The Burton College of Education at McNeese State University is one of only three programs in the state approved as a partner with the national Call Me MISTER program – Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. The program begins this fall.
Call Me MISTER is a highly acclaimed initiative created by Clemson University and is designed to recruit more men of color to become elementary or childhood education teachers.
“Only 2% percent of the nation’s teachers are men of color,” says Dr. Terri Simpson, director for the Ann Rosteet Hurley Center for the Advancement of Quality Education. “Research proves that students of color do better in school when they are taught by someone who looks like them. This program has the potential to change lives.”
According to Simpson, students selected for the program will receive a scholarship as well as support and assistance from mentors to support their efforts to become effective teachers and community leaders. Dr. Ked Nicholas, dean of students at McNeese, will serve as the program’s lead mentor.
“Each student will be paired with both a university and a community mentor to encourage leadership skills,” she says. “To enter the program, students must be accepted to McNeese, meet the criteria to enter the Burton College of Education and complete an application process to become a MISTER.”
The college expects to welcome up to three students into the program this fall. In addition to developing leadership skills, students will also participate in both university and community service projects as well as work within local schools.
“Part of being a leader is giving back to others,” says Simpson. “We want our students to excel in their careers and be change agents in their communities. The MISTER program teaches life and leadership skills and promotes the impact of our candidates on PK-12 students and the community.”
The Burton College of Education’s mission is to change lives through education by empowering students, investing in communities and changing the world and Simpson says that the Call Me MISTER program supports all three aspects of that mission.
“This program promotes the diversification of effective teacher candidates graduating from our program, assists in growing the number of certified teachers and impacts student learning by offering a strong male role model of color,” says Simpson.
For more information on the Call Me MISTER program, contact Dr. Angel Ogea, college dean, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Burton College of Education, visit www.mcneese.edu/education.