Arcadia University Receives $50K Grant From Center for Black Educator Development

By Ryan Hiemenz | June 18, 2024

Arcadia University has been selected to receive a grant of $50,000 from the Center for Black Educator Development (CBED) to help rebuild the Black teacher pipeline. Associate Professor of Education Marc Brasof, EdD, and Assistant Professor of Education Priscilla Jeter-Iles ’09EdD secured this grant to further develop the efforts of the Social Action and Justice Education (SAJE) Fellowship, which they co-direct, and to help create sustainable streams of funding for the program.

Specifically, this grant will support the SAJE first-year peer mentorship program, which Dr. Brasof says has led to the fellowship’s significant retention rate by surrounding students with support. This program will be expanded to include returning SAJE fellows. The hope is to also have doctoral students in Arcadia’s Educational Leadership program serve as mentors for undergraduate students pursuing teaching certifications.

The grant will fund the development of a peer mentor director position, which will be held by Adjunct Professor Keisha Robinson ’18 MEd, ’24 EdD. In this role, Dr. Robinson will manage the recently established partnership between SAJE and Jobs for American Graduates (JAG), which engages BIPOC high school students in leadership development and post-high school career/education planning.

SAJE addresses a national lack of diversity in education by preparing students to serve as culturally competent educators in diverse settings while gearing their respective classrooms toward a deeper understanding of social justice. This program expands dual enrollment, provides more impactful mentorship opportunities for fellows, and creates pathways to success for students of color. Each fellow will graduate from Arcadia University with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and be led toward a certification in the student’s chosen area of study.

Since its formation in 2019, the CBED has worked with educators nationwide to advocate for racial justice and equity in education while rebuilding the Black Teacher Pipeline, creating opportunities to assist in developing current and future Black educator activists. This grant marks a deeper connection between SAJE and the CBED, as the Center supported the initial conceptualization of the SAJE fellowship program as well as had members serve on the SAJE leadership team.