March 1 is the deadline to enroll in the Call Me MISTER program to be included in the first cohort of students that will begin the program at Northwestern State University this fall. Call Me MISTER is an initiative to recruit African American males to become teacher and mentors at low-performing schools.
Misters will benefit from financial assistance to help cover tuition and fees, instructional support and preparation for licensure exams, a cohort system for social and cultural support and leadership development. They will gain immediate exposure to a classroom environment and job placement assistance after graduation, according to Ramona Wynder, program coordinator.
“Only two percent of America’s public school teachers are African American men, according to the U.S. Department of Education, but there is a place for African American male teachers in our schools and classrooms,” Wynder said. “African American men need to be viewed in positive contexts. What better place for that to happen than in our schools? This program has the potential to change lives.”
Prospective Misters must be a minority male and come from an underserved, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and/or educationally at-risk community. They must major in early childhood education, elementary education, health and physical education or music education and demonstrate record of high scholastic achievement and participation in extra-curricular and community service activities.
Applications for Call me MISTER will be reviewed on a competitive basis each spring for consideration for cohorts that will begin each fall semester. Preference will be given to graduating high school seniors; two-year community college transfers; and first-year college freshmen. Eligible candidates will be selected based upon their potential for teaching and their motivation for participation in the program.
“Research shows that teachers of color boost the academic performance of students of color,” Wynder said. “Increasing teacher diversity is important for closing achievement gaps.”
For more information or to enroll in Call Me MISTER, contact Wynder at (318) 357-4549.