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Tuesday, October 27


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MC Celebrates Grand Opening of Cybersecurity Lab at Germantown Campus

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President's Corner Message: Dr. Pollard Talks About Visit from the Chief of Police, Student Safety, BOT Meeting

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Montgomery College Board of Trustees Reviews $68 Million in Capital Projects

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Cultural Arts Center Honored with Design Excellence Award by Montgomery County Planning Department


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Montgomery College Students' Essays Featured in Literary Journal

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National Compliance Awareness Week - Nov 2-6

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Helpful Tips for Preparing Your Professional Development Leave Application: Workshop on Nov. 10

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Raptors Men's Soccer Takes Top Seed in NJCAA Region XX Tournament

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Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation Presented at Luis Enrique Concert

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Faculty Book Event: "Latinos in the Metro Washington Area" Thursday in the Germantown Campus Library


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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2015

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Focus on Transfer - Information Session on UMBC on Oct. 30

Arts at MC

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MC/AFI Film Series Screening of "Detour" Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., AFI Silver Theatre

Student Affairs

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Adult Student Focus Groups to Be Held On All Campuses

Dr. Pollard, County Leaders Unveil Black and African American Youth Study Findings

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Category: Features

Published: 2015-10-27 00:00:01.000

A research report released Friday finds that stronger social and academic supports are needed to connect Black and African American youth to education and the workforce. The report, Connecting Youth to Opportunity: How Black and African American Youth Perspectives Can Inform a Blueprint for Improving Opportunity in Montgomery County, Maryland, presents the findings and implications of a study that looked at disconnection from the perspectives of 1,210 youth, ages 14 to 24, who were high school students, high school graduates, and youth who left high school before graduating. The report was commissioned by The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (The Community Foundation). It was conceived and written by The Community Foundation, Montgomery College, and BETAH Associates, Inc., and researched by BETAH Associates, Inc.

The study found that disconnected youth reported less support from parents and teachers to get through school, lower grades, more suspensions, more involvement with law enforcement and the justice system, and less economic stability than high school graduates. The survey asked young people questions regarding family environment; social connections; socialization; physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being; school climate and performance; labor market skills; and employment. The study builds upon a 2013 study of Latino youth in Montgomery County that was commissioned by The Community Foundation and conducted by Identity, Inc. for much the same purpose and with similar findings.

"Looking closely at the factors that help young people stay engaged in school or at work is vital to crafting successful policies in education and workforce development in Montgomery County," said Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, Montgomery College president. "At Montgomery College we are using this data to inform our strategies for student retention and completion."

For many Black and African American disconnected youth, the path to disconnection may begin in school settings, but it does not end there - because the opportunities for meaningful work are limited for Black youth. The study found that only 31% of youth who dropped out of school were working, and nearly one-half (48%) of youth who dropped out reported their economic condition as "bad or very bad," compared to 29% of high school graduates and 14% of high school students who responded.

In the context of school, the study found that compared to high school graduates, youth who left school before graduating were 11 times more likely to have a GPA of 0.5 or below and over twice as likely to have been suspended during their last year of school. They were also less likely to receive help from teachers to stay engaged in their classes, or to believe that their teachers expected them to finish high school or to attend college.

Parental support and expectations also had an impact. Youth who dropped out of school were 50% less likely to receive encouragement from their parents to do well in school and 40% less likely to receive support from their parents to complete high school, to discuss their future after high school with their parents, or to believe that their parents had high expectations for them to go to college.

Despite multiple differences across groups, the youth in the study had strikingly similar levels of contact with local law enforcement. Thirty-one percent of high school students, 49% of graduates, and 64% who dropped out of school reported they had been stopped by the police.

The report provides a starting point for the County to begin working toward its goal of guaranteeing every young person the support, education, and training he or she needs to achieve lifelong success, with the four recommendations from the report also making clear that this will take a community-wide commitment:

1. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) should work with key stakeholders to change policies, practices, and resource allocation to lower the dropout rate and close the achievement gap for Black and African American students.

2. Montgomery County should create a coordinated array of services and supports designed to reconnect disconnected youth to education and the workforce.

3. The Black and African American community along with local law enforcement, State's Attorney's Office, MCPS, and Montgomery County government must find ways to reduce disproportionate minority contact with the justice system.

4. The philanthropic sector, community organizations, the faith-based community, and civic engagement organizations should use the momentum generated by this report to galvanize support for a coordinated countywide campaign to reconnect disconnected youth.

To read and download the report in its entirety, visit To see photos from the event, click here:

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