Clemson University Program Addresses the Shortage of Black Male Teachers

About 87 percent of America’s public school teachers are white. More than three quarters are female. While black males make up about 8 percent of all students in the nation’s public schools, only 2 percent of the teachers are black males.

Roy Jones is the director of the Call Me MISTER program, which is based at Clemson University in South Carolina. MISTER stands for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. The program offers college scholarships to black men in return for a pledge to teach in the public schools once they earn their college degree.

About 250 students are now in the MISTER pipeline. But this is only a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed. In order to raise the percentage of black males as public school teachers from 2 percent to 3 percent, an additional 45,000 black male teachers would be needed.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from Atlanta University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Georgia.