Representation is a crucial component in successful academic outcomes for Black youth, however, the realm of education has lacked diversity. Two Atlanta-based HBCUs are on a mission to increase the presence of Black educators in leadership positions.
Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University have joined forces with the nonprofit New Leaders—an organization dedicated to equity in education—for the creation of an initiative centered on training, hiring and retaining more principals of color. The effort—dubbed the Aspiring Principal Fellowship—merges a master’s degree program with an online principal certification.
David A. Thomas, who serves as Morehouse College’s President, says the collaborative project will be instrumental in ensuring a sense of cultural competency exists within the education system. “Equity in the education of students of color must be an urgent national priority,” he shared in a statement. “Our children need guidance and nurturing from principals who understand the unique cultural experiences, proud heritage, and sometimes challenging socio-economic circumstances that affect learning opportunities for young Black students and those from other minority groups. By using technology to extend the Morehouse experience beyond our campus through the innovative Aspiring Principals Fellowship, we are furthering our mission to develop men with disciplined minds for lives of leadership and service and preparing principals with the skills, perspectives, and insight they need to be compassionate educators with high standards of excellence who embrace the potential of all children.”
George T. French Jr., Clark Atlanta University’s President, added the Aspiring Principal Fellowship will equip CAU scholars with the skills to change the landscape of leadership in education. The program is slated to kick off in August.
Initiatives like the one created by New Leaders, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College are needed as research shows only 11 percent of the country’s principals are Black. A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research revealed Black students who had at least one African American teacher in elementary school were more likely to enroll in college.
News about the program comes after Cheyney University unveiled plans to diversify the Pennsylvania school system.