The Call Me MiSTER program was launched in 2000 to address the significant shortage of Black male educators and to prepare and place them as teachers and role models in elementary schools. The program provides tuition assistance, academic help, an ecosystem of social support, and job placement opportunities.
School officials says the 90K grant will help them increase efforts to recruit and train black male teachers.
SC State received the donation from the Leveraging Innovation for Educator Excellence (Life2), a program dedicated to improving teacher efficacy.
Program Director for Life2, Dr. Thelma Sojouner expressed the importance of having Black male representation in the classroom.
“There is a tremendous need for children to see young men coming in and working in the schools,” Sojourner told ABC Columbia.
“Thank you for what you’re doing here. I’m excited for what we are going to be able to do for you at South Carolina State,” she added.
Dr. Rashad Anderson, an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at SC State and campus director for the university’s Call Me MiSTER program has been active with the initiative since 2017.
He described the program as a revolutionary and life-changing experience.
“We are one of the top HBCUs in the country that educates African American male teachers,”…“and I am truly honored to work with some of the most brilliant, creative future Black male educators who are so powerful that one MiSTER can transform an entire school’s culture.”– Dr. Rashad Anderson, SC State Associate Professor of Teacher Education and Campus Director for the Call Me MiSTER program.
According to ABC Columbia, Dr. Anderson says the program is in part, an extension of what SC State was founded on back in 1869. A place where people of color could attend school, but also a location where black educators can learn how to hone in on their craft.