The University of South Carolina Upstate, in collaboration with Spartanburg Community College (SCC) and Spartanburg School District 7, is pleased to announce it will launch its installment of the Call Me MISTER program in the fall of 2019.
Call Me MISTER (an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) is a highly acclaimed recruitment and support program developed by Clemson University in 2000. It serves to recruit and prepare African American male students to teach in early childhood, elementary, and middle school classrooms.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Clemson University in this innovative and effective program, and to work together to increase the number of African American male teachers and role models for our children,” said Dr. Laura Reynolds, dean of USC Upstate’s School of Education, Human Performance, and Health. “USC Upstate and the Spartanburg community welcome the opportunity to support these future teachers and look forward to their contributions to the campus and region.”
USC Upstate’s Call Me MISTER program will serve as a “pipeline” for applicants from Spartanburg District 7 and SCC to receive financial assistance and support in pursuit of bachelor’s degrees and teacher certification, Reynolds said. MISTER students will have the option to attend USC Upstate for four years, or to first attend SCC for two years before transferring to USC Upstate to complete their baccalaureate degrees.
After graduation, fully certified “MISTERs” will be prepared to enter local classrooms as teachers, role models, and mentors dedicated to quality education and building critical relationships with students.
“The collaboration with USC Upstate greatly strengthens our support and options for prospective students in the region,” said Dr. Roy Jones, director of Call Me MISTER at Clemson University. “We are very excited about the potential success of this collaborative relationship.”
Since its inception, the program has produced more than 240 MISTERs in South Carolina. Those graduates have all remained in the state, serving as classroom teachers or administrators.
“As the teacher shortage becomes more pronounced, this program enables USC Upstate and its partners to support the preparation of exceptional men to lead our schools and classrooms,” Reynolds said.
Individuals interested in the Call Me MISTER program should contact the School of Education, Human Performance, and Health at 864-503-5733 or visit: www.uscupstate.edu/academics/school-of-education/.