Clark State College has established a fund to help support diverse educators.

The Black Educators Support Fund is through the Clark State Foundation and created by an anonymous donor. It’s to help support the recruitment, retention and development of Black educators as well as raise awareness for the need of those professionals across all age levels.

“The fund is set up with the general purpose of supporting pre-service and in-service teachers of color in a variety of ways,” said Bridget Ingram, professor of early childhood and teacher education programs.

Ingram said these can include, but are not limited to, offering scholarships, creating mentoring programs, conducting recruitment events, supporting retention efforts, establishing unique partnerships with businesses, districts or institutions, or providing professional development and resources to existing teachers.

With Black educators remaining underrepresented in schools, Clark State and the anonymous donor wanted to support Black educators locally and raise awareness on the need for those educators.

The college has a total of 62 Black educators, including seven full-time faculty, 22 adjuncts and 33 staff.

Ingram said research shows that if a Black male student has at least one same race teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade, he’s significantly less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to want to attend a four-year college, which is especially true for economically disadvantaged Black male students. Other studies found that these students are also more likely to increase attendance and test scores.

“This can reduce the probability of dropping out of high school by nearly 40% and is not only statistically significant but has relevance for educators and students of all races and backgrounds,” she said.

Establishing this fund is an additional way the college has continued to “engage and empower diverse learners” through its programs and services.

“The funds can be used at any time… The fund supports Clark State’s continued diversity efforts and the community is able to contribute if they support this focus,” said Toni Overholser, vice president of advancement.

To make a contribution to the Clark State Black Educators Fund

Go to website.

February 26, 202