An African-American man teaching two young girls of color in a classroom in modern America. While ethnic and racial minorities comprise more than half of the nation’s public school students, and African-American and Latino males make up around 15% of the American population, the U.S. Department of Education reports that Hispanic and black men make up only 2% of the U.S. teaching workforce.

Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education is working to increase the number and reach of men of color in education at all levels through the Men of Color in Education initiative, relaunched in fall 2019. The program is open to students of all majors, including business, who foresee themselves in an educationally focused career path, including business students inspired to teach economics, finance or related topics.

Titans involved in the Men of Color in Education program have access to the resources of the College of Education, including a laptop rental, and a network of fellow peers interested in the teaching profession, along with career advising and individualized mentoring. Thursday café meetings and a retreat next summer will expand the sense of community.

Currently, 20 Hispanic and African-American men are part of the cohort-based program supported through a CSUF Graduation Initiative 2025 Innovation Grant, which funds programs seeking to foster inclusion and access to a Cal State education.

All Men of Color in Education students are enrolled in READ 360 – Literacy Education for Social Change, an upper-division course with a fieldwork component taught by CSUF grad George Herrera, principal of La Puente Elementary School, which primarily serves underprivileged students.

Jovanee Castrejon, a CSUF history student who is part of the program and experienced firsthand a lack of men of color in his personal educational journey, provides this reflection. “Male teachers of color play a crucial role in the development of a student’s life because they bring cultural representation into the classroom. I hope to be a male role model to inspire and touch the lives of students in a positive way.”

For more information, reach out to the Center for Careers in Teaching at 657-278-7130, visit the Men of Color in Education Initiative online, or read this CSUF News highlight.