Attracting Black Male Students to Research Careers in Education: A Report from the Grad Prep Academy Project

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By Shaun R. Harper former Executive Director, Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, and Andy Porter, Professor Emeritus of Education

More Black men are needed everywhere in education: teaching in K-12 classrooms, in school- and district-level leadership roles, on Capitol Hill and other venues in which education policy decisions are made, and in various professional capacities on college and university campuses. However, often overlooked in efforts to attract more Black men to these roles is their underrepresentation among scholars who conduct research, publish books and scholarly articles, and are consulted as experts on education policy and practice. Penn GSE has made a serious commitment to attracting more Black male intellectuals to education fields and increasing their representation among Ph.D. recipients. Our Grad Prep Academy project prepares Black undergraduate men for graduate degree programs and research-related careers. The project is also a longitudinal research study that enables us to analyze Black men’s trajectories from undergraduate study through graduate degree programs and eventually into their careers. This report is based on our first two cohorts of Academy Scholars; we have begun recruitment for Cohort 3. The project described in this publication, as well as the recommendations we offer, can be instructive for other schools of education and a range of stakeholders who are concerned about the diversity of graduate programs and the education workforce.

This project is funded by a grant from the University of Pennsylvania Provost Diversity Fund.

Click here to submit an application to the Grad Prep Academy