Diversifying Minnesota’s Teacher Workforce
Closing Minnesota's Achievement Gap, One Teacher at a Time
The current teaching force in Minnesota is 96% white, even though students of color and Native American students make up 30% of the K-12 population in Minnesota and are the majority of students in many urban, suburban and rural schools.* Coupled with the fact that Minnesota has the nation’s largest achievement gap, there's much work to be done in increasing the number of teachers of color who are not just present, but thriving in Minnesota classrooms.
Here at the University of St. Thomas, we've seen firsthand the difference teachers of color can make in the classroom when armed with culturally responsive pedagogy and the preparation to stay in the profession for the long haul. That's why we've partnered with school districts and organizations to provide affordable and flexible pathways for prospective teachers of color to choose a career that will make a difference in the lives of students, families and communities across Minnesota.
*The Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota statistic
The Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color (CUE) Scholarship Program is a public/private partnership between the University of St. Thomas and the state of Minnesota dedicated to increasing teacher diversity in Minnesota. The CUE program has been in existence at the University of St. Thomas since 1991, and has supported over 465 participants who are now employed in more than 125 Minnesota schools in their successful efforts to become licensed teachers.
The University of St. Thomas has received a Personnel Preparation in Special Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Through this Preparing Special Educators to Serve and Succeed in Diverse Communities grant, individuals with a bachelor's degree are supported to work toward a special education teacher license in autism spectrum disorders. Recruitment efforts are targeting the Somali community, but all interested individuals are encouraged to apply.
Saint Paul Public Schools Urban Residency (SUTR) program aims to prepare and retain highly qualified teachers for Saint Paul Public Schools. SUTR provides non-licensed education professionals an affordable, accelerated program to earn their Minnesota teaching license and master’s degree in 15 months from the University of St. Thomas.
The Minneapolis Special Education Teacher Residency is a pathway to licensure that will prepare highly effective and diverse special education teachers who will create increased opportunities for students receiving special education services in Minneapolis Public Schools.