Seattle Central and Seattle Schools launch effort to boost diversity of educators

To address a lack of teachers of color statewide, Seattle Central College and Seattle Public Schools announced a new degree to help people of color enter the teaching profession.

Seattle Central has launched the Academy for Rising Educators (ARE). The program offers an Associate of Arts degree with a focus on education and social justice, the college announced in a press release. Graduates of the program will have the option to directly transfer into teaching programs at Seattle University and City University.

Additionally, the first cohort of 35 students will have the opportunity to work full-time at Seattle Public Schools as paraeducators (classroom assistants), while pursuing their degree, the college and the school district announced.

Statewide, about 10 percent of teachers identify as people of color, according to the press release.

For recent Seattle high school graduates, tuition to Seattle Central College is free through the Seattle Promise program.

The college and the school district said that increasing the diversity of educators improves the chances of success for students of color, citing a study by John Hopkins University that found that low-income black students were 39% less likely to drop out of high school when they had one black teacher in 3rd to 5th grade.

The organizations will hold an informational ARE Community Mixer on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 4:45 – 6 p.m., at The Hearth in the Student Center at Seattle University campus.

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