Bank of America has partnered with Greenville Technical College (GTC) to address racial and gender achievement gaps through intensive case management and personalized support services, with a recent $50,000 gift for the African American Male Scholars Initiative bringing Bank of America’s total support of this initiative to $138,000.
African American male college students have experienced low graduation rates nationwide for decades. The African American Male Scholars Initiative (AAMSI) at GTC is designed to improve those numbers. The program works to foster academic and social integration, promote student engagement, develop leadership potential, increase completion rates, and impact social and economic mobility. The effort includes comprehensive academic advising, mentoring, connection to resources, and expanded learning opportunities.
Established in 2019, AAMSI has enrolled 148 African American males since its inception. Of those students, 75% are the first in their families to take college classes. Changing outcomes for these students can impact not only their success but that of subsequent generations.
The effort is seeing strong success. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the college-wide persistence rate of students enrolling in Fall 2020 and again in Spring 2021 was 72% while 77% of AAMSI students persisted. Retention rates reflect fall to fall enrollment. For the 2020-2021 period, white males were retained at 58.8%, African American males not participating in AAMSI were retained at 42.4%, and AAMSI scholars were retained at 60.4%.
For this support and many other efforts at the college over more than 20 years, Bank of America and Bank of America Charitable Foundation will be honored at the Greenville Tech Foundation’s Champions for Student Success event on November 1, 2022.
“Our longstanding partnership with Greenville Technical College has helped to advance economic opportunity for many individuals and families throughout our region,” said Stacy Brandon, Bank of America President, Upstate SC. “The African American Male Scholars Initiative provides another successful way we can address systemic gaps for underserved communities and create meaningful pathways to education and future employment.”
The bank’s strategic investments have helped to remove barriers to economic success for students and their families with donations for workforce development, economic mobility, Quick Jobs, advanced manufacturing, apprenticeships, and student scholarships. This significant support and longstanding partnership also led Bank of America and its charitable foundation to be selected for the college’s Unsung Hero Corporate Award in 2019.
“We couldn’t do the important work of impacting graduation rates through the African American Male Scholars Initiative without the commitment of Bank of America to our cause,” said Ann Wright, vice president for advancement with the Greenville Tech Foundation. “Having their unwavering support is essential in allowing us to fulfill our mission of transforming lives through education.”