Who We Are?
In partnership, College Unbound and Equity Institute oversee the Equity Unbound School of Education. College Unbound is an independent, non-profit, Rhode Island institution of higher education that aims to reinvent the higher education experience for underserved adult learners, using a student-driven model of rigorous and engaged scholarship. Equity Institute is a Rhode Island-based nonprofit that aims to develop and implement innovative solutions for building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning and professional environments.
What We Do?
The Equity Unbound School of Education is a multi-year, cohort-based educator pathway program to recruit, develop, support, and retain a more racially, linguistically, and ethnically diverse teacher workforce. The program provides training, development, and support for students on their path towards establishing an impactful teaching career. Students are able attain a Bachelor’s degree from College Unbound, a postsecondary institution for adult learners that’s designed around an innovative, personalized, interest/project-based curriculum model. They also have access to an extensive support community through EduLeaders of Color Rhode Island, a growing network of high-impact individuals working at the intersection of all fields to improve education access.
Students are able to retain employment for the duration of the program. At the end of the program, Equity Institute supports students in their transition to full-time employment as certified classroom-based educators.
The major shifts in education due to the global pandemic may cause a mass exodus of educators along with the exacerbation of racial disparities in educational outcomes. There are two main reasons we launched this now:
- Research suggests that teachers could leave the education profession in large numbers as schools reopen. This would create a significant number of teacher vacancies.
- Emerging research confirms that when taught by a teacher of color, students of color experience higher reading and math test scores, higher graduation rates, decreased dropout and discipline rates and increased enrollment in advanced courses.
Additionally, our country is grappling with racial tension and violence. Many of our students may be struggling to process difficult emotions and make sense of what’s going on. Our students and communities need strong educators now more than ever - educators who can integrate students’ identities and backgrounds into the work they do and navigate difficult conversations.