Expanding the Pipeline for Students of Color to Pursue Teaching Professions

Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers (SUFFERN, NY) March 14, 2023 – On Thursday, March 16th, 9AM – 2PM, Rockland Community College (RCC) will host the Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT) Conference, the first of its kind in Rockland County.

The conference, which is expected to draw between 150-170 attendees, will bring together students and teacher mentors from middle, high school, and college students in the area, including Arlington CSD, East Ramapo CSD, Nanuet Union Free, North Rockland CSD, and South Orangetown CSD.

Sinead Cerone, Team Leader of Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers, added, “With the support of our school districts, colleges, and communities, the program in Rockland County has grown tremendously over the last five years, since I first established the Rockland County Region in 2019. We value our college partnerships that offer workshops such as this first-ever regional event, so that our culturally diverse future educators fully embrace the opportunity to network, collaborate and learn with one another in the TSTT program.”

The conference will feature interactive experiences that will help students develop and practice essential workplace competencies such as communication and interpersonal skills, problem-solving, critical thinking capabilities, conflict resolution, and workplace ethics. Students will be in seminars according to their grade level with other mentors to work collaboratively on the assignment topic. Students will also have the opportunity to meet students from other districts as they engage in activities throughout the day.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Alexandria Connally, Director of Equity, Inclusion and Innovation at Nyack Public Schools.

The TSTT program is dedicated to expanding the pipeline of students of color who pursue teaching professions. RCC is the first community college to partner with TSTT, in November 2020, with the goal of increasing student enrollment and providing academic support, career counseling, professional development workshops, networking opportunities, and job placement assistance for students who are accepted into the teacher education program.

“The Teacher Education Program at Rockland Community College is truly aligned with Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers mission. We are committed to encouraging more students from diverse backgrounds to enter the teaching profession,” said Dr. Zenya Richardson, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Teacher Education at RCC. “As the first community college to partner with TSTT, it was only right that we host this regional event. This conference allows students to enhance their relationships with mentors, explore the college campus, and obtain personal and professional development.”

About Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers™
TSTT is an innovative career development model that addresses teacher shortages by recruiting culturally diverse and economically challenged high school students, mentors and trains them throughout college, and then helps place them as effective teachers in schools in their communities. TSTT was founded in 1994 by Dr. Bettye H. Perkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, as an early teacher preparation program. According to Dr. Perkins, “Our goal is to close the achievement gap and to ensure that these deserving young people will ultimately be equipped to become highly effective teachers, role models, and leaders in their communities.” For more information visit: www.tstt.org.

About Rockland Community College, State University of New York
Rockland Community College (RCC), located in Suffern New York, provides purpose driven educational opportunities in a supportive, affordable, and accessible environment, empowering individuals to positively transform themselves and their communities. RCC welcomes students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Many graduates go on to top universities to further their education on their own or through RCCs institutional collaborations.

RCC also provides career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through a variety of programs and educational opportunities including workforce training, certifications, and microcredentials. Many of the programs are developed with employers in the community in high-demand industry areas to enable graduates to move into a new career upon graduation. More information can be found at sunyrockland.edu.