Helping Male College Students Succeed

  1. What college instructors need to know about male students to help them succeed.

“Helping Male College Students Succeed” is the title of chapter 12 in The Pedagogy of the 21st Century by William A. Draves and Julie Coates. This is a book worth reading. And this is a chapter on a subject demanding attention from college instructors and administrators.

Why Don’t Male College Students Graduate?

In the last half of the last century, many shared a common societal goal, which was to give women equal opportunity for a college education. Can anyone argue against this? I think not.

Draves and Coates point out that the problem has reversed; the pendulum has swung the other way so to speak. In 1960, they report that men represented only 40 percent of college graduates. However, since 1980, more women have graduated than men. Draves and Coates refer to the following facts:

  1. Males get worse grades than females in high school and college;
  2. male retention rates in college (59%) lag behind female rates (66%);
  3. males represent only 40 percent of college graduates; and
  4. young men in high school have lower expectations about graduating from college.

There is much conjecture over the causes. While Draves and Coates address common theories.  to reasons, they more pragmatically address actions that just plain make sense.

About Dr. Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

My name is Paul Hummel, and I often introduce myself to others as a recovering engineer. If you are familiar with the Dilbert cartoons, let me simply say that I lived all of that. I started my college saga at Illinois Institute of Technology. Eventually, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. I worked for many years in industry, and during this time I did some college adjunct teaching. During my career I held several managerial positions in industry, the last as Director of Technology of a division of a Fortune 500 corporation. Then, in 1996, with minimal planning or forethought, I found myself working as a manufacturing consultant on behalf of Elgin Community College (ECC). My career in higher education began to take shape. I fell in love with ECC and with the mission of community colleges in general. I worked fulltime and occasionally taught college courses for my institution and two other colleges. After a couple years I set a goal to move over to the “credit side of the college” and eventually become a college administrator. In 2006, having earned my doctorate in education, I achieved that goal. I was hired by Waubonsee Community College as Dean for Technology, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. I have had the great fortune of working at two excellent colleges. The insights I want to share are drawn from the various college positions I have held. At ECC, in addition to my consulting role, I coordinated non-credit professional development training programs for three years and spent four years advising students in the TRiO Student Support Services program. That position helped me understand college education from the perspective of today’s college students. After seven years at Waubonsee, I retired April 30, 2013. I now devote my knowledge and skills to upgrading and expanding the websites I created beginning with Adjunct Assistance. I have three other websites: College Teaching Tips, Keys for College Success and Lighthouse for Learning. A lot of work lies ahead for me in terms of upgrading and expanding each of these websites, but I could not be more excited about fulfilling the vision I have for helping college instructors and their students succeed.


Helping Male College Students Succeed — 2 Comments

  1. Perhaps this is a typo? The article says 40 percent of college graduates in 1960 were male, however since 1980 more women have graduated than men. Why would this be a shocker if were actually true? If this is not a typo, how can it be explained?

    • John,

      Thanks for visiting Adjunct Assistance, and thank you for bringing a possible error to my attention. I had the chance to meet William Draves and here him speak. (Ref: ) It could be my error, or it could be what I judge to be his propensity to embellish the truth. Mr. Graves is, or so as he claims to be, a futurist. Interesting guy!!! At one point in his presentation he encouraged us to through wadded up paper at him if/when he said something we took exception with. I did so 2 or 3 times. 🙂

      Regardless, you bring up a great question. Whether I quoted Draves correctly or not, what is the truth and how can it be explained. Again, thanks for your feedback.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.