As the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting theme suggests, decades of societal inequities extending into and from our P-16 institutional environments have left us hungry for change. Persistent achievement gap disparities and teacher shortages trouble us and often make us wonder how we will achieve the changes we seek. In terms of teacher diversity, one solution that many have found are the Educator Preparation programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). While making up only 3% of the nation’s higher education institutions, HBCUs provide over 50% of the nation’s African American teachers.
Several research projects and partnerships on the district and institutional level are demonstrating the capacity for HBCUs to bring their unique positionality to bear in the broader conversation on teacher diversity. A recent project involving Virginia Commonwealth University and Tennessee State University bears the potential to help the academic community understand more about creating a culturally responsive teacher workforce. Similarly, the “Call Me Mister” program and the “Florida Fund for Minority Teachers” historically have involved HBCUs in recruiting African American teachers. Through a variety of works, HBCUs continue to improve on their capacity to influence the teacher diversity conversation.
This year’s HBCU Teacher Education Topical Action Group (TAG) Business Meeting, which will take place February 27 at 3:00 p.m, will bring together AACTE members with over two dozen HBCU affiliations. Participants need not be HBCU graduates or currently working at an HBCU. The meeting will feature conversations on HBCU-led research agendas, proposed partnerships, CAEP accreditation, and improving preservice teacher performance on the Praxis. We are excited to have Ereka Williams of Fayetteville State University, Kathy Pruner, director of Professional Educator Programs at ETS, Jennifer Young-Wallace, Association of Teacher Educators board members, and Clara Young of Tennessee State University as contributors to this year’s business meeting.
The AACTE HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Teacher Education topical action group (TAG) will convene a business meeting on February 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. a day before the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. The convening, which will take place in the Louisville Marriott Downtown Hotel, will also include a special award ceremony to honor an exceptional educator who has advanced HBCU issues in teacher education.
The purpose of the TAG is to promote dialogue, collaboration, research, and the advancement of the HBCU voice in the teacher education discussion. Since its inception in 2016, more than 20 teacher educators have joined the TAG. This special group will develop plans and a research agenda during the HBCU TAG business meeting in Louisville.
As the administrator of the HBCU Teacher Education TAG, I envision a robust discussion at this year’s annual meeting as we work to build a presence within the AACTE community. HBCUs are responsible for the production of half of the nation’s African American teachers, and I believe that a forum to promote the unique perspective of those who teach or were trained in these institutions is extremely valuable.
Congratulations to November Holmes Scholar of the Month Nevin Heard!
Heard is a second-year doctoral student in the counselor education program at the University of Central Florida. He is the program coordinator for the Situational Environmental Circumstances Mentorship Research Project, a mentor liaison for the Counselor Education Doctoral Student Organization, and a board member for the Cultural Encounter Committee of the Multicultural Research Center Initiative.Heard is also a founding member and doctoral representative for the Multicultural Partnership of Organizers for Equity and Resilience (M-POWER) in the hopes of creating a newly recognized university organization to support counseling students.
Congratulations to September Holmes Scholar of the Month Emily Rose Aguiló–Pérez, who just completed her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at Pennsylvania State University!
Aguiló–Pérez’s research interests are in children’s literature, girlhood studies, and Latino studies. The emphasis of her course of study was language, culture, and society in children’s literature, with a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Her dissertation, Tracing Puerto Rican Girlhoods: An Intergenerational Study of Interactions with Barbie and Her Influence on Female Identities, was led by adviser Jacqueline Reid–Walsh.
Congratulations to August Holmes Scholar of the Month Ileana Cortes-Santiago of Purdue University (IN)!
Cortes-Santiago’s research interests include Latino/a family literacies and engagement, English language learning, multicultural education, and community-based research. Her commitment to being a change agent in the field of education is evident not only by her scholarship, but in practical application.
Congratulations to July Holmes Scholar of the Month Adrianne Taylor! Taylor is a third-year doctoral candidate at Florida A&M University (FAMU). She is also a reading coach at Griffin Middle School, a Title I information technology school in Tallahassee, Florida. Her research interests include principal leadership at Title I schools, student achievement at high-poverty schools, and cross-curricular reading.
Taylor exudes the qualities of a Holmes Scholar not only within the organization (including writing for the Scholars Report newsletter) but also within her university and her school district. As vice president of the FAMU Holmes chapter, she facilitates professional development with preservice teachers focused on building capacity in using technology to enhance instruction. Most recently, Taylor was a presenter at the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers Annual Meeting.
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
As practitioners in the field, we know that great things are happening every day in teacher preparation and school leadership. We are also keenly aware of some of the statistics revealed in the recent report of data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. The results are disconcerting, and as Secretary John King articulated, reveal the necessity for continued attention to this issue.
Congratulations to May Holmes Scholar of the Month DeShawn Sims!
Sims is a third-year doctoral student in the counselor education program at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include mobile technology, pedagogical and learning influences in urban classrooms, and creating effective urban educators.
Sims’ nomination stated that she demonstrates regular and impeccable service to the community. With her passion for urban education, she is constantly using her voice to advocate on behalf of this platform. Sims serves with the Urban Initiative Special Interest Group, an Orlando partnership that aims to tackle challenges in urban communities. She has presented at several national conferences and continues to build her curriculum vitae with accomplishments.
The author is the administrator for AACTE’s newly formed “Issues in HBCU Education” topical action group (TAG). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Did you know that 25% of bachelor’s degrees in education conferred upon African Americans are awarded at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)? In addition, HBCUs with educator preparation programs have consistently produced more African-American graduates in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields than any other type of institution. The success of HBCUs at educating students for the 21st century workforce could be a signal to educational leaders to seek the HBCU as a source for making large-scale improvements among African American students on the PK-12 level.
Six months have passed since the 2015 Holmes Scholars Dissertation Retreat at Florida A&M University (FAMU). It was an honor and pleasure to work with my colleagues as we coordinated the last two retreats, and we owe special thanks to Carolyn Hopp and Sheila Moore for organizing the 2015 event. Now we’ve begun preparations for the third annual retreat—to be held May 27-28, 2016, this time at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Highlights of the 2015 event included a welcoming lunch and keynote address, breakout sessions to assist students at all phases of the dissertation process, and outstanding support provided by Holmes mentors, university faculty, and even many who were not affiliated with our network, such as writing coach Vernetta Williams.
During AACTE’s 2015 Washington Week, we were among a dozen AACTE Holmes Scholars® attending a 3-day Summer Policy Institute that promoted mentorship and support while introducing participants to the national education policy scene. In addition to meeting with policy makers and leaders of various educational organizations, Scholars engaged in a site visit June 9 to the U.S. Department of Education.