Lake Erie Col­lege School of Ed­u­ca­tion aims to in­crease teacher di­ver­sity

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Tawana Roberts troberts@news-her­ald.com @TawanaRobert­sNH on Twit­ter For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Katharine Dela­van at kdela­van@lec. edu.

Lake Erie Col­lege School of Ed­u­ca­tion and Pro­fes­sional Stud­ies re­cently part­nered with the Cleve­land Area Mi­nor­ity Ed­u­ca­tor Re­cruit­ment As­so­ci­a­tion to iden­tify, re­cruit and grad­u­ate mi­nor­ity teach­ers through a new Teacher Di­ver­sity Ini­tia­tive.

The ini­tia­tive will be­gin this fall by re­cruit­ing stu­dents from nine high schools into LEC’s PreK-12 grade li­cen­sure pro­grams.

“The School of Ed­u­ca­tion and Pro­fes­sional Stud­ies pos­sesses a re­spon­si­bil­ity to meet ever chang­ing needs of the school dis­tricts our grad­u­ates serve,” said Katharine Dela­van, dean of the School of Ed­u­ca­tion and Pro­fes­sional Stud­ies. “We have a so­cial and moral re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­pare di­verse teach­ers.”

Dela­van, who de­vel­oped the ini­tia­tive, hopes to reach stu­dents at schools in­volved with CAM­ERA as well.

The pur­pose of CAM­ERA is to de­velop co­or­di­nated re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion of qual­i­fied mi­nor­ity ed­u­ca­tors that will en­able mem­ber agen­cies to diver­sify their fac­ulty more ef­fec­tively, ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

“The Cleve­land Area Mi­nor­ity Ed­u­ca­tor Re­cruit­ment As­so­ci­a­tion is very pleased with the re­cent part­ner­ship with Lake Erie Col­lege, specif­i­cally the Teacher Di­ver­sity Ini­tia­tive, as our goals and ob­jec­tives re­lated to the pro­mo­tion of di­ver­sity within the teach­ing pro­fes­sion are ab­so­lutely aligned,” said CAM­ERA Pres­i­dent Sa­muel Gif­ford. “We are proud to call Lake Erie Col­lege our part­ner in the very im­por­tant en­deavor of re­cruit­ing, hir­ing and re­tain­ing mi­nor­ity can­di­dates within our or­ga­ni­za­tions and within ed­u­ca­tion in­dus­try.”

The first di­ver­sity co­hort will en­roll in the fall of 2019, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease.

Stu­dents will then re­main on cam­pus year round for a sum­mer bridge ex­pe­ri­ence, which in­cludes sum­mer em­ploy­ment, cour­ses and ex­pe­ri­en­tial trips with men­tors. Sim­i­lar di­ver­sity pro­grams have seen in­creased grad­u­a­tion rates through this prac­tice, the re­lease also said.

As an added in­cen­tive, CAM­ERA of­fers four $2,000 schol­ar­ships to mi­nor­ity ed­u­ca­tion stu­dents, one per year of their col­lege ca­reer. Fol­low­ing that, col­lege grad­u­ates re­ceive help find­ing teach­ing po­si­tions with com­pet­i­tive salary and ben­e­fits within its 20-mem­ber col­lab­o­ra­tive.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing school dis­tricts are Akron, Bar­ber­ton, Bed­ford, Berea, Can­ton, Cleve­land Heights, Eu­clid, Kent, Lake­wood, Lo­rain, Maple Heights, Nor­do­nia Hills, Or­ange, Painesville, Parma, Rocky River, Shaker Heights, South-Eu­clid/Lyn­d­hurst and Twins­burg.

Lake Erie Col­lege is also seek­ing spon­sors to sup­port the men­tor/mentee ex­pe­ri­ences and schol­ar­ships for the Teacher Di­ver­sity Ini­tia­tive. Those out­side of the 20 dis­trict col­lab­o­ra­tive who wish to serve as men­tors are wel­come to in­quire.

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