Students benefit from teachers with similar racial, cultural identities
Research indicates that there are academic and social emotional benefits for students who have access to educators who mirror their racial, cultural and linguistic identities. Yet, there is a severe shortage of linguistically and racially diverse educator talent in our state.
To address this critical gap, in 2017 the Northwest Regional Education Service District, in partnership with Sherwood, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Tigard-Tualatin school districts launched the Diverse Educator Pathways (DEP) program to cultivate a diverse talent pool who would return to the participating districts as educators.
Through a recent Educator Advancement Council Grow Your Own grant, pilot programs were added in Gaston, Nestucca Valley, Tillamook and Neah-Kah-Nie school districts.
The Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD) Diverse Educator Pathway Program is a collaborative "grow your own" project to create a pipeline of future teachers of color with our higher education partners. Program participants include students, classified staff and community members.
The program is grounded in community-based practices and the lived-experience of the participants, and facilitates deep, meaningful learning.
The NWRESD collaborates with schools and other partners to recruit future teachers and convene teacher candidates in a networked community. Participants agree to interview with their home district upon successful completion of their licensure program.
The goal of the Diverse Educator Pathway program is to foster a community of educators who share lived experiences with the students they serve by promoting the importance of representation in the educator workforce, increasing the number of racially/linguistically diverse DEP participants, and expanding relationships between school districts and higher education institutions.
The program seeks to provide culturally-relevant support to our participants to assist them in navigating the cost of college tuition, scholarships, and financial literacy. In addition, we seek to foster mentorship, networking, and local affinity group support. Currently, Sherwood has seven enrolled in the program and a mentor for each.
We can help you begin the process through the Diverse Educator Pathway program, providing mentorship, financial support when possible and an opportunity to work in Sherwood Schools.
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