Federal money to increase number of teachers of color in Central Brooklyn
The Medgar Evers College School of Education was recently informed that it will be receiving a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Augustus F Hawkins Centers of Excellence program. The four-year grant, Global Change Agents in Teacher Education (GATE) is designed to partner with 25 high-need elementary schools in eight community school districts in Central Brooklyn.
The goals are to:
- Increase the supply of certified teachers of color with career paths in high need schools in Central Brooklyn.
- Increase the supply of bilingual teachers of color to serve dual language students.
- Increase teacher effectiveness in research-based interdisciplinary instruction and culturally responsive pedagogy and practice.
“The Hawkins Program is designed to support centers of excellence at institutions of higher education and we are thrilled that Medgar Evers College and our School of Education has been recognized in this capacity,” Medgar Evers College Interim School of Education Dean Dr. Ken J. Hoyte said. “My predecessor, the Founding Dean of the School of Education, Dr. Sheilah Paul, led efforts to secure this grant which will allow us to support 100+ teacher candidates on their journey to becoming certified bilingual teachers specifically prepared to work with the children of Central Brooklyn. We have already begun efforts to recruit our first cohort of teacher candidates, and together we will continue to ‘Educate to Liberate’ !”
Named for the first Black politician elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from west of the Mississippi River, the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program is the first-ever U.S. Department of Education program that provides grants to increase high-quality teacher preparation programs for teachers of color, strengthen the diversity of the teacher pipeline and address teacher shortages. A priority in President Biden’s FY 22 budget proposal, this year marks the first time the Hawkins Program has received funding since its creation in 2008. In the 2022 omnibus, Congress appropriated $8 million for the grants under the Part B of Title VIII and the Department of Education redirected an additional $10 million to bring the total for the Hawkins Program to over $18 million.
“Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, I’m incredibly proud to announce the first-ever Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program grants, which will help Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions recruit and prepare a new generation of diverse and talented individuals into the teaching profession,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said. “Today, more than half of our learners nationwide are students of color, and yet fewer than 1 in 5 educators come from communities of color. I’ll never forget the impact that my first teacher had on me as a student and my experience tracks closely with years of research suggesting the profound, positive influence that educators of color have on students of all backgrounds.”
About Medgar Evers College
Located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Medgar Evers College offers both associate and baccalaureate degrees. A four-year college within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, Medgar Evers College was established in 1970 with a mandate to meet the educational and social needs of the Central Brooklyn community. In its commitment to providing students with a sound academic foundation as well as an opportunity for personal development, Medgar Evers College offers high-quality, professional, career-oriented undergraduate degree programs in the context of a liberal arts education. For more information, visit www.mec.cuny.edu.