ERIC Identifier: ED317542
Publication Date: 1988-00-00
Author: Curry, Jennifer
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Teacher Education Washington DC.
The Role of the Community College in the Creation of a
Multi-Ethnic Teaching Force. ERIC Digest.
To increase the number of qualified teachers with backgrounds reflective of
the ethnic and racial diversity of their students, fundamental changes in the
recruitment processes used for teacher education will be required. Community
colleges have the students, support services, and articulation mechanisms in
place to play a critical role in the development of a multi-ethnic teaching
force. However, the potential contributions of the community college sector must
be integrated into a sequence of recruitment, retention, training, and job
placement efforts involving all segments of higher education.
TEACHER SUPPLY AND DEMAND
The challenge to maintain a
sufficiently large, ethnically diverse, and well-trained teaching force is
complicated by a number of factors. Less than 8 percent of first-time college
freshmen in 1985 indicated an interest in teaching careers (Tucker, 1985) and a
1984 study found that only 68 percent of the working college graduates certified
to teach were actually engaged in teaching. Among those who did not enter the
profession, 16.8 percent had received a better job offer and 12 percent were
deterred by the low pay and poor working conditions (Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching, 1987).
The problem is further compounded by the shortage of minority teachers.
Although recent research (AACTE, 1988) indicates an increase in the number of
students entering teacher education, less than 10 percent are members of
minority groups. Blacks comprise approximately 6.9 percent of the teaching
force, while Hispanics and other minorities comprise another 3.5 percent of the
profession (Woods and Williams, 1987). On the other hand, minority student K-12
enrollments continue to grow rapidly representing nearly 30 percent of the
school-age population (OERI, 1987).
It appears that new ways of recruiting and preparing minorities outside of
the traditional, university-based teacher education programs must be developed.
Partnerships between two- and four-year colleges addressing recruitment and
preparation issues are one viable alternative.
THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S ROLE IN RECRUITMENT AND
Two-year community colleges represent an ideal place to encourage
minority students to enter teaching occupations. These institutions enroll 54
percent of all Hispanics and 45 percent of all Blacks currently pursuing higher
education in the United States. In addition, community colleges enroll a great
many older students who are preparing for a career change. The coming teacher
shortage will demand that recruitment efforts extend beyond traditionally aged
college students (Woods and Williams, 1987).
Since many students enter community colleges with unstable or unclear
academic or career goals (Shavelson et al., 1983), community college career
counseling and academic advisement services can be particularly influential in
promoting the teaching career option. Further, community colleges' general
education curriculum, work experience programs, remedial studies, and student
development activities provide a good beginning for the systematic provision of
undergraduate teacher education.
STRATEGIES FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE INVOLVEMENT
In order for
community colleges to realize their potential in recruiting and training
minority students for teaching, two problems that plague many community colleges
must be overcome: high rates of student attrition, especially among minority
students, and low rates of successful transfer to four-year colleges. Strategies
for addressing these problems focus in three areas: student services,
curriculum, and articulation.
Student services provide the framework for the development of the student
outside of the classroom. Services that are particularly relevant to the
recruitment and retention of minority students include assessment of skills and
interests, internship opportunities, and the provision of role models and
mentors. Of particular importance are adequate financial aid information and
streamlined financial aid procedures.
Although the general education curriculum at community colleges is designed
to provide the background needed by students to pursue any field of study,
successful teacher recruitment will require some exposure to education courses
during the first two years of college. Students should not be expected to defer
taking courses that will further their career goals until they reach the
upper-level university (Haberman, 1988).
The issue of articulation between two- and four-year colleges is related to
the broader issue of the effectiveness of the community college transfer
function. In Florida, where higher education articulation is state-mandated and
controlled, approximately 49 percent of the state university students enrolled
in teacher training programs attended a community college (Beck et al., 1985).
Elsewhere, agreements between individual two- and four-year colleges ensure that
equivalent courses taught at the two- and four-year college levels have common
prerequisites, content, and credit value. Transfer and degree achievement are
also facilitated by dual admissions programs, whereby students gain admission to
university teacher training programs while continuing their enrollment at a
EXAMPLES OF WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
To realize the full
potential of community colleges for developing multi-ethnic teachers, their
efforts must be integrated with all segments of higher education as the
following examples demonstrate. Woods and Williams (1987) highlight projects in
which community colleges are collaborating with other agencies to prepare
MINORITY TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAM
The University of
Wisconsin-Whitewater has developed a program to increase the number of minority
students eligible for teacher certification and teaching positions in the state
by improving the rate of transfer of minority students and their successful
completion of teacher education programs. A cooperative agreement between the
colleges outlines their commitment to assisting two-year college students
interested in teaching to complete the associate degree; intensifying academic
and financial support for these students; coordinating the transfer of academic
courses to UWW; concurrently admitting teacher education majors to both
institutions; and promoting student interactions with successful minority
teachers and administrators.
The Search for Excellent Leaders to Enter Careers in
Teaching (SELECT) program is a three-way collaboration between White Plains
public schools, Westchester Community College, and Pace University in New York.
Recruitment efforts are focused not only on college-bound high school students
and community college students, but also on adults seeking mid-life career
changes. The project features a team-taught course entitled, "Introduction to
Schools and Teaching," which is offered through the collaboration of Westchester
Community College and Pace University.
Mini-corps is a federally funded program designed to recruit and train
students with migrant worker backgrounds to become bilingual teachers. The
project was initiated in Porterville, California, to give students an
opportunity to explore the field of teaching firsthand. The program works
closely with area high schools and senior institutions to ensure ease of
transfer and to make sure adequate information is given to students interested
Given that a significant number of high school
graduates interested in teaching careers start their education at community
colleges, and that large numbers of adults return to community colleges to
prepare for career changes, two-year colleges are prime targets for any effort
to recruit students into the profession. The most important elements of these
efforts are a supportive college environment, dual admissions, adequate
financial aid, and well-functioning articulation agreements with senior
institutions. However, before these programs can be truly effective, the value
placed on the teaching profession, evidenced by prestige and renumeration, must
be raised to make teaching a viable career choice.
Many of the following references--those
identified with an EJ or ED number--have been abstracted and are in the ERIC
data base. The journal articles should be available at most research libraries.
The documents (citations with an ED number) are available on microfiche in ERIC
microfiche collections at more than 700 locations. Documents with ED numbers can
also be ordered through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service by calling (800)
227-3742. For a list of ERIC collections in your area or for information on
submitting documents to ERIC, contact the ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher
Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 610, Washington, DC 20036, (202)
293-2450, or the ERIC Clearinghouse on Junior Colleges, University of
California, Los Angeles, Mathematical Sciences Building, Room 8118, 405 Hilgard
Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024, (213) 825-3931.
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (1988). Teaching
Teachers Facts and Figures II. Washington, D.C.: AACTE. (ED 304 410) Note: Also
available from AACTE. One Dupont Circle, Suite 610, Washington, DC 20036. $12
Bessire, Jack D. "Low Numbers of Minority Graduates Impact Affirmative
Action: Effort to Increase Those Numbers Is Essential." Ad Com; May 1989.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. "Prospective Teachers:
Career Choices." Change; v. 19, n.2, p. 31-35. March-April 1987.
Cooper, Jeff. "Project Socrates: A Program for Promoting Careers in
Teaching." Paper presented at the Intersegmental Coordination Council Forum on
Increasing Faculty Diversity (Los Angeles, CA, April 17, 1989).
Franklin, John Hope. "The Desperate Need for Black Teachers." Change; v. 19,
n. 3, p. 44-45, May-June 1987.
Haberman, Martin. "Proposals for Recruiting Minority Teachers: Promising
Practices and Attractive Detours." January 1988, 27 pp. (ED 292 760)
"Mini-Corps Helps Recruit, Train Bilingual Teachers." Porterville Recorder,
Porterville, CA. March 29, 1989.
National Governors' Association. Recruiting Minority Classroom Teachers: A
National Challenge. National Governors' Association, Washington, DC, 1988.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of
Education (1987). Digest of Educational Statistics 1987. Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Government Printing Office. (ED 282 359)
Shavelson, Richard J.; and Others. Potential for Military Recruiting from
Two-Year Colleges and Postsecondary Vocational Schools. Santa Monica, CA: Rand
Corporation, 1983. 114 pp. (ED 227 915)
Tucker, Marc S. "Better Teachers: The Arts and Sciences Connection." Change;
v. 18, n. 5, p. 12-17, September-October 1986. (EJ 344 071)
Warren, Stanley. Minorities in Teacher Education. Coalition of Teacher
Education Programs, 1985. 18 pp. (ED 272 504)
Woods, Jacqueline E.; Williams, Ronald A. "Articulating with Two-Year
Colleges to Create a Multi-Ethnic Teaching Force." Paper presented at the
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education's Wingspread Policy Forum
(Racine, WI, August 5-7, 1987). 31 pp. (ED 295 932)