Claflin Signs MOU to Recruit and Prepare Minority Males as P-12 Educators Through Project Pipeline Initiative

May 04, 2017

Claflin University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently that officially launched the University’s participation in Project Pipeline Repair: Restoring Minority Male Participation and Persistence in Educator Preparation Programs.  Claflin will join the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education in a partnership to establish activities, roles and responsibilities to increase the number of highly competent minority male teachers to teach in underserved elementary school systems in South Carolina.

The project is made possible by a generous three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to engage state policy leaders and educator preparation programs.

“Claflin is extremely pleased to be a partner in this collaboration and we want to do our part in preparing the next generation of extraordinary teachers who are African-American males,” said Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale.  “We look forward to helping to make a difference in providing a quality education for all of our children.”

Key project features include early enrollment of prospective educators as students during junior year of high school; formative and summative performance assessments; individualized intervention strategies to close achievement gaps;  supplemental self-paced learning platforms using appropriate instructional technologies; mentoring and academic advising; and completion of college credits prior to enrolling in higher education. 

“It's very important that we find a way to bridge the gap and place more African American male students in the classroom,” said Jeff Schilz, interim president and executive director at the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.  “This is an example of people identifying a problem and trying to solve it.  This initiative builds on the ‘Call Me Mister’ program and takes the next step in attacking the shortage of African American males in the classroom.  The state of South Carolina is very excited about the opportunity.”

Project Pipeline Repair will achieve outcomes through emphasis on skill development in the areas of written and oral communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and quantitative literacy, which are among the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ six essential learning outcomes. In addition to closing academic achievement gaps, the project aims to foster the building of a strong foundation for participants to begin developing the requisite desire, knowledge, skills, and dispositions of highly competent and effective educators.

“Claflin has a reputation for producing great teachers,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.  “We want to thank the university for always thinking ahead and taking the initiative to bring this program to South Carolina and for doing what's necessary to produce quality teachers for k-12 education in the state of South Carolina.”

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