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Georgia Hale, ISU College of Education, (515) 294-1410
Walter Pearson, Simpson College, (515) 961-1614
Mary Chapman, DMACC, (515) 246-6547
Kevin Brown, ISU News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University, Simpson College, Indianola, and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), Ankeny, will announce a new partnership -- the George Washington Carver Teacher Education Program -- to promote a more diverse teacher population in central Iowa. The announcement will be made at 1 p.m., today, Oct. 23, in the Des Moines Higher Education Collaborative, 400 Locust St. (Capital Square), Des Moines.

The goal of the collaborative effort is to increase the number of certified minority teachers. It will begin next fall. The program is named after Carver, who began his academic career at Simpson College and then transferred to Iowa State. Carver earned his bachelor's degree (1894) and master's degree (1896) from Iowa State. He was ISU's first African-American student and first African-American faculty member. He became a world-renowned plant scientist.

Iowa and the nation are experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers, especially people of color and underrepresented groups, said Georgia Hale, assistant dean of Iowa State's College of Education and director of the new program.

She said that the proportion of minority students in Iowa has grown from 4.6 percent in 1985 to 9.8 percent in 2001. However, the minority teacher population has remained virtually unchanged at 1.8 percent during that period.

Hale said the alliance of a public university, private college and community college will have the resources to offer teacher education programs targeted to underrepresented groups. Students will enroll in two courses per 10-week term for five years.

"This model will allow students to realize success early on, which increases retention," Hale said. "It also allows persons who are employed full-time to earn a degree. The five-year period of the program is not uncommon for teacher education students who get their degrees on campus."

DMACC will provide coursework leading to an associate of arts degree, while Simpson College and Iowa State will share courses leading to a joint Bachelor of Arts degree.

"We want our students to learn and grow in diversity as well as in knowledge," said Gregory Geoffroy, president of Iowa State University. "Making it possible for more people of color to become teachers and role models in their classrooms is absolutely essential to accomplishing this goal."

"During this period of scarce resources, we all need to work together to a greater extent than ever before," said David England, president of DMACC. "We also need to increase the number of teachers from the minority community so that all of our students have role models that they can identify with in the classroom."

"We created the Des Moines Higher Education Collaborative, in part, to address critical issues facing the Central Iowa area, such as the lack of qualified teachers from underrepresented populations," said R. Kevin LaGree, president of Simpson College. "By combining their strengths, the three schools will provide an opportunity for people who want to teach full-time to obtain the education they need to achieve their dreams. The presence of these persons in the classroom will also enhance the educational experience of elementary and secondary students."

For more information, go to the program's Web site at


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