Fewer Black men are enrolled in community college this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox 13 reported.
Dr. Kendricks Hooker
Black male enrollment at community colleges has declined 14%, according to some national education reports.
There has been an overall average decline of 12.6% from fall 2019 to fall 2020 in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system.
Southwest Tennessee Community College had a 24% enrollment drop, one of the biggest declines in the TBR system.
“Our students have had to choose life over an education at this particular time,” said Dr. Kendricks Hooker, vice president of academic affairs at Southwest Tennessee Community College. “Whether that’s finding other opportunities for employment, dealing with family members who have been impacted by the pandemic, I think life has challenged our students even more so than ever.”
Hooker said the school is “reaching out to 800 Black male students who opted not to re-enroll this fall,” Fox 13 reported.
“Some of the Black males across the institution, we’re going to call these students and see if we can intervene in some way to address some of those needs, address some of those barriers,” Hooker said.
The school has bought 3,500 laptops for students who needed them.
Effective Dec. 14, student affairs staff will return to campus to offer in person assistance, Hooker said.