Alcorn one of five schools to receive grant money to participate in the Black Male Teacher Training Initiative

Alcorn State University recently became one of five historically black colleges and universities to join the quest in training and adding more diverse teachers in higher education.

Alcorn, along with the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, Claflin University, Southern University and Tuskegee University, are collaborating with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association to help increase the number African-American male teachers throughout the South with a three-year, $1.5 million teacher training initiative.

Each school is expected to receive $45,000 per year over the next three years. The program will be implemented at the University during the Fall 2017-2018 academic year.

Dr. Donzell Lee, who serves as Alcorn’s institutional representative for the initiative, said that Alcorn’s goal is to select 10-12 African-American males from 11th grade to first year college students to participate in the program. Lee hopes that the initiative is successful in accomplishing its goal so that schools in other regions of the country will form similar initiatives.

“Through unique and enriching experiences, including mentoring, instruction, practicums and conferences, we hope to help prepare these young men for a career in education,” said Lee. “This initiative puts Alcorn in a unique position to make a huge difference in an area of great need. With the paucity of African-American males in the classrooms all over this state and in many other states in our region, it is critical that something is done to reverse the dwindling numbers. If this model works well in the five participating institutions, we hope that it can be duplicated all over the nation.”

Dr. Robert Carr, dean for the School of Education and Psychology, professor and executive director at the Vicksburg Expansion Center, believes that the initiative will provide the department with more resources to influence males to become teachers.

“Alcorn’s participation in this project will provide a vehicle for the School of Education and Psychology to positively influence the profession and increase the number of effective minority male teachers,” said Carr. “I think that the project will prove to the public at large that this is an investment worth making, and one worth increasing.”

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