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Sunday, August 14, 2022

New Program At Seattle Central College Aims To Bring More People Of Color Into Teaching Ranks

Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange

Seattle Central College and Seattle Public Schools have joined forces to offer a new degree designed to bring more people of color into the teaching profession.

The new Academy for Rising Educators (ARE) at Seattle Central College offers a six-quarter Associate of Arts degree with a focus on education and social justice. Graduates will have the option to directly transfer into teaching programs at Seattle University and City University.

Students who are recent graduates from Seattle high schools will be eligible for free tuition under the Seattle Promise scholarship. The program will also offer financial and counseling support for adult working students.

The first cohort of 35 students will have the opportunity to work full time at Seattle Public Schools as paraeducators (classroom assistants), while pursuing their degree.

“I’m excited for these students, and for our growing bonds with Seattle Public Schools as we both work to make our city a better and more just place to live,” said Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D., president of Seattle Central College.

The program is open to all students. Seattle Central College and Seattle Public Schools will actively recruit and encourage students of color to apply. The ultimate goal of the program is attract more people of color into the teaching profession – currently, only 10 percent of teachers in Washington state are.

This is not just an issue of equity in the ranks of educators, but also of improving the chances of success for students of color. According to John Hopkins University, low-income Black students were 39 percent less likely to drop out of high school when they had one black teacher in 3rdto 5thgrade.

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