The Wichita State University College of Applied Studies announced today the launch of Men of Color: Educators of Tomorrow, a new mentor education program for young men of color interested in pursuing careers in teaching and other education-related paths.
The launch is focused on high school students — particularly freshmen—in Wichita Public Schools, as well as male students of color majoring in education-related programs at Wichita State. Participants will have the opportunity to work with a mentor or success coach, engage in career exploration along with their families, and participate in service-learning projects.
Men of Color: Educators of Tomorrow aims to develop strong education leadership via a service program grounded in research, increasing the number of individuals from a broader, more diverse backgrounds to enter teacher education or as an educational leader through another pathway.
The new program combines the resources of the College of Applied Studies and Wichita Public Schools. Going forward, the program hopes to expand to other area school districts.
“This program possesses great potential to address the critical need for more men of color serving as educators,” said Dr. Clay Stoldt, interim dean of the college. “Our college has a number of WSU male faculty members of color who will be leading this initiative, and we are deeply appreciative of our partners in Wichita Public Schools for working so diligently with us to make this program a reality.”
This program extends to all four academic departments that comprise the College of Applied Studies with connections to all aspects of Pre-K-12 teacher education, education in non-school settings, such as nonprofits.
“Research shows that all students benefit from having teachers of color,” said Dr. William Polite, USD 259’s director of equity, diversity and accountability. “A report by the Learning Policy Institute revealed that when taught by teachers of color, students of color have better academic performance, improved graduation rates and are more likely to attend college. With fewer than 2% of K-12 educators in the USA being males of color, this initiative will serve as a valuable opportunity to identify, recruit and develop young men within Wichita Public Schools into the teaching field.”