A Message from the Dean and Initiator of Project Impact
This project is aimed at increasing the teacher pipeline in California, while at the same time working to help close academic achievement gaps in the K-12 settings through intentional recruitment, training, and deployment of minority male teachers into California classrooms.
For more than 15 years, the state of California has undertaken many different initiatives toward the goal of closing academic achievement gaps and addressing equity gaps in education. Commissions have been established, studies done and reports presented on the problem, yet studies show a persistence of academic achievement and equity gaps in California K-12 settings. Even when the state has recorded an increase in test scores across all the ethnic demographics represented in the California school systems, the achievement gaps have persisted. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) continue to show that black and Hispanic students have continued to perform below their white counterparts in the USA, even when academic achievement has risen across all ethnic groups. While some improvements have been noticed since 2009, the gap still continues to exist, and even when achievement has risen across all ethnic groups, the gap continues to be present (NAEP, 2015).
At CSUSB, we have undertaken to approach this problem by investing in the recruitment, training, and deployment of highly skilled minority male teachers who are able to connect more personally and serve as role models for the overwhelming number of minority male K-12 students who continue to be the highest population of students with behavior problems in school, the highest population in special education programs, and the most likely to drop out of school.
In light of the prospects of having minority male teachers in the classroom presents, we are seeking partnerships with other educational agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations, to collaborate with us in the recruitment, training, and deployment of these teachers in the Inland Empire and beyond. Our college has established the Project Impact Office, with a full-time Director, who is working with our marketing team and academic program leaders to identify, recruit, and train these male teachers. We need partners who can help us fund the educational expenses of these teacher candidates so that we can focus on their training and mentorship.
Our aspiration is that these new teachers will complete their training without any debts, and commit to being in the profession for a minimum of 5 years so that we can increase their chances of retention in the profession. Teacher attrition in the state of California is significantly high within the first five years.
“I began my own teaching career as a young Nigerian man in East Los Angeles, where I was the only black teacher, and there were often two or three black students in the school. So I also knew the difference my presence made in the lives of those few students,” DomNwachukwu said. “You need male figures in the school setting, especially for minority kids, to have them connect with education as something that’s within their reach.” - Dean Chinaka DomNwachukwu, Ph.D.