St. Thomas Magazine_Spring 2022


St. Thomas‘ School of Education is constantly working to help increase the number of teachers of color in the classroom through various partnerships, including state-funded teaching preparation programs. One, the Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color (CUGMEC) scholarship program, is a private/public partnership designed to recruit, support and retain teachers of color and Indigenous teachers. The CUGMEC, formerly known as the CUE grant, has been in existence at St. Thomas for 30 years and has supportedmore than 500 participants in becoming licensed teachers. “Recent studies say that African American students who had at least one African American teacher by

Martin Odima Jr. is a past recipient of the CUGMEC scholarship. A former paraprofessional, Odima ‘13 MA earned his academic and behavioral strategist license

andmaster‘s degree in education at St. Thomas through the CUGMEC program. As an African American male, Odima said there aren‘t many people who look like him at the elementary school where he used to teach. “When students of color see me, there‘s a trust and I can build a relationship with them,“ Odima said. “There are students who

third grade were 13%more likely to enroll in college – and those who‘d had two were 32%more likely,“ said School of Education Dean Kathlene Holmes Campbell. “We believe that representation matters and children from all backgrounds benefit from having diverse teachers. This is why we‘re committed

to helping diversify the teaching profession.“

School of Education graduate Martin Odima.

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