Date of Completion

Spring 5-7-2023

Project Advisor(s)

Dr.Catherine Little, Dr. Todd Campbell, Dr.Jason Irizarry

University Scholar Major

Biology Education


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Other Education


The purpose of this study was to explore how college students of color who are considering (or have considered) the teaching profession describe the internal and external factors that are influencing their career decision. In Connecticut during the 2021-22 academic year, 89.9 percent of public school teachers identified as White, while Connecticut’s population of students of color is more than 45 percent. This project translated the observations and experiences around the lack of diversity in the teaching workforce and aimed to understand the underlying reasons why there is a shortage of teachers of color with the goal of recommending solutions. Eighty-nine college students of color at both the University of Connecticut and University of Bridgeport participated in open-ended surveys. Three of those college students who participated in the survey were chosen for an interview. The responses from students were complemented by interviewing six current educators of color who shared their experiences and perspective on the field. All student and teacher responses were coded to find the following emerging themes : impact of past educators and school experiences, lack of representation and diversity, outside influence and perception of the teaching profession, financial concerns, workplace environment and job benefits, challenges experienced as a teacher, and desire to make a positive change or impact. The methods of this research emphasized the importance and value of listening to college students of color first in identifying points of dissonance in choosing the teaching profession before proposing recruitment policies and programs.