-cultural understanding, experiences, and collaborations.

Working primarily with first-generation college students from distressed and at-risk Appalachian counties, the AMI includes a variety of experiences designed to provide support, community, and ties to home as the freshmen transition to Berea from home. and as they continue through their college experience. Included are community-building opportunities, mentoring, a first-semester Appalachian Studies course focusing on region’s the histories and cultures, and an outdoor experiential learning component.

Taken together, the program’s first two years uncovered both surprising and interesting information and insights about Berea’s Appalachian male students. Having learned more about their concerns, the barriers they often face, the importance of a strong college community, and their hopes and expectations, the program can provide the variety of experiences, relationships, and information to engage them in question and challenge the stereotypes and low expectations they have often accepted.

Presentation #1 Title

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Presentation #1 Abstract or Summary

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At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1

Chris Green is director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #2

Bobby Starnes is a professor of Appalachian and General Studies at Berea College

Presentation #3 Abstract or Summary

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At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #3

Rick Childers is the Appalachian Male Advocate and Mentor for the Appalachian Male Initiative. He is a 2016 graduate of Berea College.

Conference Subthemes

Diversity and Inclusion, Education

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