integration includes a sense of attachment to college social life, social contact with faculty and staff, positive peer interaction, and a general sense of belonging in the university. For African American students in predominantly White institutions, as for any group different from the majority of students on campus, achieving academic and social integration presents special challenges. 31
A student's sense of academic and social integration will depend in large part on characteristics of both the particular student and the particular college environment. Programs that encourage positive and adaptive relationships with Black and non-Black peers, faculty and staff, and that provide an academically supportive environment would appear most likely to result in high degrees of student academic and social integration.
The obstacles described above have been potential impediments to the progress of the students we interviewed. By and large, however, these students have not succumbed to these problems and have continued to succeed at the highest levels in difficult math and science majors; most have gone on to graduate or professional school in science and other technical disciplines. How can we explain their success? We believe it can be attributed, at least in part, to the university environment that helped empower these students--a multiple-component program that built upon the strengths of students, and mobilized the peer, faculty, staff, family, and community resources necessary for sustaining success. Parents seeking a college environment that can empower their sons to achieve will do well to search the nation's campuses carefully for program components like those we now describe.
Many programs have been developed in the past fifteen years to help empower African American, and other minority students, to achieve in difficult science disciplines at the college level, and to go on to graduate or professional school. 32 For instance, the Calculus Workshop approach developed at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1980s was trailblazing in this regard, and the number of such programs is increasing. 33
Building upon some of the components of the Calculus Workshop model and other successful programs, the Meyerhoff Scholars Program