We are a mentoring program focused on supporting students of color
who are interested in the field of education.
Who We Are
Leadership In Diversity (LID) is a student-led organization at the University of Connecticut that aims to help maintain and encourage confidence and success in students of color as they pursue careers in the field of education.
We aim to provide our members with the necessary tools, networks, and information that they will need to be competitive, well-rounded, culturally responsive educators.
Why We Matter
In 2014, the State Education Resource Center produced a technical report entitled "Minority Teachers in Connecticut: A Durational Shortage Area." This report highlights the issue of the low number of teachers of color in the state of Connecticut. Currently, students of color make up about 46% of the K-12 population while teachers of color only make up 9% of the teacher workforce (Thomas, 2018). The teacher workforce does not reflect the student population.
The numbers reflecting the teacher preparation program populations are just as grim. “Of the nearly 2,500 students enrolled in teacher-preparation colleges in Connecticut during the 2016-17 school year, 82 percent were white, 4 percent were black, and 8 percent were Hispanic” (Thomas, 2018). At the University of Connecticut, The Daily Campus reported the Neag School of Education as having the lowest percentage of minority students out of all of the schools on the Storrs campus in 2013. In 2014, only 11% (14 students) of all students admitted into UConn’s Neag School of Education IB/M program were students of color.
Students of color “…are usually more successful in classrooms when their teachers reflect their racial or ethnic groups, but minority teachers are beneficial also to all students to help create an awareness of and appreciation for diverse populations (Sims, 2010). It is essential for the success of all students that more teachers of color enter and are retained in the teacher workforce.
Leadership In Diversity (LID), hopes to close these statistical gaps by providing prospective Neag students of color with the support and encouragement that they need as they go through the application process for the School of Education. We also aim to support current Neag students of color and provide them with networking opportunities, professional development and a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings about educational issues among other things.
By providing this supportive environment, we hope to encourage students to not only apply to the program but we also hope to help with the School of Education’s retention efforts. The organization is also developing community partnerships with local high schools in order to show students who may be interested in education that if they come to the University of Connecticut they have a support system waiting to help them succeed.
Through the efforts of the LID team, including our current advisor, Dominique Battle-Lawson, and our former advisor, Mia Hines, the percentage of students of color admitted into Neag’s IB/M program has risen from 11% in 2014 to 25% in 2018.