Athens State program looks to recruit more Black male educators

The program has been in the works for two years that would provide scholarships to cover the cost of tuition, books, and housing.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The struggle for Alabama to hire and retain educators has been reported more often than not.

This is especially true for Black men, who hold only 47 educator positions in Madison County among a total of almost 1,300 Madison County educators.

That’s a staggeringly low number that Dr. Darlene Turner-White hopes to change with the Men of Kinnis program at Athens State University.

“We know that when you have a man of color as a classroom teacher, all children benefit,” Dr. Turner-White said. “But especially Black boys. So that’s where why we are trying our best to intentionally plan and make sure that we have a program that’s comprehensive that will teach and have our men of color ready on day one.”

The program has been in the works for two years that would provide scholarships to cover the cost of tuition, books, and housing. However, it’s not just recruiting black men to teach, but keeping them there. Retired Huntsville City School Teacher Phil Hill believes one issue may hinder the process of filling positions. Spoiler alert, it’s not just the money.

“The discipline in the schools has, in my opinion, gotten worse and a lot of black men would rather not deal with students’ behavior, parents’ bad behavior from time to time,” he started. “I think teachers, in general, are just choosing other professions.”

Those applying for the Men of Kinnis program range from 26 to 54. Members of the program can receive incentives as well.

“One, that their tuition and books are paid for. Two when they’re having their internship that there’s maybe a stipend so that they can continue to take care of their personal needs as well as their professional needs.”

The deadline for the Athens State University Men of Kinnis program is July 15th for any aspiring black male educators looking for an opportunity. You can click on the link to apply here.

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