INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There’s a new push from Marian University to get more minority teachers in local classrooms.
The university held a panel discussion Thursday night on how to bring more minority teachers in, who they say are needed, especially in urban schools.
About 50 people gathered at Alumni Hall on the campus of Marian University for a conversation that organizers of the event say is long overdue.
“When a young person sees someone who looks like them that they could identify with in their classroom it tells them that that’s something they can aspire to do. ‘I can be a teacher. I can be a principal. This can be a career path I can follow in,'” said Sekou Biddle, vice president for advocacy at United Negro College Fund.
The discussion, hosted by the university and the UNCF, aims to figure out a way to get more minority men at the front of local classrooms.
“When you think about it, it’s not unlikely that an African American male student, in 13 years of education,will not have an African American male teacher. That in and of itself, needs to change,” said Dr. Kenith Britt, a dean at Marian University.
There were powerful videos, questions to those in attendance and answers from the crowd.
With help from the community, lack of diversity in the classroom, is a problem university officials say can be fixed.
“Events like this are really important to not only bring the community out to make them aware of not only Marian taking a leadership role of recruiting future teachers of color, but more importantly, what we can do as a community to inspire young people to choose the education profession,” said Dr. Britt.
Right now, Marian University has 34% minority enrollment. The university wants to hit the 40% mark in the near future.
“The more we can keep them engaged, in particular by having people they can identify with, culturally and otherwise, the more likely we are going to increase their probability of being successful in school,” said Biddle.
A key portion in getting this plan going with scholarships.
Officials with Marian University say they are always looking for help starting up scholarship funds. In particular, ones that help minorities get an education.
If you’re interested in helping out, contact Marian University.