The MCTC News Blog

MCTC, Augsburg & Others to Diversify Teacher Workforce

Posted on: December 23rd, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

Bush_GrantSTORYMinneapolis Community and Technical College will collaborate with Augsburg College, Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools to utilize funds from a recent Bush Foundation grant to build educational infrastructure that intentionally recruits teacher candidates of color, improves their clinical experiences while training, and supports their smooth transition into a teaching career.

“Currently, about 97 percent of teachers in Minnesota are white,” said Kristy Snyder, dean of Academic Foundations. “MCTC has a strong record of engaging future teachers of color in our culturally competent teacher education program to prepare them for their future classrooms. Around 60 percent of students in MCTC’s educational programs are students of color. This grant encourages creative ways to recruit and retain teacher candidates of color, and because of that, Augsburg reached out to us to collaborate with them.”

This effort to recruit and support teacher candidates of color comes amidst the climate of teacher shortages in areas like special education and ESOL, and also in light of a large portion of the state teacher population approaching retirement age. The grant will strengthen the existing connection between MCTC’s two-year program and transfer opportunities to Augsburg while providing supplementary support to candidates to ensure their success as new teachers.

“The program at MCTC is very focused on cultural competency,” said Snyder. “For this reason, we currently attract many teacher candidates of color. By strengthening our articulation agreement with Augsburg, we strengthen the incentive for candidates to complete MCTC’s program, transfer and be placed.”

“Our greater goal is to utilize our community resources to close the state’s achievement gap,” said Snyder. “This is the perfect opportunity to make use of the talent and experience in our own communities.”

MCTC will host a Future Teacher Conference on March 7 for individuals interested in learning more about MCTC’s educational programs. Registration will be available soon on the Minneapolis Public Schools website.

MCTC Instructor Lena Jones Named Bush Fellow

Posted on: November 19th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Lena Jones, MCTC instructorLena Jones, Political Science instructor at MCTC, is one of eight people to be named to the third cohort of the 2013 Bush Fellowship recipients. This cohort of fellows will work in fields of immigrant, urban and native communities.

“I want to see a Twin Cities where everyone, regardless of their race, creed, income, neighborhood or gender is able to live in dignity in a community that is safe and provides everything they need,” said Lena. “My hope is this fellowship will provide resources, relationships and experiences to help me play a much larger role in making this vision a reality.”

The Bush Fellowship provides resources to individuals who seek to strengthen their leadership capacity. More than 2,200 Bush Fellows have been named since 1965. In her role as Bush Fellow, Lena will identify ways for higher education institutions to build relationships with community organizations and local government to assist students in developing into community leaders.

In addition, Lena was recently awarded a grant from the Washington, D.C. based Kettering Foundation. Lena will create opportunities for civic engagement and service learning for students and faculty at MCTC with this grant. The Kettering Foundation seeks to identify and address challenges to democracy through interrelated program areas that focus on citizens, communities and institutions.

This is not the first time Lena has made inroads on behalf of her students and their educational, professional and personal development. Lena envisioned and now teaches an annual summer course titled Race in America: Then and Now. The six-credit field study course is done in partnership with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) and takes place in June each year. Students explore the philosophy, practice and historical implications of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and how these past struggles are inextricably linked to current struggles around race, class and inequality.

“These three initiatives—the Bush Fellowship, Kettering grant and the Race in America course—share a common focus on finding ways to support students in their efforts to become effective, powerful agents of change in their communities,” said Lena.