The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a research and policy organization, placed UTSA’s undergraduate and graduate elementary teacher prep programs premiere in the country to contribute to teacher diversity. The council relies on four data points when conducting their review—teacher preparation program enrollment demographics, state teacher workforce demographics, core-based statistical area and county demographics sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau database.
The new NCTQ report recognized UTSA as an institution that teaches future educators that are more racially diverse than the current workforce and accurately portrays the racial diversity of the surrounding community.
Belinda Flores, Associate Dean of Professional Preparation & Partnerships, Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies and Principal Investigator & Founder, Academy for Teacher Excellence Research Center, notes the importance of teacher diversity in the workplace.
“Studies show that all students benefit-academically and personally- when they are exposed to a diverse representative teacher pool,” Flores said. “Having teachers, who represent different cultures, ethnic, linguistic and racial groups, amplifies students’ ways of thinking and being. Further, it helps underrepresented student populations’ sense of belonging.”
Furthermore, several studies find correlations between having same-race teachers and student achievement. When the demographics of the classroom are represented in the teachers, it improves the likelihood of graduating high school and attending college. NCTQ President Kate Walsh commended UTSA for its work in furthering the push for a diverse pool of educators.
“A diverse teacher workforce is essential if we are to achieve a high quality teacher workforce. One can’t happen without the other. Teacher prep programs are well-positioned to take the lead,” said Walsh. “We applaud programs like the University of Texas at San Antonio that are leading the way.”
To maintain the momentum from the NCTQs recognition, the College of Education and Human Development has adopted a Culturally Efficacious Agents of Change as its conceptual framework to prepare educators and professionals through a social justice and diversity framework.