A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKU College of Education and Human Services hosts national symposium on teacher diversity

Northern Kentucky University’s College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) put the spotlight on teacher diversity in education by hosting a national symposium to address the issue on Saturday.

COEHS hosted 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.

Keynoter Cynthia B. Dillard

“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 highlighted the issue in our communities, so we can all work towards cultivating the next generation of teachers.”
In addition to bringing stakeholders together, the symposium provided 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 had attendees coming to discuss how to address the gap in teacher diversity,” said Roland Sintos Coloma, Department of Teacher Education Chair. “We drew people from as far away as California, Texas, New York and Florida— to name just a few states.”
Award-winning scholar and teacher educator Cynthia B. Dillard from University of Georgia gave the keynote address focusing on “the necessity of identity, mutuality and equity in teacher education.”

COEHS Dean Reed took part in a panel discussion along with Alvin Garrison, Superintendent of Covington Independent Schools.

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