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Diversity Makes a Difference

Supporting Teachers of Color

Adding Diversity to Minnesota Classrooms

The current teaching force in Minnesota is 95% 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 academic and opportunity gaps, we see a tremendous opportunity to increase the number of teachers of color in Minnesota schools.

We have seen firsthand the difference teachers of color make in the classroom. 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 the state.

*MN Biennial Teacher Supply and Demand Report, January 2019

Scholarships and Grants

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CUGMEC Scholarship Program

The Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color (CUGMEC) Scholarship Program is a public/private partnership between the University of St. Thomas and the state of Minnesota.
CUGMEC Scholarship
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OSEP Grants

The University of St. Thomas received a Personnel Preparation in Special Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This program is for students working toward a license in early childhood special education or a master's degree in social work.

OSEP Grant

Minnesota’s teacher workforce remains steady, with 95.7% of all public school teachers identifying as white, while 33.5% of students in Minnesota public schools are students of color and indigenous students. African American students who have had at least one African American teacher by third grade are 13% more likely to enroll in college – and those who have had two were 32% more likely.

2019 Minnesota Teacher Supply and Demand Report

Experience in The Schools

Our students learn and grow at St. Thomas and where they'll be teaching - in area classrooms.
Two teachers co-teaching in front of class

St. Paul Public Schools Urban Teacher Residency (SUTR)

Participants co-teach with an experienced teacher for one academic year to prepare for their career in St. Paul Public Schools.
SUTR Residency
Teacher working one-on-one with a student

Minneapolis St. Thomas Residency (MSTR)

We prepare effective and diverse special education and elementary teachers for opportunities to change lives in Minneapolis Public Schools.
MSTR Residency
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Work & Learn Program

The Work and Learn program recruits, prepares, retains and supports highly qualified paraprofessionals and effective Tier 2 teachers from underrepresented backgrounds in Twin Cities metro school districts. This program prepares them to be special education teachers.
Work and Learn