The Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Network Improvement Community

The Black and Hispanic/Latino Network Improvement Community brought together 10 AACTE member institutions to use improvement science to address the shortage crisis of Black and Hispanic/Latino learner-ready male teachers. Based on the wealth of research and observations in the field, we know that having a teacher you identify with improves mental health and academic achievement outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse students. However, the ratio of diverse teachers to students in U.S. public schools is frighteningly low. AACTE members understand the negative impact that ignoring this crisis will have on PK-12 learners. Those that participated in the NIC were able to spend coordinated time understanding the barriers to recruiting and retaining male teachers of color in their educator preparation programs and testing potential solutions.

A Focus on Recruiting and Retaining Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers

In this introductory video, AACTE members who participated in a five-year study discuss their findings on ways to increase representation of men of color into the teaching profession. The researchers share the collective approach required for addressing the gap campus-wide and across generations and disciplines to effectively diversify the teacher pipeline.

Promising Practices to Recruit and Retain Male Teachers of Color

Reducing Barriers

Educator Preparation Programs that can identify and remove barriers for Black and Hispanic/Latino males of color will have more success recruiting and retaining them into their programs. NIC members identified several barriers to entry into their programs and into the profession, most notable of which were required assessments for licensure, as well as resource constraints. Based on these findings, members of the NIC either created new, or improved current initiatives that promote diversifying the profession through an equitable lens.

Developing Partnerships

When Educator Preparation Programs partner with organizations and individuals that share their goals to diversify and promote inclusion within the teaching profession, everybody wins. EPPs can increase the number of Black and Hispanic/Latino males entering and completing their programs when they identify and leverage partners within their own campus and the surrounding PK-12 school districts. Through partnerships, members of the NIC were able to identify and expose Black and Hispanic/Latino males to the profession, train and prepare diverse candidates to teach in a variety of settings and provide assistance to diverse candidates to complete programs and remain in the profession.

Building Recruitment Pathways

As the population of the United States becomes increasingly diverse, Educator Preparation Programs are committed to ensuring their programs are representative of the overall student population. To realize that goal, NIC members looked to build recruitment pathways into the profession through a variety of ways, most of which centered on meeting Black/Hispanic Latino males early and where they were.


Representation matters in education, whether in a PK-12 classroom or in the leadership of an Educator Preparation Program. Members of the NIC found that in addition to providing mentorship opportunities early and often, representation in mentorship programs is vital for the recruitment and retention of Black and Hispanic/Latino teachers.

A Way Forward: EPP Faculty Training

Over the course of the NIC, members identified that many faculty members have not received professional development in the area of culturally responsive pedagogy. As Educator Preparation Programs work to further embed the recruitment and retention promising practices identified as part of this initiative, exposure to and support from a diverse faculty, steeped in culturally responsive pedagogy, will be a crucial component to ensuring men of color are interested in and persist through teacher preparation programs.

Case Studies

Case Study - Boston University

Case Study - University of California Fullerton

Case Study - Florida Atlantic University

Case Study - Midamerica Nazarene University

Case Study - Northeastern Illinois University

Case Study - University of Arkansas Little Rock

Case Study - University of St. Thomas

Case Study - Western Kentucky University

Case Study - William Paterson University

Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community

In February 2019, AACTE released its report on how to increase and support the number of Black and Hispanic/Latino male candidates in teacher preparation programs. The report documents promising practices and significant challenges that schools, colleges, and departments of education around the country may face as they prepare professionals for increasingly diverse and complex educational environments. The publication is the first phase focused on “Exploring New Pathways to Recruit and Retain” Black and Hispanic/Latino educators.

This report is available now to members and can be accessed here.

Thank You to Participating Institutions

Boston University

California State University Fullerton

Florida Atlantic University

Midamerica Nazarene University

Northeastern Illinois University

University of St.Thomas

University of Arkansas Little Rock

University of Connecticut

Western Kentucky University

William Patterson University

The Black & Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative Networked Improvement Community is AACTE’s first Networked Improvement Community, or NIC. NICs are learning communities that use improvement science to seek and test solutions within systems to address a shared problem of practice. NICs are distinguished by four common characteristics as identified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching:

  • Focused on a well-defined common aim
  • Guided by a deep understanding of the problem, the system that produces it, and a theory of improvement relevant to it
  • Disciplined by the rigor of improvement science
  • Coordinated to accelerate the development, testing and refinement of interventions, in practice, across varied educational contexts

Learn more about NICs from the Carnegie Foundation’s web site.

The goal of this initiative is to help institutions by identifying successful strategies to increase the number of Black and Hispanic/Latino men receiving initial teaching certification through educator preparation programs.

In 2014, AACTE invited member institutions to submit applications to join the initiative, which was then known as the Changing the Demographic Makeup of the Teaching Workforce NIC. In response, more than 80 member institutions applied to participate. Following a rigorous review by the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability, the following institutions were selected and developed dedicated teams to engage in this critical work:

  • Boston University
  • California State University Fullerton
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • MidAmerica Nazarene University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Saint Thomas
  • Western Kentucky University
  • William Paterson University of New Jersey

Nearly 80% of PK-12 teachers are White, middle-class women. The PK-12 student population is much more diverse; about half of students are non-White. While there has been an increase in the number of minority male teachers in the workforce, the proportion of minority students increased more rapidly. This growth has also not been equally distributed across different types of schools. More than 40% of U.S. public schools have no teachers of color at all.

As the profession moves to reorient itself more closely around the needs of the education workforce, there is significant need to develop programs’ capacity to meet schools’ needs. This NIC supports research and improvement to meet the demographic imperative of increasing the recruitment and retention of Black and Hispanic/Latino Males for the teaching workforce.

The NIC completed its improvement science cycles in December 2016 and released its initial report in 2019. AACTE is currently developing a second phase of the paper to share participants’ findings over time. The paper is anticipated for release during 2020.

For more information about the initiative, read the original charter (2014).