African American Male Initiative

Men, we shall have only as we make manhood the object of the work of the schools – intelligence, broad sympathy, knowledge of the world that was and is, and of the relation of men to it – this is the curriculum of that Higher Education which must underlie true life.” – W.E.B. Du Bois

About Panther PRIME: African American Male Initiative (AAMI)
The Panther PRIME (Preparing, Retaining and Investing in Males through Engagement) AAMI program supports the educational and professional aspirations of African American men at Georgia State University. Panther PRIME was developed to help forward the AAMI which is committed to significantly increasing the graduation rates and number of degrees conferred upon African American men in the University System of Georgia.

Panther PRIME is a partnership between the Multicultural Center and the Honors College. The partnership leverages the resources of both areas to provide African American men with identity development, cultural competency and experiential learning opportunities such as undergraduate research, civic engagement, study abroad and post-graduate preparation.

Our mission is to support and cultivate a community of scholars and develop them as leaders and change agents in their respective fields. Panther PRIME aims to fulfill AAMI’s mission to provide an integrated program model of academic and social tools that allow students to adopt positive mindsets to successfully complete classes, elevate their cumulative GPAs and matriculate through each academic level successfully, leading to graduation.

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Goals of AAMI:

  • Academic Skills Enrichment: Supports AAMI students in achieving their academic goals through a range of both personalized and campus wide initiatives that foster self-regulated learning, enhances academic skills and provides exemplary academic support programs and services
  • Student Support Services: Makes internal and external resources available and provides information and learning tools to enhance academic and social success
  • Adult and Peer Mentoring: Connects AAMI students to vetted adults and peers who encourage achievement and foster positive attitudes and a sense of belonging through personal and academic support, cultivating professional development
  • Leadership Development: Provides multifaceted professional and soft skills forums to help develop and strengthen leadership and career readiness skills

Additionally, Panther PRIME AAMI ambassadors volunteer with non-profit organizations as civic partners to increase opportunities for personal enrichment, service-learning and community engagement.

The 2018-2019 Civic Partners:

Panther PRIME has strong connections with Georgia State’s Multicultural Center and Honors College. These departments provide access to resources for the development of African American men.

Background on University System of Georgia AAMI:
The Board of Regents conducted a benchmark study that included an assessment of the demographics of the system’s enrollment. That benchmark study identified extensive gaps in higher education attainment between African American men and peer groups of African American women as well as other student populations.

The Board of Regents received legislative funding to commission a study. The innovative project known as the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) was formed as a qualitative and quantitative research study at three institutions. The study’s purpose was to identify the barriers to college attendance and graduation for African American men.

With development of a comprehensive report and fifteen specific recommendations for submission to the Board of Regents, the research and task force efforts were adopted by the board.

AAMI programs have launched at various University System of Georgia institutions. Best practices information has been collected and shared within the university system, the larger higher education community and various organizations that continue to identify the program as a national model
in this area.