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NYS Education Department Awards $5.4 Million to Four CUNY Colleges to Increase the Number of Minority Teachers in New York Schools

Grants Will Help CUNY Increase the Amount of Historically Underrepresented Individuals in Teaching Careers

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) awarded $5.4 million in My Brother’s Keeper Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) grants to four senior colleges in The City University of New York system to increase the number of racial and ethnic minorities in teaching careers, especially in high-need school districts with teacher shortages.

Hunter College, Queens College, York College and Medgar Evers College will receive a total of $1,073,597 annually over the next five years to train teachers who embody and represent the diversity of New York City. The My Brother’s Keeper Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) grants are part of a broader $17.2 million NYSED awarded to 17 New York colleges and universities, including Pace University, Bard College and Teachers College Columbia University among others.

“These grants represent a significant investment by the New York State Education Department in CUNY and our shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion — both inside and outside of the classroom,”  said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “This important grant is also an investment in the future of teachers and students of New York, and one that will pay dividends down the road for all New Yorkers. We thank our partners in NYSED for their support.”

“One of the main points of focus of the Board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policy is to support schools in their efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce,”  said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “The My Brother’s Keeper TOC II grants allow us to invest in programs that value DEI ideals and are engaged in practices that will build a pipeline for a more equitable distribution of talent in the teaching workforce.”

“We are fortunate to live in one of the most diverse and culturally rich states in the nation,”  said New York State Education Department Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “Unfortunately, in many cases, our workforce of educators does not reflect the diversity we see across the state. Students taught by teachers that look like them benefit both academically and emotionally. We must continue to support programs like TOC II that can deliver a more diverse workforce to schools across the state.”

Since 2016, NYSED has awarded $18.45 million in  Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) Grants to 23 colleges and universities throughout New York state. The TOC II Statewide enrollment was 594 in February 2021 with TOC II institutions reporting 442 graduates comprising the majority of the program. Eligible applicants attend New York State public and independent degree-granting colleges and universities with undergraduate or graduate teacher education programs approved by the State Education Department. The project period is  from September 1, 2021 until August 31, 2026, with an anticipated allocation of $3.45 million annually.

For more information on the program, visit  Teacher Opportunity Corps II website.

The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving over 260,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background.