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California State University Bakersfield program looks to recruit black teaching candidates

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 14:55:37-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — California State University Bakersfield says it's committed to preparing educators to shape the future with programs that emphasize inclusion and community.

The Black Educator Teacher Residency is designed for recruiting black teaching candidates along with anyone that is passionate about making a difference for students of color.

The California Department of Education says the 2019 - 2020 four-year graduation rate for African American students was roughly 77 percent, which was 5 percent less than Hispanic students and 10 percent less than white students.

Cal State Professor Bre Evans-Santiago says representation in the classroom is the key to helping close the gap.

“Sometimes it’s just the connections, sometimes it’s the communication, sometimes it's a misunderstanding of culture in knowing how kids learn. We have to make the adjustments. We have to take those steps. We have to know what that looks like. Sometimes it helps if there's a teacher that understands that culture. If there is a teacher in that space, that could connect in various aspects with those students then maybe that light bulb turns on a lot faster.”

Evans-Santiago adds the program is constructed within six elementary schools in the Panama Buena Vista School District and includes an afro-centric curriculum. Each student within the BETR program is also assigned a mentor to help guide them.