Black and Hispanic men who attend college are not graduating at the same rate as their female classmates, something that educators nationwide are worried about.

That’s why UCF is hosting the National Male Student Success Conference Oct. 29-Nov.1 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. UCF worked with a group of national experts to organize the conference in hopes of helping attendees understand why black and Hispanic men are lagging behind, and looking at ways to provide more positive educational outcomes.

According to the Lumina Foundation 33.2 percent of black men and 44.8 percent of Hispanic men earn a bachelor’s degree within six years nationwide, compared to 57.1 percent of white men and 64.2 percent of Asian men. The Foundation is an independent, private foundation focused on increasing the number of Americans with high-quality degrees and certificates.

“We have taken intentional steps to lessen the achievement gap between males and females on our campus,” said Wayne Jackson, director of UCF’s Multicultural Academic and Support Services. Jackson is also one of the conferences’ organizers. “The Male Student Success Conference is designed to create a college-going, college-staying, college-graduating culture for males attending the conference.”

Attendees will be able to hear from multiple scheduled conference speakers, including Morris Morrison. Morrison, who experienced his parents and his adoptive parent’s deaths during his childhood, said he learned an important trait through his adversity: motivation. He has used this to shape his mindset towards personal and professional development.

Morrison went on to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fairmont State University and West Virginia University and went on to work his way up at BB&T Bank and Pfizer Inc. Today he runs his own company, Morrison Global Brands, in which he uses the same mindset towards personal and professional development to help organizations and individuals succeed.

Other speakers include Nathan Thomas III, associate vice president of diversity and equity at the University of Kansas; and authors Ryan Mack and Terrell Strayhorn.

For more information about the event, contact Multicultural Academic and Support Services at 407-823-2716 or click here.