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Newport Independent Schools, NKU offer Diverse Educator Grant for master’s program scholarships

The Newport Independent Schools and Northern Kentucky University (NKU) have teamed up on a grant that is designed to enhance diversity by attracting minority teachers to the district.

The Diverse Educator Grant for middle and secondary school teachers offers $10,000 scholarships for NKU’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, which allows holders of a bachelor’s degree to transition into a teaching career in just 20 months.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with NKU on this grant,” said Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Tony Watts. “One of our goals is to recruit more minority teachers to our district. Research has shown that everyone benefits when you have a diverse teaching staff in your school or district. This gives us an opportunity to offer employment to future minority teachers while they go through the certification process at NKU.”

NKU was awarded the grant to attract diversity candidates into the MAT program, said Program Director Dr. Melissa Hess.

“We are very excited to begin work on the grant to help bring in more diverse educators into middle and secondary schools in Northern Kentucky, including Newport,” she said.

NKU’s MAT program allows adults who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field to easily transition into the classroom and an initial teaching license program at the university. Students that enroll in the program could begin teaching in the fall.

“These teacher candidates would enroll in the program that is completed in roughly 20 months while simultaneously being issued a special teaching license that would allow them to be hired in any Kentucky public school,” Dr. Hess said.

The diversity of teachers has a critical impact on diverse learners’ attitudes, achievement, and motivation in schools. In Kentucky public schools, less than five percent of teachers are of color, but 25 percent of K through 12 students are of color, a number that is increasingly on the rise.

“When students have teachers with backgrounds similar to theirs, they feel a sense of belonging and often perform better in school,” Dr. Hess said.

More information on the NKU program is available here. The program start dates are May 13 and Aug. 22. 
NKU will also host a Diverse Educator Job Fair on April 28 from 4-7 p.m. in the Digitorium of Griffin Hall. To register, visit www.tinyurl.com/yy4w8r4n.  

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