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A new program at Winston-Salem State University is focused on addressing a national demand for getting more African-American males in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools.

WSSU’s new M-Strong is designed to attract African-American males interested in the teaching profession and providing them an opportunity to get into the pipeline. As North Carolina considers strategies to address the alarming decline in the number of individuals entering the overall field of teaching, WSSU is doing its part to increase teacher productivity and quality through its Educator Preparation Program. There are about 7.5 percent African-American male students compared to less than 2 percent African-American male teachers in public schools nationwide, according to several studies.

“Each year enrollment in elementary and secondary schools across North Carolina and the nation have become increasingly diverse, yet teachers are still mostly white and female,” said Dr. Gregory Henderson, assistant professor and WSSU department of Education faculty member. “We want to be a leader in this effort to diversify the pool of quality teachers in public education.”

Henderson created the M-STRONG program in 2014 with the core objective to increase African-American male involvement and retention in the educational environment. M-STRONG stands for Men (who are) Spectacular Teachers Responding to Ongoing National Goals (in Education). According to Henderson, this educational enrichment program was developed to prepare highly qualified African American male educators through innovation, research, collaboration, and strategic training.

The four primary goals of this unique program are: to prepare African American education majors to become highly qualified and skilled teachers of the 21st century; to increase retention of African American male education majors; to build a professional network of African- American male educators; and to increase African American male recruitment to the teaching profession.

Last spring, a cohort of 15 education majors completed Phase One of the 12- week program that included high-impact instruction, action research, technology integration, critical thinking skill development, and intensive reading. Phase II of the program, which began this fall, focuses on application of learning in realworld settings. Participants will be linked to schools and develop action plans for success, select a male mentor from within the public school system, attend school board meetings, and engage in ongoing book discussions and review sessions.


It’s a question every parent must answer – where should my child attend school? Neighborhood schools are a great option, but for some children, a specialized program is a better fit, giving them the opportunity to thrive and excel from kindergarten through high school.

Parents and students can explore their options at this year’s GCS Choice Showcase, happening Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. This will be the only district-wide showcase for the 2015-16 school year and will include all 54 magnet programs at 46 schools plus 14 career clusters specifically for high school students.

“Our programs are diverse, just like our students,” says Dibrelle Tourret, executive director of the Academically Gifted department. “Guilford County Schools gives parents the opportunity to select a school or curriculum that matches their child’s needs and abilities.”

Visual and performing arts, International Baccalaureate, science and technology, language immersion and global studies are just a few of the magnet themes offered starting in elementary school. The options grow in high school, with 22 programs including nine early or middle colleges located on college campuses, where students are earning college credit before they graduate.

Career and Technical Education programs will also be featured, many of which are available at both traditional and magnet high schools. For example, students who are interested in careers in medicine can choose to take individual classes at their home schools, or apply to a magnet school that focuses on health science.

Parents are encouraged to attend the Choice Showcase and to then visit magnet schools during the district’s Magnet Mondays and open houses, which will be held November through January. Magnet applications will be accepted Jan. 11 through Feb. 5, 2016. For more information on the application process, click here.

To read more about the Choice Showcase, click here.” !