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FAU College of Education to Participate in Teacher Prep Recruitment Initiative Aimed at Black and Hispanic Males

BOCA RATON, Fla. (July 9, 2014) –  Florida Atlantic University’s College of Education is one of only 10 in the country accepted into the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (AACTE) first Networked Improvement Community (NIC) – its focus is to increase the diversity of the nation’s teacher candidate pool by expanding the recruitment of black and Hispanic men into teacher preparation programs.

According to the AACTE, about 80 percent of PK-12 teachers are white, middle-class women. The PK-12 student population is much more diverse; more than 40 percent of students are non-white. Yet more than 40 percent of public schools have no teachers of color at all. Of the total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2009-10 to teacher candidates, only 6 percent were awarded to black candidates and about 4 percent to Hispanic candidates. Additionally, the National Center for Education Statistics state that 2 percent of public school teachers are black males, and fewer are Hispanic males.

 “The College of Education at FAU is proud to be a leader in diversity emphasis and initiatives,” said Valerie J. Bristor, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education. “The NIC connects nicely with various activities, initiatives and strategies being planned and conducted at FAU, including the College’s Continuous Improvement Plan based on the topics of diversity and student success initiatives.”

FAU is ideally located for AACTE’s new NIC with Broward County and Palm Beach County populations of more than 1.8 million and 1.3 million, respectively, which include 27.9 percent and 18.2 percent black or African-American; and 26.5 percent and 20.1 percent Hispanic or Latino. In addition, just south of Broward County lies Miami-Dade County with a population of more than 2.5 million of which 19.2 percent are black or African-American and 64.3 percent are Hispanic or Latino.

The NIC is one of the programs AACTE has launched as part of The Innovation Exchange – an initiative to support innovation and speed the pace of change in university-based educator preparation. The Exchange will serve as a forum  to share experiences and findings to address the most urgent issues of student achievement, curriculum reform and educator preparation program advancement.

In addition to joining the AACTE’s new program, the College of Education has a long track record of preparing teachers for South Florida’s diverse population. It maintains a committee which oversees the College’s diversity planning for faculty, staff and students, as well as the College’s commitment to preparing professionals for a diverse environment. Additionally, FAU’s Bachelor in Elementary Education/ESOL degree was the first teacher preparation degree in the State of Florida to infuse ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) requirements into the degree program. This prepares future teachers by ensuring they can provide appropriate instruction to ELL (English Language Learners) students. The College has also previously partnered with Broward College and Broward County Public Schools to increase the percentage of black and Hispanic males in the initial licensure program.

“I believe FAU to be ideally situated for this new initiative – demographically, strategically, and most of all, enthusiastically,” said Bristor.

Bristor’s application on behalf of the College of Education was selected from 50 AACTE member institutions that applied to participate in NIC. Preference was given to those applicants that clearly and convincingly described the contributions they plan to make to the overall work of the NIC and to the profession. 

Updates on the work of this NIC will be posted in the coming months and over the course of the next three years through the AACTE website,, and the AACTE blog EdPrep Matters, The goal is to ensure that the innovations that emerge from the work of this small group will be shared with the entire AACTE membership.

For more information about the College of Education, visit . A photo of  FAU dean Bristor is available upon request.


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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