Sam Houston Establishing Leadership In and Through Education (SH ELITE)

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Program Focus


The Sam Houston Establishing Leadership In and Through Education (SH ELITE) program was established in 2010 and was developed in support of the "Closing the Gaps: The Texas Higher Education Plan" to increase minority retention and graduation rates in higher education institutions. The SH ELITE Program is a male, minority initiative designed to promote the retention and graduation of male, minority (i.e., Hispanic and African American) students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). 

Program Description

Established as a one-year freshmen program the SH ELITE program has now evolved into a four-year comprehensive program that serves incoming Hispanic and/or African American, male, first-time freshmen. Students are recruited during freshmen orientation to be in SH ELITE with the option of continuing through graduation. Students in the program meet once per week in small groups where peer mentors preside over each group to provide academic resources and support. Students go through study skill instruction, workshops that promote resource management, and speaker sessions that provide networking opportunities. Members are encouraged to attend various social activities, receptions, and special events. There is also a professional speaker series that students are required to attend once per month to enhance their networking skills.

SH ELITE Scholars participate in weekly group meetings designed to aid the transition from high school to college, to establish a strong academic foundation, and to introduce them to professional concepts. To promote networking and professional motivation, scholars attend a monthly speaker series. SH ELITE participants also attend a variety of programming designed to promote team-building skills and to foster a culture of excellence, while providing an internal support system within the program.


During the 2017-2018 academic year:

Course completion rates for SH ELITE students was 95%, compared to 81% of all minority male first-time freshmen at SHSU. 

91.43% of SH ELITE students persist after their first-year, compared to 74.15% of all minority male first-time freshmen at SHSU.

54.55% of SH ELITE scholars graduate within six years, compared to 40.69% of all minority male first-time freshmen at SHSU.