The second of three scheduled Think Tanks involving deans from schools of education at historically Black colleges and universities recently concluded at Rutgers University in New Jersey. A group of eight deans or directors of education programs at historically Black colleges and universities met for two days to discusses issues confronting the education of African Americans and other minorities. Among the chief concerns of the Think Tank’s participations were increasing enrollment and retention of students in teacher education programs and making progress on state teacher licensing examinations.
The participants agreed to form a consortium that will keep members informed of efforts to address the challenges discussed the forum. A blog will be maintained where ideas can be exchanged.
The program is under the leadership of Fred A. Bonner II, who holds the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Chair in Education at Rutgers. Dr. Bonner was aided in the effort by Chance W. Lewis, the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Dr. Bonner told JBHE, “The main topics of discussion were promoting a better presence in the online arena and enhancing collaboration among HBCU teacher education programs to ensure more comprehensive offerings. They also discussed efforts to move beyond stale recruitment methods to find viable ways to connect with younger generations and the better use of innovative technologies to enhance recruitment efforts. Also on the agenda were discussions of new avenues for fundraising and development efforts to generate capital to invest in initiatives and infrastructure that will make the HBCU teacher education program an attractive option.”
Prior to joining the faculty at Rutgers in 2012, Dr. Bonner was a professor of higher education administration and associate dean of faculties at Texas A&M University in College Station. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Texas in Denton, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and a doctorate in higher education administration and college teaching from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. He is the author of Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs (Stylus Publishing, 2011).