Scholarships Available to Recruit Minority College Students to Teaching
HARTFORD, Sept. 27 - Teachers are in hot demand in Connecticut, and so are applicants to the Connecticut Department of Higher Educations Minority Teacher Incentive Grant Program.
Created in 1998, this combined scholarship and loan reimbursement program provides grants up to $5,000 to full-time junior and senior minority students enrolled in teacher training programs at Connecticut colleges. As an added incentive, students may receive up to $2,500 a year, for up to four years, to help pay off college loans in return for teaching in a Connecticut public elementary or secondary school.
The deadline for filing applications for this program year is Friday, October 6. Only 50 Minority Teacher Incentive Grants are awarded each year.
The program is off to a good start. To date, 97 minority students have received Minority Teacher Incentive Grants. Thirty-five are renewal students and 33 are already teaching in Connecticut public schools.
"We are indeed fortunate that state legislators have made this program possible," stated Valerie F. Lewis, Commissioner of higher education. "More than 25 percent of Connecticuts school children are from minority families, yet barely 7 percent of our teachers are from minority groups. We must do everything we can to encourage minority college students to become teachers in Connecticut. Helping them with college costs is more than just public relations - its a real commitment from the State of Connecticut."
Lewis oversees the Department of Higher Education which is a member of the new Commission on Teacher and Administrator Shortage and Minority Recruitment. The Commissions first meeting is this afternoon in Hartford.
To qualify, students must be full-time college juniors or seniors of African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American or Native American heritage, and be nominated by the education dean from whichever participating college or university they attend.
The 12 participating colleges are Central Connecticut State University, Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University, St. Joseph College, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, Western Connecticut State University, Yale University in addition to the Alternate Route to Certification operated by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.
Nomination forms are available from deans of education or by calling the toll-free Education & Employment Information Center (800/842-0229).
Contact: Connie Fraser