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Representation in Teacher Education: Attracting Black Applicants to Pitt’s Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs

Williams, Danae Necitas (2023) Representation in Teacher Education: Attracting Black Applicants to Pitt’s Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study explored Black student representation in the undergraduate teacher education program at the University of Pittsburgh. Nationally, Black teachers are underrepresented in public schools (Cross, 2017; Hussar et al., 2020), which impacts Black student outcomes (Carver-Thomas, 2018; Haddix, 2017). Teacher Education programs provide a large pipeline to the profession. Therefore, teacher education programs must attract Black students to help improve the representation of Black teachers. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Pitt School of Education implemented several changes, including recruiting for the new B.S. in Teacher Education program, new Black faculty started, and adding two new critical and culturally relevant prerequisite courses. This study aimed to find the applicant demographic trends of the undergraduate teacher education program and what attracts Black students to these programs.
The study utilizes application data and semi-structured individual interviews of eight participants to gain insight. The participants were Black students either interested, applied, or enrolled in undergraduate teacher education programs. Then, descriptive statistics of racial demographic data and thematic analysis of interviews were used to analyze the findings.
Major findings indicate that although the School of Education attracted more Black applicants to the teacher education programs, it did not increase Black student representation in the application pool. Additionally, the study found that Black students are primarily attracted to the same things as other demographics when pursuing a teacher education program. For example, institutional characteristics, motivational factors, support system influence, and campus resources. However, what stood out amongst the participants was the emphasis on representation and the lack thereof as an attraction to the undergraduate teaching programs. The implications of the changes encourage the School of Education to implement more targeted recruitment efforts to increase Black student representation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Williams, Danae NecitasDWilliams@pitt.edudnc10
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDeAngelo,
Committee MemberWoods,
Committee MemberRainey,
Date: 7 July 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 May 2023
Approval Date: 7 July 2023
Submission Date: 23 May 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 114
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Black Teachers, Student Recruitment, Diversity, Representation, underrepresented minority students, racially minoritized students, college choice,
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 20:15
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 20:15


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