UCI Researchers awarded Spencer Foundation grant to improve recruitment of Black teacher education candidates
Sandoval leads a network improvement community as part of the California Teacher Education Research Improvement Network (CTERIN). Together, Warren and Sandoval recognized an opportunity to contribute to research on teacher recruitment and retention of under-represented communities, while simultaneously responding to a problem that plagues teacher preparation nationally.
The research efforts of this initiative will be supported by Assistant Professor Brandy Gatlin-Nash, who will serve as principal investigator on the project, and Elizabeth van Es, Co-PI and professor and faculty director of the School of Education’s MAT + Credential Program, and Professor Rossella Santagata.
“The teaching profession has had long-standing challenges recruiting Black teachers,” Gatlin-Nash said. “Though some research has surfaced promising strategies for recruiting Black candidates, few studies center on unveiling existing practices of recruitment, particularly as experienced from the lenses of both teacher educators and candidates.”
To gather data, the researchers will interview teacher educators, prospective and current Black candidates, and program alumni, and conduct a review of the literature on teacher preparation to identify promising strategies for improving recruitment.
“Our research activities will help us to establish an improvement network by developing a shared problem analysis,” van Es said. “We consider this project the first step in initiating an improvement network focused on improving the recruitment of Black teacher candidates across universities in California.”
The Spencer Foundation invests in education research that cultivates learning and transforms lives. In honor of the Foundation's 50th Anniversary, the Foundation launched The Racial Equity Special Research Grants program to support education research projects that will contribute to understanding and ameliorating racial inequality in education.
The UCI teacher education program (MAT + Credential) awards students with a master’s degree and teaching credential in 14 months. The program is committed to advancing equity and justice and sees the recruitment of future Black teachers as central to disrupting persistent educational inequities for Black and Brown students. The School takes an improvement approach to teacher preparation, centering practitioners’ expertise and research interests to drive change that is relevant and timely for the profession.