Clark State College has established a Black Educators Support Fund through the Clark State Foundation.
The Black Educators Support Fund was established in 2023 for Clark State to support the recruitment, retention, and development of black educators, and raise awareness of the need for such professionals across all age levels.
Locally, regionally and nationally, populations are diversifying yet black educators remain underrepresented in schools. Clark State is working to support black educators in the region.
“The fund is set up with the general purpose of supporting pre-service and in-service teachers of color in a variety of ways,” said Dr. Bridget Ingram, professor of early childhood and teacher education programs at Clark State. “These can include but are not limited to offering scholarships, creating mentoring programs, conducting recruitment events, supporting retention efforts, establishing unique partnerships with businesses, districts or institutions or providing professional development and resources to existing teachers to name a few.”
Ingram said some research suggests that if a black male student has at least one same race teacher in the third, fourth, or fifth grade, he is significantly less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to aspire to attend a four-year college.
“This is especially true for economically disadvantaged black male students,” she said.
Ingram said other studies found that these students are more likely to increase attendance and test scores.
“This can reduce the probability of dropping out of high school by nearly 40 percent and is not only statistically significant but has relevance for educators and students of all races and backgrounds,” she said.
Toni Overholser, vice president of advancement at Clark State, said recruiting, retaining, or developing black educators can include a wide array of activities including events, scholarships, and professional development opportunities.
Establishing the Black Educators Fund is an additional way Clark State has continued its mission to engage and empower diverse learners by providing high-quality educational programs and services that emphasize student and community success.
“The funds can be used at any time,” said Overholser. “The fund supports Clark State’s continued diversity efforts and the community is able to contribute if they support this focus.”
To make a contribution to the Clark State Black Educators Fund, please visit: https://slate.clarkstate.edu/register/blackeducatorsfund