The Alma Exley Scholarship Program was established in 1995 to increase diversity and promote excellence in the teaching profession. We are pursuing these goals by aiding and recognizing students of color who demonstrate outstanding potential and strong dedication to classroom teaching.
Only about seven percent of the teachers in Connecticut’s public schools are persons of color. However, students of color comprise one-quarter of students statewide and more than 85 percent in major cities.
Three school districts employ over half of all minority teachers in Connecticut. Almost one-third of the state’s 166 school districts do not employ even one minority professional staff member.
All students benefit when they are taught by persons of color. We need more teachers who:
- Mirror the rich diversity of our student population;
- Understand the cultural backgrounds and life experiences that students bring to the classroom;
- Serve as positive role models for minority and non-minority students;
- Provide a classroom environment and curriculum that respect and celebrate a diversity of cultures.