By Calvin A. Young III, NSBE National Chair
I recently attended a chapter meeting at the University of Arkansas, where a video was shown of the chant the chapter recited during roll call at this year’s Region V Fall Regional Conference. One line stuck out to me: “All I want for my birthday is a 4.0! All I want for my birthday is a 4.0!”
Surely, we all know this feeling. At the beginning of every semester, we proclaim that “This term will be different. This is my semester to shine in my classes.” We begin with such great zeal, but then things disrupt that focus. Many can attest that being a NSBE leader or engaging in other worthy extracurricular activities sometimes brings stress and makes being a student even tougher! This coupled with a lack of study time, management skills or disciplined study partners equals a recipe for disaster that affects more than 65 percent of black engineering students, causing us to choose between dropping a class or settling for a lower grade: very tough decisions that no one ever wants to make.
I discovered the Guaranteed 4.0 Learning System (www.guaranteed4.com) for the first time as a senior in college. I briefly reviewed it but didn’t take it very seriously. As a graduate student, I continued to hear the success stories of my peers who devoted to the system and heralded amazing results. GPAs were transformed from 2.7s and lower to 4.0s in one semester. I took in some of the techniques the system taught and even saw my own GPA improve, but still didn’t fully commit. However, I knew I needed to give it my all. Upon my election as national chair, I knew I would be completing my master’s degree, working in a full-time position, as well as serving the National Society of Black Engineers. Many thought I couldn’t do it, but I knew I could. There was only one system that could help me make that happen: Guaranteed 4.0.
I took very seriously my preparation throughout the spring and summer, and executed the program last fall as outlined. I received a 3.85 GPA! What I learned from the program was how to study effectively. Fully participating in the program actually made my time management and studying easier. More than half of the members of the National Executive Board have benefited from the program, as well. So have hundreds of students all over the world. In addition, the founder of the program is a former NSBE national chair. This program was born from NSBE! And because we want to see all NSBE members achieve this kind of academic success, NSBE has decided to look into incorporating the program into our chapters.
I encourage every chapter to make NSBE’s Retention Program and Guaranteed 4.0 the cornerstones of your activities. I believe the future of NSBE lies in improving the retention rate and academic success of black engineering students. This means that each of us at every chapter must make Academic Excellence the main focus. One day, people will know NSBE as the place for the most academically strong and technically talented engineers in the world. It requires us all doing our part to ensure Academic Excellence is at the top of our chapters’ and our personal agendas.
Posted: 2/26/2013 5:47:11 PM
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The debates are done. The candidates’ messages have been delivered. There’s only one thing left to do: Vote. I voted for the first time in the last presidential election. My absentee ballot never came in, but I was so excited to vote for the first time that I decided to take a midnight bus from New York City to Baltimore to be in my district on Election Day. When I walked up to the middle school that was my polling place, before the doors opened, here’s what I saw:
Encouraging, huh? I thought so then, and I still feel inspired every time I look at these pictures. These groups represent the many individuals who understand the importance of exercising their right to vote. The election this November, and every coming election, are no different. The choice we make today matters greatly to our future and to the future of this great country. Make sure your voice is heard. Whom you vote for is up to you, but make the right choice by choosing to vote!
Calvin Allen Young III
National Society of Black Engineers
Posted: 11/1/2012 10:29:32 PM
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The problem: Too many of us aren’t making it to graduation with a bachelor’s degree.
The solution: NSBE’s Retention Program
Have you ever heard this prophecy from a college professor? “Look to your left, and look to your right. Two of you will not be here by graduation.” Much like many of you, I was determined not to be one of those two dropouts. Seriously, who decides at the start of the year that they want to flunk out? Although some believe students fail in engineering because of their lack of capability or potential to succeed, the dropouts themselves often point to an unwelcoming learning environment that discourages rather than motivates... But, I digress. The tragedy is that, even today, many institutions fail to do anything about their high rates of attrition.
We (by “we,” I mean black engineering students) have fallen into the dropout category too often. The graph below, from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) shows that less than one-third of African Americans who entered engineering, computer science and engineering technology programs in 2003–04 actually received a bachelor’s degree in those fields in six years or fewer. A little more than 47 percent either dropped out or settled at the associate’s degree level.
NSBE is doing something about this. The goal of the NSBE Retention Program is to improve the graduation rates of blacks in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). By creating collaborative learning environments to supplement the academic support provided by colleges and universities, the NSBE Retention Program aims to increase the number of black engineering students who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering.
Of the four aspects of NSBE’s mission, the most important is academic excellence. Improving the academic performance captured by NACME’s graph requires the individual efforts of each of us at every NSBE chapter. To make a striking impact, we must make it together. Every chapter must work toward our common goal. When those incoming freshmen ask you about NSBE, it is up to you to share how NSBE will help them not just pass their classes but shine in them.
It is imperative that every collegiate chapter have a NSBE Retention Program. If your chapter is not yet part of the retention effort, now is the time! Tell your chapter president that you want to help fulfill NSBE’s mission and that to do so, your chapter must participate in the NSBE Retention Program.
Contact Jasmine Keene, NSBE’s national academic excellence chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information about how your chapter can participate in the movement.
Alumni, we need your support, too! We need you to get involved with the NSBE Jr. and collegiate chapters to promote academic excellence, by serving as tutors and otherwise developing the environment that breeds academic success!
NSBE family, this is the essence of our mission. Let’s accomplish that mission together.
Posted: 10/16/2012 2:14:18 PM
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Greetings to each one of you, and welcome, student members, to a new academic year!
When I ran for the position of National Chairperson of the National Society of Black Engineers, I promised to build on the good work our organization had done in past years and to continue our efforts “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”
Of all that NSBE does, the most important, I believe, is to establish standards of academic and professional excellence within ourselves, other members and our chapters.
Maintaining and raising these high expectations are my main goals as National Chair. That’s why I am pleased to announce that NSBE is offering FREE registration to all collegiate Academic Pyramid of Excellence (APEx) members for all Fall Regional Conferences this year!
NSBE rewards academic success, and if you are among those still striving to become an APEx member, I encourage you to keep pushing!
To become an APEx member, you must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and have submitted an official transcript to NSBE World Headquarters. Take the first step to becoming an APEx member by clicking this link, http://www.nsbe.org/Programs/NSBE-Programs/APEx.aspx, and following the simple steps. Only transcripts submitted by October 3, 2012 will guarantee that you will be able to take advantage of this great opportunity. On-site registration is NOT included in this offer. Please refer all registration questions to your respective regional representative.
Your success benefits not only you but NSBE, the NSBE brand and NSBE’s mission. By pursuing and promoting individual excellence, we create opportunities for our entire community.
With NSBE Luv,
Calvin Allen Young III
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
Posted: 9/12/2012 9:46:15 PM
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Being NSBE National Chairperson is a great endeavor, and I find that as with every journey, it’s best enjoyed with a good book. I recently started reading “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.” I wanted to know how a man of such great persuasion came to be. I found it interesting that he, like most of us, took a route not very conventional at all.
Benjamin Franklin left his home in Boston at a very young age in search of opportunity. He found himself in Philadelphia, with almost nothing, and worked his way up to greatness. Reviewing his life, we see one thing that separated him from others, early on: he liked to read, and I mean a lot. He read and learned so much that it gave him favor in many occasions among educated and respected people. They were intrigued that such a humble, young person could yield so much intelligence. And to put things into context, books and information were not available then as they are today: there were no public libraries, and, of course, no Internet existed!
(As an aside, Franklin is credited with proposing the subscription library and was a major contributor to the beginnings of electrical engineering.)
You should read. What you read is up to you. As for me, I’m going to finish reading this book on Franklin, learn as much as I can from it, then read another.
Maybe I’ll search for a new thriller, or maybe a more engineering-related novel such as “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt. Hmm. I could even reread a book, such as “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn, or my favorite book when I was growing up: “The Phantom Tollbooth.” Then again, I may just settle on another autobiography. I’ve been really interested in reading “A Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela. These choices remind me of the ending of a famous poem by Robert Frost:“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.”
Read, and enjoy your summer.
Calvin Allen Young
2012 - 2013 National Chairperson
National Society of Black Engineers
Posted: 7/9/2012 7:37:25 PM
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