Mirroring Diversity Initiative
Keeping Pace with a Changing Nation
With students of color now being the majority of the K-12 student population, changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of our nation’s public schools underscore the necessity for the educator workforce to mirror the diversity of classrooms. The UTeach Student Leaders Association (USLA) recognizes our role in diversifying the STEM teacher pipeline by leveraging the influence housed within the UTeach student network. Inspired by the Massachusetts Educator Diversity Act, we are piloting the Mirroring Diversity Initiative aimed at implementing diverse program recruitment strategies and bolstering retention rates among UTeach students from minoritized racial and ethnic populations.
Teacher Diversity Matters
To ensure America's teaching workforce is racially and ethnically representative of public school students, an additional 1 million new teachers of color are needed by the year 2030. Achieving this ambitious goal requires reimagining how educator preparation programs like UTeach are diversifying the teacher pipeline. The benefits of a diverse teaching workforce are well-documented in educational research, with studies reporting students of color taught by same-race teachers have more promising academic and career outcomes. Figure 1 illustrates the racial and ethnic diversity of U.S. public school teachers according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Our Three-Angled Approach
USLA representatives will join the USEA Recruitment Working Group and offer a student perspective on innovative recruitment practices that effectively engage students of color and promote program visibility.
We will collaborate with student leaders to foster inclusive student communities in their program by:
Creating or strengthening existing UTeach student organizations
Designing peer mentorship programs
Cultivating affinity groups (site-based, regional, and/or national)
We will call attention to the systemic barriers that hinder the racial and ethnic diversification of the STEM teacher pipeline and workforce through online lecture events and digital media campaigns.