The Role of Community-Based Organizations in the Movement of Young Men of Color into Postsecondary Studies: A Qualitative Case Study
Garnett, Rhoan D
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This paper takes place in the context of a “leaky” pipeline whereby proportionately few young men of color make it into and through postsecondary studies. A qualitative interpretive study is used to explore the roles two Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), dedicated to college access and success, play in enrolling and graduating young men of color from college. The investigation concentrates on students supported by Opportunity Scholars (OS) and Success Academy (SA) and interested in attending the University of Washington (UW). The main findings suggest that, while the educational pipeline for young men of color is indeed “leaky”, there are clearly ways that movement through this pipeline can be greatly facilitated. CBOs seem to provide a particularly good vehicle for building networks of relationships, translating these into specific supports, and developing social capital in the process. The study helps reveal how many different relationships are part of the networks CBOs build, and suggests how all of them together, as well as each of them, plays a role in guiding young men of color through the system. What is happening in this process is a particular response to “achievement gap” practices. In effect, the CBOs are modeling and embodying achievement gap-closing practices.
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