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6/19/2018 - Jackson, Miss.

Earlier this month, nine rising high school juniors who have expressed an interest in the teaching profession gathered for a week of outstanding academic and social development opportunities that will set them up for success in college classrooms and eventually in the classrooms they will lead as teachers. What sets this group apart from many groups of aspiring teachers is that they are all male and all minority students.

These nine young men have been selected to participate in SHEEO Project Pipeline Repair: Restoring Minority Male Participation and Persistence in Educator Preparation Programs at Alcorn State University. Made possible through generous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Project Pipeline Repair is a research- and community-based response to the persistent underrepresentation of minority male educators in P-12 classrooms, which will help states address escalating teacher shortages and gaps in student achievement.

"Alcorn State University and SHEEO planned a week of experiences that will be extremely beneficial to these students as they complete high school and begin college," said Dr. Susan Lee, Associate Commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs for Mississippi Public Universities. "Project Pipeline Repair is a great program that will help us address the teacher shortage in the years ahead."

At the Summer Residency Program, participants received the full campus experience by living in the campus residence halls and dining in the ASU student dining hall throughout the week. They also enjoyed daily activities, including writing and mathematics instruction, field trips, engagement with current male teachers, and museum visits.

Dr. Malinda Butler, director of Alcorn's Project Pipeline program and associate dean of the Department of Education and Psychology, coordinated the week of activities and experiences designed to prepare these young men to reach their goals of becoming teachers.

Dr. Denise Pearson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Equity Initiatives at State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) conducted a half-day workshop on Conflict Resolution, accompanied by Caitlin Dennis, SHEEO's Grants and Events Coordinator. The group also met with Dr. Lee.

Project Pipeline Repair is an innovative approach to increasing the supply of highly qualified minority male teachers to serve in low-wealth school districts. SHEEO collaborates with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and uses targeted and early recruitment, a dynamic outcomes-based curriculum that aligns with high school standards and college and university expectations. Alcorn is the first of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities to partner with their State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) to increase the number of underrepresented male teachers.

Leaders and participants enjoy activities and experiences in the Summer Residency Program held recently at Alcorn State University as part of Project Pipeline Repair.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

The State Higher Education Executive Officers is the national association of the chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education. Founded in 1954, SHEEO serves its members as an advocate for state policy leadership, as a liaison between states and the federal government, as a vehicle for learning from and collaborating with peers, as a manager of multistate teams to initiative new programs, and as a source of information and analysis on educational and public policy issues. SHEEO seeks to advance public policies and educational practices to achieve more widespread access to and completion of higher education, more discoveries through research, and more applications of knowledge that improve the quality of human lives and enhance the public good.

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