When KaiChe' Roxborough completes his master's degree in teaching at Clarkson University, he hopes to work in high-need settings and find creative ways to positively impact youth.
The Brooklyn native is a participant in the My Brother’s Keeper Teacher Opportunity Corps II through Clarkson’s new Master of Arts in Teaching, Business and Marketing program.
Through My Brother’s Keeper, the New York State Department of Education invests in programs that bolster the retention of highly qualified individuals who value equity and reflect the diversity inside and outside of classrooms -- particularly in high-need schools with teacher shortages.
"This grant provides scholarships specifically for historically underrepresented teacher candidates," says Catherine Snyder, chair of Clarkson's Department of Education. "Since it is our program goal to help recruit minority teachers, it aligns with our mission and the needs of our school partners."
Roxborough believes that the My Brother's Keeper Initiative is important because it allows young men of color to reach their full potential. "Education can widen perspectives and MBK provides an opportunity for young men of color to continue pursuing their education," he says. "This is vital because if they can find something more in life, it can lead them in a direction they may fall in love with."
"KaiChe' is an excellent teacher candidate and he is particularly interested in a high-need field -- teaching business and marketing," says Snyder. "His academic background and teaching interest, combined with the fact that he is a minority teacher, made him an ideal candidate for this scholarship."
Roxborough is pursuing his MAT, business and marketing because he sees a need for greater financial literacy among young people. "Clarkson has an excellent MAT program," he says. "Their pedagogy skills have surpassed my expectations and I am picking up tips that I plan to use in my own classroom."
The MAT, business and marketing degree prepares candidates to teach business and marketing at the P-12 level. Most business and marketing teachers teach at the high school level in curriculums like sports management, media and marketing, introductory accounting, and finance.
"This new degree is an example of how Clarkson is working to meet the needs of our P-12 school partners, who told us that business classes were being canceled because they couldn't find enough certified business teachers," says Snyder. "We are delighted that we will be graduating four new teachers in our inaugural year and look forward to helping fill that need in New York State for years to come."
After earning his MAT at Clarkson, Roxborough plans to support the My Brother's Keeper Initiative. "I hope to work in high-need settings and find my own creative ways to impact youth, creating a positive domino effect," he says.
Roxborough earned his bachelor of arts degree in communication from the University at Albany and is currently working full time as a tutor for middle-school students at Washington Irving Adult and Continuing Education Center in Schenectady.
Clarkson has been receiving My Brother's Keeper grant funding since 2016 and now has scholarships for five students annually. More than 20 students have already graduated and moved into the teaching field as MBK fellows.
The Master of Arts in Teaching program at Clarkson is a professional master's degree that includes an endorsement for New York State licensure in most high school disciplines as well as some P-12 disciplines. The program boasts a 100 percent job placement rate for four years running and is the first in New York to be accredited by the new, national, and rigorous Association for Advancing Quality in Teacher Preparation. The cornerstone of the MAT is a full-year residency during which candidates work side by side with a mentor teacher to learn the art and science of teaching.
"We are in the midst of an extreme teacher shortage in New York State," says Snyder. "Opportunities to teach have never been more available to people interested in a great career working with children."