On the premise that students do better if their teacher looks like them, SUNY Oswego's Education Department is using a three year, $43,910 NY Education Department grant to increase the number of students of color, training for careers in urban schools.
Dr. R. Deborah Davis is the founder of the college's program, dubbed TRUST, or Teacher Recruitment for Urban Schools Today. She says the grant will let the program provide stipends to income-qualifying SUNY Oswego teaching candidates, pay for tests such as teacher certification, defray the cost of transportation to placement in the Syracuse City School District, and widen the recruitment net to reach out to undeclared majors. The goal is to attract 25 more students of color to the program.
Nichole Brown, who is the School of Education Field Placement Director, says it's an especially tough sell to get anyone interested in teaching careers right now, with schools looking at budget gaps and layoffs.
Both, however, are hopeful that the program will ultimately encourage not only teaching careers, but also will keep more children in school. Dr. Davis says that seeing a teacher that 'looks like you' can give hope that you too, can achieve.
www.oswego.edu/placement has more information.