Doctoral student encourages diversity in teaching force

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The Ever Consider Teaching Project, a group dedicated to encouraging more African-American men to become teachers at all levels from pre-school through college, has become a focus for graduate student Terrance Hudson (administration and leadership studies).

The program promotes its goal by visiting K-12 schools, inviting students to college campuses, conducting workshops and organizing conferences.

IUP, California University of Pennsylvania, Point Park University and the Community College of Allegheny County started the program, led by Dr. Robert Millward, as a consortium.

Heinz funded it in large part with an endowment.

While the program is primarily located in western Pennsylvania, it has received national attention.

Hudson’s position with the program included facilitating leadership development workshops such as “Becoming a Teach Leader” to students.

He also helped with recruitment at college fairs.

Hudson said programs such as the Ever Consider Teaching Project are essential to the system of education because “black males make up less than 2 percent of the teaching population in the U.S.”

“It’s vital that we diversify our teaching force,” Hudson said.

“As the student population in the U.S. becomes more diverse, our teaching population has become less diverse.

“It’s important that all students have exposure to African-American teachers who can provide them with unique and diverse experiences in order to expand students’ world-views.”

The other organization Hudson worked with, CHS, is a peer-mentoring program aimed at helping first-year college students become successful academically.

Graduate students Jamaal Gosa (adult and community education), Ronald Gleaves (professional studies in education) and Patrick Myers (kinesiology health and sports science) started it at IUP three years ago, when they were all undergraduates.

Originally, the organization served 17 students, but it has grown to serve more than 100 students.

The group meets weekly to discuss different topics related to student success such as study skills, time management, motivation and utilizing resources effectively.

Hudson served as the mentor to the group’s organizers and presented on topics related to leadership and public speaking.

“I’m very proud of what CHS has been able to accomplish at IUP,” Hudson said.

In addition to his doctoral studies and his work with the Ever Consider Teaching Project and CHS, Hudson also works as an academic adviser at Pennsylvania State University’s main campus in State College.

He is planning to defend his dissertation in March and graduate with his doctorate in May.

After he graduates, he plans to continue his job as an academic adviser, but he said he might want to become a teacher someday.

“I would want to teach history,” Hudson said.“I started out as a history major as an undergraduate student, but switched to recreation and leisure studies after two years.

“I struggled academically my first two years of college. I had poor study habits and didn’t manage my time well. But, with the help of mentors and teachers who cared for me, I was able to build the skills I needed to be successful.”

Hudson could not stress the importance of mentorship enough.

“Find a mentor,” Hudson said. “I’ve had several mentors throughout my college career who had a great impact on my life.”