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SAAB Wins Stellar Chapter Award

MCTC's SAAB chapter wins national award for second year in a row

MCTC's SAAB and SAAS membersFor the second year in a row, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) chapter of Student African American Brotherhood Brother2Brother (SAAB) received one of only two national SAAB “Stellar Chapter” awards at the SAAB national conference in Indianapolis, Ind. According to Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe, founder and executive director of SAAB National, the awards are given based on the activity level, types of activities, leadership development, data and overall representation of goals set by SAAB chapters.

“I consider it a great honor that out of more than 250 national chapters, MCTC SAAB has received one of these two awards for the second year in a row,” said Dr. Jesse Mason, psychology professor and program coordinator for the African American Education Empowerment Program (AME). "I believe I speak for the students we serve when I say the work we do would not be possible without the continued support of the College community, and its belief that this program will make a difference in the lives of our students and this institution.” Dr. Mason and the MCTC SAAB chapter have also previously been invited to present the chapter’s best practices and student outcome data to the American Association of Community Colleges.

The MCTC chapter of SAAB—the first in Minnesota—was formed in the fall of 2011 as an initiative of the College and is designed to increase retention and graduation rates for African-American students. “We take a holistic approach in supporting the academic success and character development of our students,” said Dr. Mason. “We help prepare them for their careers, and for the challenges and opportunities of life.”

Students who are interested in joining SAAB must apply to be a part of the program. Members take part in weekly tutoring sessions with peers and volunteer faculty and have access to mentoring programs, leadership training and computer, math and writing skills institutes. SAAB is part of AME, which consists of four distinct programs which aim to create opportunities for the educational success of students of color at MCTC: SAAB, Student African American Sisterhood (SAAS), African American Male Parity in Educational Success (AMP) and the Student Success in Transition Education Program (STEP).

"We are very proud of Dr. Mason, the students in SAAB and AME and the many staff and students who make this success possible” said Phil Davis, president of MCTC. “To receive this award for two consecutive years is evidence of exceptional work. Clearly, SAAB is making a significant difference in the lives and academic success of our students, and for that I am grateful."

Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe, founder and executive director of SAAB National, has indicated that a new set of awards will be established for future SAAB conferences. 

Photo description: Members of SAAB and SAAS in the MCTC Science Center.