by Stacy Jackson, Black Enterprise – South Carolina State University, a historically Black university in Orangeburg, South Carolina, received a $90,000 grant for its Call Me MiSTER program to extend its efforts in placing more Black male teachers in the classroom.
ABC Columbia reported that the HBCU received the funds on Monday from the Leveraging Innovation for Educator Excellence (Life2) to help recruit and train Black male teachers.
According to Dr. Thelma Sojourner, program director for Life2, an initiative devoted to boosting teacher efficacy, less than 2% of the instructors currently teaching in South Carolina schools are identified as Black men.
“There is a tremendous need for children to see young men coming in and working in the schools,” said Sojourner.
“Thank you for what you’re doing here. I’m excited for what we are going to be able to do for you at South Carolina State,” she added.
SC State’s Call Me MiSTER program was established in 2000 not only to boost the number of Black male teachers but also to provide mentorship resources for high schoolers to excel in their personal growth, academics, and finances. The program also works to educate students about Black history, leadership, and advocacy.
Associate professor of teacher education and campus director for the program, Dr. Rashad Anderson, has been active with the initiative since 2017. He described the program as a revolutionary and life-changing experience.
“We are one of the top HBCUs in the country that educates African American male teachers,”… “and I am truly honored to work with some of the most brilliant, creative future Black male educators who are so powerful that one MiSTER can transform an entire school’s culture,” Anderson said.
According to SCSU, the Call Me MiSTER program is highly competitive, adding about three students each year who receive financial assistance and a stipend each semester.