(BOWIE, Md.) – Bowie State University’s first-of-its-kind teacher leadership degree program in Maryland will begin accepting applications for spring 2021 to prepare newly certified educators to design culturally relevant lessons and find strategies to improve student success.

The 12-month, accelerated Master of Culturally Responsive Teacher Leadership degree program is designed to produce problem-solving teachers who tailor their curriculum to the needs of their students. The program’s goal is to increase the number of Maryland educators who are effective in teaching the state’s most culturally and linguistically diverse students. A growing body of research shows that culturally responsive educators help to improve student outcomes by incorporating different learning styles.

This innovative degree program will prepare educators to use data to improve student learning and encourage them to become change agents in their schools, advocating for a culturally responsive approach to curriculum design and professional development for all teachers. Successful candidates may be top recent graduates from an accredited bachelor’s degree in education program or career changers with real-world experience in their profession.

“With this degree program, we want to help improve student learning by increasing the expertise of teachers and creating the opportunity for them to become teacher leaders,” said Dr. Wil Parker, a chief architect of the program and chair of the BSU Department of Educational Leadership. “We want educators to be solution-driven, being able to talk to school leaders and say, ‘This is what our students need. This is how we can support them.’” 

With this degree program, Bowie State also seeks to recruit diverse new teachers to combat the nation’s historic shortages in the teacher workforce. Research suggests that diverse students benefit from having diverse educators, impacting their overall learning outcomes and experience in schools. 

Since 1865, Bowie State has a legacy of producing high-quality educators, including several local teachers of the year. For the past two years, U.S. News & World Report ranked Bowie State’s graduate education programs among the nation’s best

The Master of Culturally Responsive Teacher Leadership degree program has the potential to create a model curriculum for other colleges and universities to follow.