Monroe Awarded a $1.625 Million Grant to Help Enhance Teacher Diversity Across New York State's Classrooms

We recently received very exciting news from the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Our School of Education was selected for a significant, multiyear grant -- $1.625 million in total --  to improve teacher diversity across NYS classrooms. It is our second time receiving this important funding support.

The grant was awarded through the My Brother’s Keeper Teacher Opportunity Corps II (“TOC II”) grant program. As explained on NYSED’s website, this program was established to “…increase the rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers.”

Monroe has a strong history of improving college access, affordability, and attainment for underserved students, and we are extraordinarily proud to help NYSED achieve this important goal through our School of Education.

The College will use the grant and its own resources to enroll at least 50 eligible students in its Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Program, offering them the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees. The funding will also be used to provide supplemental financial assistance, enrichment activities, and specialized technology instruction to participants.

As Dr. Anne Lillis, Dean of the School of Education, said in our press release, "We are very proud to have our programs and outcomes recognized once again and look forward to helping more students prepare for successful careers as teachers thanks to the generosity of NYSED, My Brother’s Keeper, and the TOC II grant program."

We received our first TOC II grant in 2016. Monroe is one of 17 institutions across the state to receive a grant for the 2021-26 cycle. This is the second time we were awarded the maximum amount allocated to a single institution. The TOC II grant will be awarded to us in five annual payments of $325,000.

Teacher preparation programs receiving an allocation of the annual $3.45 million TOC II grant budget were selected based on a number of criteria, including each institution’s track record preparing teachers from underrepresented groups and serving the needs of underrepresented and at-risk populations. Other factors included the depth and breadth of collaborative relationships with local schools and other third-parties to facilitate the recruitment, retention, and graduation of teacher preparation program students; institutional staffing and budget commitments; and planned strategies to prioritize equity and diversity in recruiting students to the teacher preparation program, among other elements. 

Dr. Lillis added: “We have seen first-hand the incredible difference the program is making in the lives of these future teachers. From our 2016 grant cohort, 53 Monroe students successfully graduated with their early childhood education degrees and no loan debt. Today, more than 92% are working as teachers within the NYC Department of Education, local charter schools and early childhood centers. Those are wonderful statistics that we look forward to expanding, thanks to this second grant.”

Very exciting!