AUGUSTA, Ga. (Jan. 8, 2020) – Augusta University’s College of Education Dean Judi Wilson has teamed up with Coach Clint Bryant, the director of athletics at Augusta University, to address the absence of racially diverse educators in both primary and secondary classrooms.
Recent data from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) estimates that since 2014, ethnic and racial minorities make up more than half of the student population in public schools across this nation, yet people of color represent about 20% of the teachers and only 2% are African-American men.
In fact, this fall in the College of Education at Augusta University, there was only one African-American male student teaching candidate of the 50 candidates in the program, according to Dr. Kristy Brown, the director of assessment and accreditation at the College of Education.
“There is something that may be even more important than black students having black teachers and that is white students having black teachers,” Brown said. “Teachers of color can help disrupt what are often one-sided portrayals of the world and offer invaluable insight to students from different backgrounds.”
In order to help recruit more African-American male teachers to the profession, the College of Education at Augusta University is hosting a summit for minority male educators from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 30 in the ballroom of the Jaguar Student Activities Center.
Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw, the new superintendent of Richmond County schools, and Anthony Wright, chief human resources officer for Columbia County, have agreed to join Augusta University’s task force that will discuss this national problem at the March 30 summit.
“We will have a keynote speaker, a panel, and three breakout sessions,” Brown said. “Our main goal is to answer two questions: How do we market and recruit male teachers of color? And how do we support and retain male teachers of color?”
Allen believes this is an important initiative for the College of Education because, even though he had a lot of incredible teachers growing up, he admits there was one major component missing throughout his childhood education.
“Back then, I didn’t see people who looked like me teaching,” Allen said. “I didn’t have any African-American male teachers at my school. And I think it’s important for students to be able to see someone who they can relate to in the classroom. Somebody who they can say, ‘He really might be able to advocate for me.’”
For more information about the College of Education’s mission to recruit more African-American male teachers, please contact Stacey Eidson at 706-830-9826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.