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Attracting Black Male Students to Research Careers in Education: A Report from the Grad Prep Academy Project
  • Shaun R. Harper, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Andrew C. Porter, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

This report is about the University of Pennsylvania’s Grad Prep Academy, a project that prepares Black undergraduate men for graduate study and research-related careers in the field of education. The project is also a longitudinal research study that enables us to analyze Black men’s trajectories from undergraduate study through graduate degree programs and eventually into their careers. Eighteen students participated in our first two cohorts of Academy Scholars. The project described in this report, as well as the recommendations we offer, can be instructive for other schools of education and a range of stakeholders who are concerned about the diversity of the education workforce (including the postsecondary professoriate). While we present several rationales for expanding efforts to attract more Black men to research-related careers in education, it is not our intent to undermine or diminish the necessity of current teacher recruitment and retention initiatives. To be clear, our nation needs more Black male teachers. However, we argue that progressing through teacher education programs and into K-12 classrooms is not the only route through which Black men can make a difference. The presence of committed scholars like the 18 Academy participants is also needed in graduate programs that prepare researchers to study policy and structural issues that affect educational opportunities and a range of social outcomes.

  • Black Men,
  • Graduate School,
  • Diversity
Publication Date
Citation Information
Harper, S. R., & Porter, A. C. (2012). Attracting Black male students to research careers in education: A report from the Grad Prep Academy Project. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.