Skip to main content

NKU Receives $100K Grant to Create Pipeline for Diverse Educators


Oct. 26, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University is facilitating the emergency certification of diverse educators through the use of a $100,000 grant, awarded by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. NKU will also spend $100,000 of its own.

NKU is partnering with Erlanger/Elsmere, Newport and Covington Independent school districts, which have the most diverse student populations in the region. The grant will focus on middle and high school teachers.

"Diversity in schools has a critical impact on learners’ attitudes, achievement and motivation," said College of Education Dean Ginni Fair. “Our goal is to create systems and resources that can be sustainable, replicable and that have a long-term impact not only for students, but for educators as well.”

The grant will accomplish three goals: address an immediate need for diverse educators in the workforce; initiate and steward a pipeline of diverse educators; and empower all educators to be culturally proficient and advocates for equity. NKU plans to support up to 10 emergency certified middle or high school teachers, using the Masters of Arts in Teaching pathway. Teachers will be employed in their respective school districts from 2022 to 2025 and will complete the master’s program by summer 2024.

A CPE taskforce found early field experiences for potential educators sparked interest in the profession, while barriers to recruitment and retention of diverse educators included lack of mentoring and community building, admission criteria and cost. Leveraging grant funds, NKU will use scholarships, intentional recruitment, support networks for teachers of color and recurring diversity training to help future educators overcome these challenges.

“Creating an inclusive environment in Kentucky classrooms is critical to building a diverse and culturally competent workforce, and that starts with our educators,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “Increasing the number of teachers from underrepresented groups, as part of our work to eliminate disparities in education, will strengthen our communities and economy.”

NKU will use its partnership with the school districts and within its colleges to recruit students into its College of Education while creating a microcredential that emphasizes the importance of diversity in the classroom.

More information about the College of Education and its programs can be found online

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit