MALE INITIATIVE PROJECT
The Male Initiative Project (MIP) is a male mentoring program established in 2006 as a response to the report From High School to the Future issued by the Consortium on Chicago School Research. The report drew attention to the continuing challenge of low college enrollment and graduation rates of CPS students, particularly males of color. MIP involves over 300 high school males of color in more than 20 CPS high schools. While it is a recognized CPS activity, the Male Initiative Project depends on the volunteer efforts of counselors, teachers and administrators, as well as the personal commitment of student participants.
Program Goals and Activities
The overall objective of the Male Initiative Project is to establish school-based mentoring organizations to improve the high school graduation rates of African-American and Latino students. MIP also strives to identify and address the physical and emotional issues facing adolescent males of color, to encourage lifelong learning and to inform the wider community of the issues involved in reaching and serving this population.
MIP chapters have specific organizational and participant goals under the supervision of a teacher or counselor sponsor. Each chapter meets at least once a week after school with the objectives of building a cohesive bond among members and improving academic performance. Student IDs are captured so that academic performance, graduation rates and postsecondary progression can be tracked. In addition to chapter activities, the MIP organizes four project-wide programming events a year: an opening gala and fund-raising event, a coordinators’ conference, a student development retreat, and an end of year awards ceremony.
The MIP/DePaul partnership
DePaul began its relationship with MIP by hosting its first student development retreat in February 2007. Since that time, DePaul has provided a student intern for the project, hosted project leaders for a student leadership and planning workshop, collaborated with MIP and the CPS Department of Postsecondary Education in writing a proposal to College Board for funding under its Greenhouse program, initiated discussions with CPS about MIP outcome research and reporting, and hosted a second student development retreat for about 200 MIP participants. In addition, the emerging MIP/partnership has provided the catalyst for a proposal to establish a mentoring program for males of color at DePaul.
National School-based Male Mentoring Forum
The Center for Access and Attainment at DePaul University hosted the first-ever ''Forum on the Effectiveness of School-Based Male Mentoring'' on Oct. 9-10, 2011 on DePaul's Loop campus. The forum brought together more than 50 educators from middle and high schools across the country to explore school-based mentoring as a tool for improving educational outcomes for African-American and Hispanic/Latino males, as well as provide a place to share best practices among schools that have successful mentoring programs.
for more information, photos and videos from the first School-based Male Mentoring Forum.
For more information
Contact Dr. Shelby T. Wyatt, Professional School Counselor at Kenwood Academy High School, at 773-535-1372, or by e-mail at STWyatt@cps.edu.