Tag Archives: Dr. Heraldo Richards

TSU preparing students to teach growing “English Learners” population

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is making sure its students are prepared to teach individuals who are learning to speak English.

Dr. Kisha Bryan

Nashville is home to the largest share of “English Learners” (ELs) in the state, about 15 percent of its 86,000 students, according to the most recent data.

A National Public Radio report recently found that ELs are often concentrated in low-performing schools with untrained or poorly trained teachers. In 2016, Tennessee was among 32 states that reported not having enough teachers for EL students.

To address the issue, TSU has revised its curriculum so that teachers are better prepared to teach ELs.

“There are many ELs in the system right now,” said Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education at TSU, and director of teacher education. “So we need to make sure that our teachers are prepared to address the needs of these individuals who are populating our school system.”

Dr. Kisha Bryan, an assistant professor in TSU’s Department of Teaching and Learning, has led the effort to better prepare teachers.

Dr. Clara Young

“Our shared goal has always been to prepare highly qualified teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population,” said Bryan.

Dr. Clara Young, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, said she talked to one Nashville principal who said about 80 percent of the students at her school are ELs.

Young said changes to the curriculum include infusing “foundational issues” to more closely consider when working with an EL student. For instance, checking to see if someone in the family speaks English, she said.

“You need to see their background, how this will help you figure out how you can help those students,” said Young.

TSU has remained a major supplier of well-trained teachers not only for the Davidson County and Metro Nashville Public Schools, but school districts across the nation.

Dr. Heraldo Richards

Last year, TSU was one of four institutions in the state to receive a Tennessee Innovation in Preparation award, or TIP.

TIP grants, awarded by the Tennessee Department of Education, are designed to support an increase in the development of a diverse educator workforce, an increase in the production of educators in high-demand licensure areas, and promote collaboration to improve educator preparation in literacy.

TSU and the other three winning institutions, all designated Education Preparation Programs, equally split $200,000 to design and implement individual projects to meet TIP requirements. About 70 percent of funding from the grant is being used to provide tuition waivers to teachers interested in teaching ELs.

A few months before it was awarded the TIP grant, TSU was ranked as the No. 1 producer of teachers among historically black colleges and universities in the nation. HBCU Lifestyle, which published the ranking, noted that TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Education, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/coe/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Tennessee State University Largest Producer of Teachers in the Nation, New Ranking Shows

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Barris Johnson is not surprised that Tennessee State University is No. 1 among historically black colleges and universities in producing teachers.

“With the kind of rigorous curriculum students go through, TSU deserves to be at the top,” said Johnson, reacting to a new national ranking that lists the university as the highest producer of teachers among the nation’s Top 10 HBCUs.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from TSU. He teaches general music and band to 5th – 8th graders at East Nashville Magnet Middle School.

“In just my first year of teaching, I have done so well,” Johnson said. “The number one ranking … shows how hard the faculty and staff work.”

The ranking, by HBCU Lifestyle, a publication that focuses on black college living, noted that TSU’s undergraduate and graduate offerings and concentrations in biology, chemistry and elementary education made the school’s teacher preparation program more attractive. This is the second time in three years the publication has listed TSU as the top producer of teachers.

“Obviously we are very excited about this ranking,” said Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for academic affairs. “This only shows that Tennessee State University is a leader in this area as is reflected in the quality of students we are graduating.”

Emmanuel Scott, of Atlanta, and a senior music education major, agrees. He said the program has been “everything” he was told when he first arrived at TSU.

“They told me that the program was good and I have not been disappointed,” Scott said. “So when I heard that we were No. 1, I already knew it.”

With a demographic shift that shows that more than 35 percent of students nationwide are black or Hispanic but less than 15 percent of teachers are black or Hispanic, experts say increasing the number of black teachers is critical. And TSU is helping to close that gap.

For the past two years, the university has been one of the top teacher preparation programs in the state, providing “exceptionally qualified” candidates for teaching positions, not only across the state and the southern region, but also the Metro Nashville Public Schools.

For instance, two years ago, as Metro wrapped up the year with the need to hire or name principals to new assignments for 2014-15, TSU-trained teachers and administrators answered the call. With the exception of three, all of the 10 principals hired or assigned received all or part of their training from TSU. At about the same time, 54 of the 636 new Metro teachers hired were TSU graduates, the second highest of all state or area universities. Only MTSU had more with 56. TSU had the number one spot the previous period.

Dr. Heraldo Richards, associate dean of the College of Education at TSU and director of teacher education, said the top ranking will draw even more attention to the great programs at TSU.

“As part of our intensive training program, we provide our students with not just a one-semester teaching experience as others do, but a year-long residency which enhances their competency when they come out,” Richards said. “As a result, many of the  ‘P-12 systems’ in the area and others from around the country, have been actively recruiting our candidates.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.