WHITE PLAINS AND ORANGEBURG, NY (FEBRUARY 28, 2020) Sharing the commitment to expand a pipeline of students of color to pursue teaching professions, White Plains-based Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT) , one the nation’s leading teacher diversity mentoring programs, and Dominican College in Orangeburg, which has an outstanding Teacher Education Program, yesterday announced a partnership to achieve that goal.
Flanked by TSTT students, teacher mentors and distinguished guests, two noted educators— Dr. Bettye H. Perkins, founder, President and CEO of TSTT, and
Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D., President of Dominican College— inked the agreement during a ceremony held at the campus.
Dominican College joins a roster of 22 renowned higher education institutions that TSTT has formed partnerships with since the landmark teacher mentoring nonprofit was launched to help address the critical teacher diversity gap in the nation’s classrooms.
The announcement also coincided with the kick-off of TSTT’s 25th anniversary celebration year.
Symbolizing the start of the partnership’s long-range goal, Kimberly Pinos, a senior at Spring Valley High School, who will be the first TSTT student to major in education at Dominican College in the fall, joined in the celebration.
In addition, prior to the signing ceremony, 20 promising TSTT students from the East Ramapo Central School District toured the campus and participated in a teacher education workshop for a comprehensive overview of the features and benefits of the program, including financial aid opportunities. Coincidentally, the Ramapo Central School District became TSTT’s first school district 20 years ago that helped to establish TSTT as a value-added mentoring resource for high schools in the Rockland region.
Dr. Perkins said that TSTT was honored to partner with the prestigious Dominican College “which has a distinguished history of academic excellence and is a champion of diversity which identically mirror our mission and philosophy,” adding: “This is truly a very exciting development that will provide TSTT’s economically challenged students with the opportunity to expand their horizons and enrich their life’s experiences by journeying from their hometowns to study at this great college and thrive in a culturally stimulating and challenging educational environment. They will also be provided with
meaningful financial support so that they are not saddled with debt when they graduate from college and pursue their dreams to be at the head of the classroom.”
Sister Mary Eileen said, “It is a pleasure to welcome these talented young scholars who have been mentored by TSTT to our campus. We are proud to partner with TSTT to encourage more talented students from diverse backgrounds to enter the teaching profession so that our nation’s teaching population can better reflect the backgrounds of today’s students. At Dominican College, we have a highly respected Teacher Education Program and offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.”
Among the services that TSTT will provide to Dominican College are academic support, career guidance and additive preparation to TSTT/Dominican College students including workshops, networking opportunities and teacher placement assistance.
Dr. Perkins noted that the new alliance is a hopeful development at a time when the teaching profession overall is experiencing a shortage in the number of students expressing interest in pursuing careers in this field. “But, it also comes at a critical time in our nation’s history when only 13% of the teachers are teachers of color, yet more than 50% of the students in the classroom reflect the ever-increasing diversity of the general population, posing serious economic and societal threats to our nation’s future.”
With the addition of Dominican College, Dr. Perkins expects TSTT’s pipeline comprising more than 800 qualified high school and college students will continue to expand. And so too will the number of TSTT alumni, now more than 250, who are changing the lives of students in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia.