real men are teacHers

The shortage of African-American male teachers is a national problem. Only two-percent of the nation's nearly five million teachers are African-American males. In South Carolina, there are more than 49,000 teachers, about 8,000 of them are men, and of that number just over 1,000 are African-American men.

Response to the Challenge

The primary objective of the Real Men Are Teachers program is to recruit and prepare African-American males majoring in education at USC Upstate to become highly-qualified, strong teachers/leaders. This objective is accomplished by program participants matriculating through a challenging leadership curriculum and a mentoring and service component the purpose of which is to create African-American male educational leaders with a willingness and capacity to serve the needs of students and understand our challenges as “Citizens of the World.”

The experiences of Real Men teacher candidates may well parallel the experiences of African American boys in public schools. The candidates will serve as role models and mentors. Real Men Are Teachers recruits - and eventually teachers -will have the potential to improve African-American boys’ learning outcomes in school. While there is some research to support the claim that students’ learning increases when assigned a same race teacher, increasing the number of African American male teachers also has the potential to benefit other stakeholders in schools. African American men teachers are uniquely positioned to assist their colleagues, many of whom might be white and female, in designing curriculum that is culturally and gender responsive.

Leadership Curriculum

The leadership curriculum will expose participants to the current leadership trends and issues significant to future teachers/school leaders. Program participants will be required to read a series of leadership articles and provide a comprehensive response that is shared with other program participants. In addition, workshops, lecture series, panel discussions, conference attendance, shadowing leaders, and participation in a Summer Institute focusing on leadership will also be mandated in the Real Men Are Teachers program.

Academic Support

Each Real Men Are Teachers participant will enroll in EDFO 398: Special Topics in Education. This is a required course to be taken every semester by all participants. The course is taken for variable credit; 1, 2, or 3 hours and taught by the Campus Coordinator. During this reserved common period, participants engage all activities associated with the academic support for the Real Men Are Teachers program. Activities will vary from study hall, peer mentoring, tutoring, Praxis Test preparation sessions, and guest speakers. Tutoring will be provided by qualified undergraduate and graduate students in many subject areas. Specific subject tutoring is available either one-on-one or in groups and arranged by the Coordinator.

The Campus Coordinator will work with the Center for Student Success to provide professionals who will work one-on-one with students to expand their academic skills and assist them in developing strategies essential to college success. Areas of focus include time management, reading, writing, critical thinking, and test-taking and note-taking strategies.

A Service Learning and Community Engagement module is also required in this class. Students serve as mentors and tutors in the public schools, public housing units, AmeriCorps, afterschool programs, Boy Scouts, YMCA, etc.

Mentoring

Each student participant is assigned an internal academic mentor/adviser in the School of Education and an external personal and professional mentor from the Real Men Are Teachers Advisory Board. The mentor provides the participant with formal and informal insights on the profession from the perspective of a successful and veteran practitioner.

Advisory Board

The Real Men Are Teachers advisory board consisting of strategically selected individuals from the campus and surrounding professional community who are passionate about the program’s mission to diversify the classroom by recruiting prospective African American male teachers. The membership of the Advisory Board will include, principals, assistant principals, curriculum specialists, superintendents, elected officials and members from the faith community and the business sector. The Board’s major responsibility will be to help guide and direct the program, promote its merits throughout the community and provide mentorship to its participants.

South Carolina Teacher Loan Program

This program is available only to residents of South Carolina who are attending college for the purpose of becoming certified teachers employed in the state's school system in areas of critical need as defined by the State Board of Education. For loan recipients who become certified and teach in an area of critical need, the loan shall be canceled at the rate of 20% for each full year of teaching, up to 100%. Loan recipients who do not become certified and/or do not teach in an area of critical need shall be responsible for repaying the entire amount of loan funds borrowed plus interest.

Designated Upstate Financial Aid Counselors will assist Real Men Teach students in the application process for this loan scholarship opportunity. TEACH Grant Program Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. To learn more about the TEACH Grant Program, you should contact the financial aid office. Designated Upstate Financial Aid Counselors will assist Real Men Teach students in the application process for this TEACH Grant and the SC Loan Scholarship opportunity.

TEACH Grant Program

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. To learn more about the TEACH Grant Program, you should contact the financial aid office. Designated Upstate Financial Aid Counselors will assist Real Men Teach students in the application process for this TEACH Grant and the SC Loan Scholarship opportunity.