Grambling State University (GSU) is poised to help you see that dream of black males wanting to teach fulfilled. Because less than 2% of the teachers in America are African-American males, Grambling’s Black Male Teacher Initiative joined forces with Clemson University’s nationally-known Call Me MiSTER program to help develop and recruit more Black men into the teaching profession.
The young African-American men in the program receive scholarships, preferred housing, individual advising, mentors from practicing or retired professionals, recognition at school activities, professional development opportunities as well as other benefits.
Grambling State’s Call Me MiSTER initiative targets the eleven Teacher Preparation programs currently offered by the university with an emphasis on elementary education. The first cohort consists of six students: four from Louisiana and one each from Texas and Nevada.
Ja’Deric Talbert, a sophomore who is president of the Call Me MiSTER program at GSU, said a career in education wasn’t on his radar at first.
“In my senior year of high school, I served as a reading interventionist at Crawford Elementary School. After working with my students for over six months, and seeing them grow academically and socially, I knew education was my passion,” he said.
Talbert, who is from Arcadia, said the teacher mentoring program at Grambling “offers the extra support that other teacher education programs just cannot offer. The MISTERs have similar classes, study together, eat together, and stay together,” he said. “We are all one big family.”
The mission of the Call Me MiSTER program is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader, more diverse background particularly to work at the lowest performing elementary schools, said Dr. George Noflin, Jr., director at GSU.
“College student participants with high academic potential, a demonstrated commitment to teach and a servant-leadership orientation are largely selected from among under-served, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities,” he said. “As graduates, students are expected to have an impact by returning to critical need schools and communities to pursue their professional careers.”
Dr. Noflin said it is expected that a MISTER who completes his program of study and becomes certified to teach will assume a teaching position in a public school and teach one year for each year they received financial support from the Call Me MiSTER.
The application deadline for the program is May 28.
For additional information or to apply, visit gram.edu/callmemister or contact George Noflin, Jr., director, at 318-805-6225 or email@example.com or Milton Jackson, assistant director, at 318-274-2742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.