Fourth Annual Quest Higher Ed Conference to Focus on Completion

For Immediate Release:

Dec. 7, 2013


Contact: Bill Fleming


Fourth AnnualQUEST Higher Education Conference to Focus on

Completion andAfrican American Males 

     BALTIMORE –Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) and The QUEST Journal of HigherEducation Excellence will hold their fourth annual QUEST Higher EducationConference, “Vision, Passion and Power: The Completion Project for Males ofColor in Higher Education,” April 11-12, 2013 in Baltimore.

     The national conference brings togethereducators, thought-leaders and members of the community with expertise inmentoring and advocacy, to focus on how to redirect those whose life’sprospects have been dimmed by a failure to develop the skills needed to persistin higher education.

     Recruiting and retaining African Americanmale students who have struggled with their education is a major challenge forBCCC and other open-access institutions. To address this challenge and provideinspiration and motivation to students, as well as boost their confidence, BCCCprofessor of English Jà Hon Vance founded the QUEST program for AfricanAmerican males in 2006, to test what works in terms of keeping studentsacademically motivated, and assess how mentoring and other learning formats canhelp them break through past barriers to success. The program evolved into whatis now an academic journal of the same name and an annual conference.

     Presentations for this year’s event willbe accepted in any (or a multiple) of four formats: concurrent workshopsession; panel presentation; paper presentation; and poster session. They mustaddress one of the endorsed Conference Strands, which are: computer/technology;developmental education; English/writing; enrollment; graduation; learningdisabilities; learning outcomes; legislative issues; reading;research/evaluation; retention; and teaching strategies; and include twoidentifiable learning outcomes. Proposals will be evaluated on their relevanceto the strands, applicability, clarity, content, creativity, quality, andoverall connection to the social issues affecting African American malestudents, as well as to the conference theme.

     Past conference speakers have included Dr.D. Jason DeSousa of Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, N.C., whoestablished and directed specialized programs for the academic and personalsuccess of African American males at several Historically Black Colleges andUniversities; Dr. Paul Harris of the University of Virginia, who amassed broadexpertise in school counseling, issues related to equity, access and socialjustice in schools, and the college and career readiness of black malestudent-athletes; Edward C. Jackson, retired Baltimore City Police Departmentcolonel who after a stellar career overseeing the Baltimore Police Academy  came to BCCC to teach criminal justice andadvise and mentor students, and who has devoted his Ph.D. research to theimpact of absentee fathers.

      “As educators we’re in the business notonly of making sure our students learn, but responding positively to thestudent who says, ‘please don’t give up on me,’” says Professor Vance. “To theextent we can put in place flexible academic methods and programs to accomplishthis, we live up to our mission. To the level we can advance people educationallyand professionally who had very few options in the past, we make a largedifference in their lives.”

     All presentation proposals must besubmitted or postmarked by Feb. 27, 2013. Early registration for the conferenceruns now through March 12, 2013. For the complete Call for PresentationProposals and Registration packet, visit the BCCC website at Formore information, contact Professor Vance at 410-462-7745.