If colleges want to reverse the declining number of teachers of color, create more STEM teachers, and calibrate teacher supply with district demand, then teacher preparation programs need to become less dependent on individuals’ tuition.
The current tuition-driven system is incentivizing teacher preparation programs to prioritize quantity over districts’ needs.
The country needs more effective STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers as well as teachers of color. President Obama endorsed the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s 2010 report that called for the recruitment and development of 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade. Despite being over half of all public school students, people of color only represent 15 percent of teachers (projected 5 percent by 2020). Since collegiate teacher prep programs educate 90 percent of all teachers, universities must lead the charge in cultivating these areas of need.