A recent report by the Tennessee State Board of Education found that nearly all teachers who graduated from TSU and started teaching in 2020 had a second-year retention rate of 96%. During the 2020-21 academic year, a total of 155 graduates from TSU completed their teacher training. Out of this group, approximately 88% (137 individuals) are currently employed as teachers.
Dr. Rajah Smart, the assistant dean and director of the college's assessment and accreditation program, noted a slight increase for the 2021-2022 year. Dr. Smart reported that out of the 118 students who completed their teacher training, 89% are currently engaged in teaching positions.
Dr. Janet Finch, the Dean of the College of Education, expressed her optimism in producing more quality educators across the country.
“I want to make sure we have people that assimilate the world,” Finch said. “We have established great partnerships with school districts across the State, so we can support them in identifying well-qualified teachers.”
Sa'Mariah Harding, the 93rd Miss Tennessee State University and a recent graduate of the institution, currently serves as an honors Geometry teacher and Valor College Prep in Nashville. She teaches 9th and 10th grade classes. In a statement from the institution obtained by HBCU Pulse, she speaks on how Tennessee State helped her achieve her goals.
“I always knew I wanted to teach high school math…TSU definitely prepared me for this…In the classroom, proper representation matters.”
Junior Quamane Graham, who aspires to be a high school biology teacher upon graduation, spoke highly of the resources provided to students in the College of Education.
“I want to show young Black males that you can go to college and be a teacher. [I want to show] that it is achievable to do so.”