by Katiera Winfrey - WISHTV.COM

EducateME is partnering with Marian University to target the growing teacher shortage be diversifying the pipeline by offering full ride scholarships to those selected for the Black Teacher Residency program.

The graduate program addresses the shortage, but also takes aim at improving outcomes from students across the board.

EducateME is continuing on a mission it began in 2014: increasing representation in the classroom. Blake Nathan, the founder, has experienced the shortage firsthand but also witnessed the value in a diverse teacher pool.

“I saw my students gravitating toward me, and I wanted to ensure that not just young kids on the far east side of Indianapolis had an opportunity to have a Black male teacher, but also students across the entire city,” he said.

Schools are seeing such shortages that they’re relying on long-term substitutes, and emergency teaching permits. A new partnership with Marian University and Klipsch Educators College will expand that pipeline. They’ve rolled out an program they’ve called innovative, while also relieving many financial barriers to entering into the educator workforce.

“We’re making sure all residents don’t have any student loan debt. So, what that means is we’re paying full tuition and scholarships.”

The Black Teacher Residency program is accepting application for its first cohort, hoping to select from 10-15 people to earn their masters of art in education at Marian.

Glick Philanthropies and funding from the Urban League’s African American Quality of Life initiative grants are making the program possible.

“Research is out there that the more the diverse the population is across the board is the better achievement you receive from kids,” said Marlon Llewelyn, director of recruitment for teacher partnerships for Marian University.

He says they’ve been doing this work for a long time. “We believe our teaching population should be well diverse, not just because of numbers but because what the diversity does for the outcome of young people across the state.”

He says it’s important to not stand alone, but collaborate to do the most good.

The first cohort will begin in the fall semester.

April 13, 2023

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