Program to recruit minorities has long-term benefits

Improving diversity in any field is a struggle. But clearly it doesn’t stop people from scratching their heads and wondering what the solutions can be.

So it’s encouraging to see that Western and Warren County Public Schools are not merely talking about improving diversity in the teaching field, but are doing something about it. The two groups teamed up to form Creating a Diverse Education Team, a program designed to help attract minority education majors for teaching positions in the Bowling Green area.

The program is not a quick-fix solution. It won’t magically improve diversity in classrooms. But its gradual approach will be beneficial for everyone in the long run.

For Warren County Public Schools, it’s an opportunity for them to find the right students for the job. With this kind of program, recruiters can focus on finding students with the best job potential rather than feeling obligated to fulfill some minority quota. Even if these students don’t accept jobs, they will be valuable contacts for recruiters to find other good minority candidates, as these graduates network with other educators.

CADET will also enable Western to enhance its education program. What better way to end a student’s studies in education then to have a program that will enable them to talk to people who are doing it on a daily basis? Also, Western is playing a role in helping the community, which fits with the university’s emphasis on being civically engaged.

Obviously, CADET may lead to jobs in Warren County for some students after graduation. But even if it doesn’t, students can use the tips and advice they learned in program to obtain any teaching job in the country.

In the end, the benefits will trickle down to Kentuckians. Often we hear about the “brain drain” in Kentucky, where graduates leave the state for better jobs. Through a program like this, students can understand the benefits of staying in the state, which might prompt them to stay in the area. If more teachers stay, it will greatly benefit the communities they live in. After all, every child has to have a K-12 education.

Sure, it’s hard to determine quantitatively how much of an impact the CADET program would have on bringing more minority teachers to Bowling Green. But the fact that Warren County Public Schools and Western are at least trying to improve diversity should be commended.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 9-member board of student editors.