Part 1: Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Students into Education

As you know, there is a shortage of teachers across the United States. How can we help? At Towson University, we decided to start by conducting a literature review about national models or promising practices that were themes across the country. We came up with the following initiatives that provided some positive outcomes for several colleges and universities:

Recruiting Students into Education

  • Creating dual enrollment credits/programs, where high school students gain college credit by taking courses to learn about careers in education.
    • Teaching courses in Spanish to engage international students.
    • Providing programs for high school teachers to learn about delivering courses to motivate students into the field.
    • Providing courses related to working with English learners or bilingual development to attract underrepresented students.
  • Providing writing instruction or tutoring to help prepare students for college requirements.
  • Building mentoring programs.
  • Teaching research skills for students to learn about their options within education.
  • Creating a paraprofessional pipeline.
  • Partnering with community colleges.

Helping with Finances

  • Assisting with finances by providing scholarships.
  • Seeking loan forgiveness.
  • Providing stipends.

Student Support

  • Forming cohorts for networking and support.
  • Hosting monthly meetings for professional development and social activities.
  • Providing childcare.
  • Offering transportation.
  • Assistance with job placements.

Which of these have you tried? Think about how you might want to create ways to build on these ideas. Stay tuned for the next blog to find out what initiatives Towson University created as a result of this literature review.


Dr. Gilda Martinez-Alba is the Assistant Dean in the College of Education at Towson University, in Towson, Maryland. Her research revolves around literacy, technology, English learners, and recruiting/retaining underrepresented students into teaching.