In 1993, it became apparent to the African American
professors at a small midwestern university that several
minority students needed special attention and
encouragement to succeed in teacher education curricula as
well as adjust to living and working in a campus setting.
Many of the students were the first generation of their
family to attend a university and in many instances they
were unfamiliar with written guidelines and policies. They
needed a support system that would help them to find
university resources, such as graduate study funding,
research support, tutoring social systems and networks for
placements in future teaching positions.
To determine the scope of the problem, fifty state
universities were surveyed, and 60 percent of the
respondents revealed a need for additional academic, social
and economic support systems. In another survey,
administered nationally to 100 selected universities, an
overwhelming majority showed that there were no services
specifically available to minorities in the college of education.
Based on these findings, it was concluded that a Minority
Teacher Education Association (MTEA) was needed.
Established in 1994, MTEA became the impetus for the
Minority Teacher Identification and Enrichment Program
(MTIEP) grant which was funded in the fall of 1995 and
1996 under the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Higher
Education Cooperative Act (HECA).
The Minority Teacher identification and Enrichment
Program (MTIEP) has successfully served as a catalyst in
the development of a state-wide program to increase the pool
of minority teachers in the State of Illinois. This program
created a network of Minority Teacher Education
Associations which identified potential teachers at the
community college, high school and junior high school levels
and provided them with pertinent information, educational
activities and academic support.
The program was organized in two phases. Phase one
was designed to be a mentor intensive program and included
the expertise of professionals such as superintendents,
principals, and teachers to recruit minority students into the
local MTEA chapters.
The mentors assisted in providing educational programs
and activities designed to sharpen reading comprehension,
mathematical, and computing skills. They also shared their
knowledge of the teaching profession, its requirements
and its opportunities. …