Recruiting teachers of color: College -age Latino /a students share their voices and recommendations for educator preparation programs
This dissertation examines the attitudes and career plans of college-age Latino/a students in order to determine the best next steps for educator preparation programs as they seek to recruit, prepare, support, and retain teachers of color, specifically Latino/a teachers, for the K-12 public school system. A review of the literature regarding the recruitment of teachers of color informed this research. The components of recruitment programs were examined in terms of how they addressed the individual and the career of teaching. The effectiveness of these recruitment models is not completely clear, and many have not been proven to have long term success. However, there are a few promising models worthy of serious study.
This research utilized data obtained from interviewing college-age Latino/a students who were making decisions about career choices. Data from student participants validated much of what is thought to be known about the challenges of teacher recruitment. For example, there is a continued perception that teacher salaries are relatively low and are not competitive with many other professions, the status and prestige of the teaching profession is low, and the often inadequate working conditions for teachers can dissuade students of color from pursuing careers as teachers. Also, minority student access to higher education continues to remain a problem. Access issues need to be addressed during the formative (K-12) years in order to fill the pipeline more fully. The findings also suggest that problems associated with recruitment models are systemic in nature. Challenges range from long-term commitment toward valuing diversity and program development to sustainability of programs via regular and reliable funding sources.
Conclusions include specific recommendations that provide hope for future success. In order to help diversify the teaching force, educator preparation programs should consider the following recommendations: market the field of education; develop active recruitment processes; diversify college faculty and staff; develop sound mentoring and support systems on campuses; provide assistance with financial support; and increase collaboration with K-12 partners and policymakers. Each of these recommendations should be institutionalized in order to be fully utilized and effective.
0530: Teacher education