what is msi

The Male Success Initiative-Fullerton (MSI-Fullerton) is a California State University-Fullerton (CSUF) department “Where Undergraduate Men of Color Achieve the Fullness of Their Potential”. The purpose of MSI-Fullerton is to address the underrepresentation of undergraduate men of color in higher education. MSI-Fullerton is open to all CSUF students with an interest in supporting and advancing the potential of undergraduate men of color. Participants in MSI-Fullerton will gain skills and knowledge needed to foster academic success; establish a support network of mentors; increase their graduation and retention rates; and strengthen the sense of community among all CSUF students.  

All current undergraduate and incoming CSUF students can join by becoming an MSI-Brother. MSI-Brothers participate in year-long tailored academic support programs; leadership, engagement, enrichment and development retreats and opportunities; career trajectory planning; and explorations of gender and masculinity.

All eligible students are encouraged to apply.   MSI does not consider sex, gender or any other protected status as part of the application and selection process.

how we started

In Fall 2016 MSI-Fullerton started its inaugural year as an official department within California State University, FullertonOpens in new window . The inception of MSI-Fullerton started as a pilot program in the Fall of 2013, under the direction of an advisory board with a goal to create an “African American Male Leadership Institute” (AAMLI). The AAMLI advisory board consisted of CSUF faculty, staff, and administrators who were committed to helping Black men undergraduates reach their full potential with intentional goals. AAMLI gradually implemented High Impact Practices to improve student persistence, increase graduation rates university wide, and narrow the achievement gap for historically disadvantages students particularly Black men.

In 2014, AAMLI expanded to include all men of color (African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, American Indian, and multiracial men) and transitioned to the name “Male Success Initiative” (MSI-Fullerton). Although the temporary leadership of MSI-Fullerton was dedicated and passionate, a 2014 needs assessment of MSI-Fullerton, produced by the Division of Student AffairsOpens in new window in partnership with the CSUF Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership (CREAL)Opens in new window found a tremendous need for: a) structure and stability, b) more access to scholarship information, c) more on-campus collaboration with student organizations, and d) increased campuspresence for MSI-Fullerton. Additionally, student shared their needs of receiving academic and professional development opportunities outside the classroom for opportunities such as research and academic internships. While MSI-Fullerton leadership recommended the addition of a curriculum model that strengthens the mentor component, scholarship and financial support, and a designated campus center to enhance a sense of belonging and brotherhood within MSI-Fullerton.

As a result, of these and other efforts lead by CSUF faculty, staff, administrators, in addition to the influential student leadership from the CSUF Black Student UnionOpens in new window , a full time director of MSI-Fullerton was hired in Fall 2016 to transform MSI-Fullerton from a three-year pilot program to a fully staffed and functioning university funded CSUF department.