Edmund Adjapong, Ph.D., is introducing Seton Hall's Secondary Education program to students in the Paterson, NJ, school district, as a way of bringing new talent into the field.
Edmund Adjapong, Ph.D, an award-winning author and professor of education studies at the College of Education and Human Services, directs the Paterson Teacher Pathways Partnership. Launching this fall, program leaders plan to connect students of diverse backgrounds with the College's innovative secondary education program. Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in education, the students may then choose to return to their community to teach.
"Students need to see teachers who look like them and represent backgrounds and cultures that they can relate to," Adjapong explains.
Data from the Institute of Education Sciences points to wide racial and ethnic disparities in the teacher workforce. Teachers of color, regardless of content area, are underrepresented at a time when there has been a drop in the number of college students preparing for careers in education, resulting in a shortage of teachers. "We are working hard to reverse these trends by supporting high school students from urban communities who are aspiring educators themselves," Adjapong adds.
The Teacher Pathway Program is a reflection of the College’s mission of preparing future educators to serve students of all backgrounds, with a particular focus on urban communities and school and community partnerships. "We’re confident this initiative will help bring a new generation of educators into the field, both in Paterson and nationally," notes the College’s interim dean, Joseph Martinelli, Ed.D.. Seton Hall’s history of preparing students to become educators and education leaders dates back more than a century. "We’re proud of the fact that quite a few of our graduates are teaching in schools around the country. Many return to the communities they are from; and dedicate their careers to making a difference in the lives of children. We love that."
Innovative Teacher Prep
Secondary Education majors at Seton Hall choose an additional major to specialize in, which may be anything from English to mathematics, from to history to psychology. Students begin taking education classes as early as their first semester and may start student teaching as early as their sophomore year.
To enroll, high school seniors should apply to Seton Hall’s Secondary Education Program by February 15. Standardized tests are optional and are not required for application. Students who are New Jersey residents and who demonstrate educational and economic need should also apply to Seton Hall’s Educational Opportunity Program.
The EOP was established at the University in 1968 to provide educational and financial assistance to eligible New Jersey students of academic promise from disadvantaged backgrounds. EOP offers financial assistance from the Educational Opportunity Fund, along with academic support: tutoring, structured study, academic advisement, opportunity for community service, internships and counseling services throughout the college experience: undergraduate and graduate.
Students may be eligible for an application fee waiver. Other advantages of the program, include unique advising and peer mentoring to support students’ progress in the program.
Adjapong, who teaches a popular class called Hip Hop Education, says he looks forward to meeting the first group of students who will be entering Seton Hall through the Teacher Pathway Program next fall. "It’s an exciting time to begin a teaching career, and we will make sure our students are prepared to succeed."