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Six Colleges Join To Groom Minorities To Be Teachers

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To help meet the growing demand for black and Hispanic teachers, six colleges and universities have launched an ambitious national program to single out 550 minority high-school students and groom them for a career in teaching.

The agreement creating the program was signed Oct. 25 in Washington, by the presidents of City College of New York, Xavier University of Louisiana, Fordham University, Hostos Community College of New York, and two postsecondary schools in Puerto Rico, Metropolitan University and the University of Turabo.

It requires the six institutions to work with local high schools having large minority enrollments to identify 550 students in the 9th through the 12th grades who show promise as teachers.

The schools will provide the students with a four-year program that includes Saturday and summer courses, field trips and university visits, and guidance in choosing a college and seeking financial assistance.

In addition, special seminars and workshops, student-exchange programs, and hands-on teaching experiences would supplement the students' college programs, said Miriam Cruz, president of Equity Research, a consulting firm working closely with the program.

"If, for example, students wanted to become bilingual, they could4study in Puerto Rico for a year," she said.

Ms. Cruz said the program is based on a similar project for promising young minority scientists operated by the Ana G. Mendez Educational Foundation. The foundation also operates the two Puerto Rico schools involved in the program for minority teachers.

A Collaborative Blend

The collaborative's broad blend of participating institutions, Ms. Cruz said, is what distinguishes it from other programs to recruit minorities into teaching.

Xavier, for example, is a historically black Southern college. Fordham, a major research university, and City University of New York, a large public university, will both draw candidates from New York City schools with large black and Hispanic populations.

And Hostos Community College, Metropolitan University, and the University of Turabo represent a public institution and two private schools with an ability to draw from a student population that is largely of Puerto Rican descent.

Ms. Cruz also said the consortium is negotiating with California State University at Dominguez Hills so efforts aimed at Mexican-American students can be better incorporated into the program.

She said the postsecondary schools will develop the program over the next year. They expect to begin recruiting high-school students by 1991.

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