A response to a growing national crisis—the absence of a critical mass of racially diverse educators to meet the needs of America’s increasingly diverse primary and secondary classrooms. It is a research-based strategy that also responds to states’ escalating teacher shortages and gaps in student achievement.


An Initiative by the State Higher Education Executive Officers 


Researchers and practitioners continue to highlight the critical importance of a racially diverse teaching force in American schools, particularly for minority students confronted with the challenges of growing up amidst resourced starved schools and communities.

Schools with diverse teachers support the intellectual and social development of African American and Latino students, as well as non-minority students who face an increasingly diverse world.

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Male college students of color aspiring to join the teaching profession through traditional EPPs are frequently confronted by formidable program admission and completion barriers.

An innovative approach to mitigating teacher shortages and increasing the supply of highly qualified minority male teachers to serve in low-wealth school districts.

Collaboration with state agencies of higher education, educator preparation programs (EPPs) at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and school partners emphasizing targeted and early recruitment of high school juniors through a dynamic outcomes-based curriculum aligned with high school standards and college and university expectations.

Project Goals

1. Increasing the participation and persistence of males of color in EPPs at HBCUs in participating states

2. Closing academic achievement gaps, and increasing college readiness for participants through extensive academic enrichment and mentoring

3. Shifting the narrative to reflect education as a viable and rewarding career for males of color through an emphasis on social justice and equity

4. Increasing the number of well-prepared males of color to teach in underserved elementary schools and mitigating teacher shortages in participating states.

South Carolina

South Carolina is one of only four states to participate in SHEEO’s Project Pipeline Repair (PPR). Claflin University is the partnering HBCU in South Carolina. State project leads from all participating states were responsible for identifying exposure opportunities and supporting related programmatic activities.

Choosing to focus on shifting the narrative, The SC Commission on Higher Education developed an educational campaign to highlight the importance of minority male educators in the teaching profession.

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Since 2014, ethnic and racial minorities make up more than half of the student population in U.S. public schools, yet ...

Nationally, people of color make up about 20 percent of teachers; a mere 2 percent are black men.

A 2017 study found that having at least one Black teacher in grades 3-5 reduced a low-income Black student’s probability of dropping out of school by 29 percent.

78 percent of public school principals are white and 54 percent of them are female.

80 percent of teachers are white and 77 percent of them are female.

Dr. Rusty Monhollon President and Executive Director, SC Commission on Higher Education

Dr. Rusty Monhollon President and Executive Director, SC Commission on Higher Education

“Project Pipeline Repair is not only an opportunity to address the racial and gender disparities in our educational workforce, but it is also a viable solution to addressing the teacher shortage crisis that we currently face as a country and state. We must elevate the discussion to consider unconventional methods and untapped resources as possible solutions to this crisis. Minority men are an untapped resource, especially in the field of education.”


Get Involved

Reach out to the SC Commission on Higher Education to see how you can support minority male educators in South Carolina or be involved with related programmatic efforts.

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