NKU Hosts National Education Symposium on Teacher Diversity

Northern Kentucky University’s College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) shines the spotlight on teacher diversity in education by hosting a national symposium to address the issue. On September 15, COEHS will host the National Symposium on Preparing, Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color at Griffin Hall.

“After reading a U.S. Department of Education report citing the lack of racial diversity among teachers nationwide, we were inspired to take action. Then, we looked at Kentucky’s statistics. According to the Kentucky Department of Education Data Sets (2015-16), there are 655,472 K-12 students in the state. 78.3 percent of these students are White, while 21.7 percent are Racial Minority, yet of the 42,040 teachers in Kentucky, only 4.6 percent are Racial Minority,” said Dean Cynthia Reed, College of Education and Human Services. “As we considered strategies for addressing this issue regionally, we realized that a first step was getting people together to talk about it and learning about best practices that are taking place nationally. We hope that the symposium highlights the issue in our communities, so we can all work towards cultivating the next generation of teachers.”

Cynthia Dillard Keynote Speaker Dr. Cynthia B. Dillard- Keynote Speaker

In addition to bringing stakeholders together, the symposium provides the opportunity to share success stories and lessons learned. NKU Department of Teacher Education’s Roland Sintos Coloma, David Childs and Brandelyn Tosolt organized the symposium. 

“We knew it was an important subject to address, but the response was overwhelming. We will have 270 attendees coming to discuss how to address the gap in teacher diversity,” said Roland Sintos Coloma, Department of Teacher Education Chair. “We are drawing people from as far away as California, Texas, New York and Florida— to name just a few states. I look forward to seeing the innovative ideas that come from the gathering of these varying perspectives.”

Award-winning scholar and teacher educator Cynthia B. Dillard from University of Georgia will give the keynote address that will focus on “the necessity of identity, mutuality and equity in teacher education.” COEHS Dean Reed will take part in a panel discussion along with Alvin Garrison, Superintendent of Covington Independent Schools.

·       What:  Teacher Diversity Matters National Symposium

·       When:  September 15, 2017 from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.

·       Where:  Griffin Hall, Northern Kentucky University

For more information on NKU’s commitment to this issue, visit the Department of Teacher Education’s Teacher Diversity Matters webpage.

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