NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University is accepting applications for the 2021-22 Call Me Mister cohort. The application deadline is May 15 and applications are available at https://education.nsula.edu/callmemister/.
Call Me Mister is an initiative to recruit African American males to become teacher and mentors at low-performing schools. Misters benefit from financial assistance to help cover tuition and fees, instructional support and preparation for licensure exams, a cohort system for social and cultural support and leadership development. They will gain immediate exposure to a classroom environment and job placement assistance after graduation, according to Ramona Wynder, program coordinator.
“Call Me MISTER was founded at Clemson University in 2000 with the mission of increasing the pool of available teachers from a broader, more diverse background, particularly among the state’s lowest performing elementary schools,” Wynder said. “NSU began partnering with Clemson on this endeavor in 2019, with a primary focus of recruiting and preparing more males of color for the teaching profession.”
MISTER is an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. As a Call Me MISTER campus, NSU is part of a highly acclaimed recruitment and support program that includes a national network of universities.
“Even though the student population in this country has become more culturally and ethnically diverse over the past 60 years, our teacher population has remained the same: predominately white female. Currently, black males only compromise 2 percent of the nation’s teaching force,” Wynder said. “Call Me MISTER is a way to help close the student-teacher diversity gap, which must be a priority of our educational reform efforts.”
Research shows that having greater diversity in the teaching force yields positive outcomes not only for children of color, but for all children, Wynder said. When children have access to effective teachers who look like them, they perform better academically and social-emotionally.
Prospective Misters must be a minority male and come from an underserved, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and/or educationally at-risk community. They must major in early childhood education, elementary education, health and physical education or music education and demonstrate record of high scholastic achievement and participation in extra-curricular and community service activities.
Applications for Call me MISTER will be reviewed on a competitive basis each spring for consideration for cohorts that will begin each fall semester. Preference will be given to graduating high school seniors; two-year community college transfers; and first-year college freshmen. Eligible candidates will be selected based upon their potential for teaching and their motivation for participation in the program.
For more information, visit the website above or contact Wynder at firstname.lastname@example.org or (318) 357-4549.