Increasing Racial Diversity in the Teacher Workforce: One University’s Approach
Hrabowski, Freeman A.
Sanders, Mavis G.
MetadataShow full item record
In 2014, for the first time in U.S. public schools, the percentage of Hispanic, African American, Asian, and other students of color exceeded the percentage of white students, creating a majority-minority system that reflects the mosaic of cultures, experiences, languages, and religions that characterize the United States. In stark contrast, an overwhelming number of their teachers—84 percent — are white. In fact, more than 40 percent of public schools in the U.S. do not have a single teacher of color. This student-teacher diversity gap, also referred to as the demographic gap, has drawn increased attention from educators and parents over the past three decades. In this paper, the authors describe the extent of the diversity gap nationally and in the state of Maryland, where the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)—is located. They further describe how the framework that emerged from UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program has been applied to the Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars Program, designed to increase the diversity of UMBC’s teacher candidates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) certification areas. Finally, the authors discuss plans to increase the diversity of teacher candidates across all certification areas offered at the university.