The research is clear: When we increase teacher diversity within schools, good things happen for kids—higher expectations, lower discipline referral rates, and better academic results for ALL students. And yet despite all that we know—and the growing diversity of the student population— teachers of color are still dramatically underrepresented in U.S. schools.
The good news is there is a pool of talented BIPOC professionals who are ideally suited to become teachers—and education leaders. We created Equity Unbound to unleash their potential and start a movement.
Who are they? They are the paraeducators, teacher’s aids, student services coordinators, and administrative assistants who have been working in their neighborhood schools for years. They are multilingual, racially and ethnically diverse, live in the community, and have forged deep, trusting relationships with students. Many of them seek to grow into teacher roles, but they face significant barriers to obtaining their BA and teaching credential.
Equity Unbound removes those barriers, offering a pathway to a college degree and teaching credential in less than three years. It is the result of a new collaboration between the Equity Institute, a Rhode Island-based education nonprofit, and College Unbound, an accredited postsecondary institution for returning adult learners. Their goals are simple:
- Recruit, develop, support, and retain a more racially, linguistically, and ethnically diverse teacher workforce
- Give more students of color the experience of being taught by teachers with similar backgrounds
- Improve career choices/income for BIPOC professionals working in education
- Develop a new generation of education leaders
Our participants are people who are already drawn to working with children. Many have held the same job for decades, and have formed close relationships with kids and families. It makes sense that there is a sizable number of folks in those roles who, given the right support and infrastructure, could become successful educators.
Complete the contact form below to request more information.