Austin, TX., Aug. 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED) launched today as the nation's hub of a national network of educator preparation programs at minority serving institutions.

Today, 51 percent of public school students in the United States are children of color, while only 18 percent of public school teachers are of color, and more than 40 percent of public schools do not have a single teacher of color.

“As the country becomes more diverse, the future of our students is highly dependent on having excellent, diverse teacher candidates,” said Colette Pierce Burnette, president of Huston-Tillotson University. "We see great possibilities in the collective power of minority serving institutions and key partners working together to close the educator diversity gap."

Evidence shows that all students benefit from having diverse educators and that students of color, in particular, gain improved academic and social-emotional outcomes and experiences when they are taught by educators with similar linguistic, racial, and cultural characteristics.

BranchED seeks to maximize the performance of Minority Serving Institutions’ educator preparation programs through providing practical technical assistance, forming strategic alliances, and amplifying the unique contributions of Minority Serving Institutions in preparing teachers who will educate America’s citizens.

“We cannot close the diversity gap in this country without the educator preparation programs of minority serving institutions,” said Cassandra Herring, founder and CEO of BranchED. “We must raise awareness about and invest in the institutions that are best positioned to prepare greater numbers of highly effective, diverse educators to enter and persist in American classrooms.”

Educator preparation programs at Minority Serving Institutions have a rich history of training educators who are prepared to thrive and persist. MSIs, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, provide learner-centered, practical, and culturally responsive training experiences. MSI educator preparation programs prepare a disproportionate percentage of the country’s diverse educators—even though they represent just 13 percent of programs in the U.S.

To ensure access to highly-effective diverse educators for all learners, BranchED will collaborate with MSIs and key partners, including K-12 entities, the business community, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations.

About the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity
The Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED) is the hub of a national network of high-impact educator preparation programs at MSI’s. It provides practical technical assistance to advance institutional outcomes, foster strategic alliances to spur collaboration and innovation, and amplify the unique contributions of Minority Serving Institutions in preparing teachers who will educate America’s citizens. BranchED is named in honor of Mary Elizabeth Branch, who led a transformation in educator preparation and diversity. She was also the first woman of color to serve as president of an accredited senior college in the United States of America. To learn more about BranchED, visit



A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Maura Keaney
Collaborative Communications Group