McDaniel College partners in program to increase diversity of Howard County teaching force

McDaniel College and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) have announced a partnership for the launch of Teachers for Tomorrow (T4T), an innovative college scholarship program for developing a more diverse workforce in Howard County. T4T will offer full scholarships for low-income students in Howard County to attend McDaniel, with a commitment to work in HCPSS schools for three years.

Believed to be the first program of its kind in the nation, T4T was developed to increase the diversity of the school system’s workforce to more closely reflect the growing diversity of its student body.

Nationwide, 40 percent of public school students are from minority groups compared to only 17 percent of teachers, according to a 2011 report from the Center for American Progress. Additionally, a 2015 report by the Albert Shanker Institute indicates that the number of black teachers dropped between 2002 and 2012 in nine cities, including Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

“Educators who share a similar social, cultural and economic background as the students they teach have the opportunity for an even greater impact on the classroom,” said HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Renee Foose. “T4T will supplement America’s teaching corps with a more diverse, well educated, well trained workforce that can go anywhere and improve any school system once they fulfill their commitment to Howard County Public Schools.”

To fill the first cohort of the T4T program, HCPSS will target academically successful low-income students who qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meals Program. A recent report by HCPSS found that from 2007 to 2013, students who received free or reduced lunch within the school district were 20 percent less likely to attend college than other graduates.

Students must apply and be admitted to McDaniel College, after which finalists for T4T interviews will be selected from the admitted applicant pool. Those chosen for the T4T program will each receive a scholarship equivalent to McDaniel tuition, room and board, which includes a donation of $12,000 funded by the T4T program, with McDaniel covering the remaining costs after state and federal grants are applied. The students are required to apply for financial aid and meet all admission and financial aid deadlines to receive the scholarship. In exchange, participating students will teach or work in the Howard County Public School System for three years following college graduation and successful completion of the Maryland State Board of Education certification process.

“McDaniel is proud to partner with Howard County on the T4T program, said McDaniel College President Roger N. Casey. “Access to college is a hallmark of McDaniel with a record number of students of color at 36 percent enrolled in this year’s first-year class and many McDaniel students among the first in their families to attend college. We have achieved national recognition for our efforts to recruit, enroll and financially-assist low-income students.”

In addition to McDaniel’s commitment to access and affordability, the college also has a tradition of producing top educators. Three alumnae in the past five years have been named Maryland Teachers of the Year, including Howard County teacher Jody Zepp, who earned her bachelor’s degree and completed coursework for certification in secondary education at McDaniel.

Students are permitted to pursue any course of study they choose, as long as they minor in education and serve as a student teacher. Participants are required to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 in the major and graduate within four years.

The program launches today with Howard County seniors encouraged to apply to McDaniel for fall 2016 admission. Each high school and education center in Howard County will actively promote the program to prospective T4T candidates. Students can choose from three admission deadlines to apply to McDaniel: December 1, January 15 or February 15. All financial aid paperwork is due by March 1. Scholarship interviews with representatives from McDaniel and Howard County are planned to take place in March with the announcement of up to 12 students selected as the first T4T scholars in April.

An overview of the T4T program is available here. HCPSS encourages parents and educators to reach out directly to the high schools and education centers for additional information. For McDaniel College’s admissions information, click here.

Source: McDaniel College

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