Clark Atlanta, Morehouse to offer courses for aspiring principals

Students walked across the Clark Atlanta University campus on Feb. 23, 2022. Clark Atlanta and Morehouse College are partnering to provide degrees and certificates for minorities aspiring to become principals. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

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Students walked across the Clark Atlanta University campus on Feb. 23, 2022. Clark Atlanta and Morehouse College are partnering to provide degrees and certificates for minorities aspiring to become principals. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

A nonprofit organization is teaming up with two historically Black institutions in Atlanta in hopes of increasing the percentage of people of color working as principals.

The organization, New Leaders, is working with Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College to launch the Aspiring Principals Fellowship.

That’s an online principal certification and master’s degree program which they said is “designed to train the next generation of equity-focused school leaders who better reflect the students they serve.”

The announcement was made Wednesday.

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Organizers say the effort is needed, pointing to research that finds nonwhite students generally perform better academically in schools with principals of color. Nationally, about 20% of public school principals are racial minorities, although about 55% of public school students are nonwhite, federal statistics show.

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Morehouse College President David A. Thomas speaks on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 at the school's announcement of a $500 million fundraising campaign. ERIC STIRGUS/ERIC.STIRGUS@AJC.COM.

Credit: Eric Stirgus

Morehouse College President David A. Thomas speaks on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 at the school's announcement of a $500 million fundraising campaign. ERIC STIRGUS/ERIC.STIRGUS@AJC.COM.

Credit: Eric Stirgus

Combined ShapeCaption
Morehouse College President David A. Thomas speaks on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022 at the school's announcement of a $500 million fundraising campaign. ERIC STIRGUS/ERIC.STIRGUS@AJC.COM.

Credit: Eric Stirgus

Credit: Eric Stirgus

David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College, said in a statement that equity in the education of students of color must be an urgent national priority.

“Our children need guidance and nurturing from principals who understand the unique cultural experiences, proud heritage, and sometimes challenging socio-economic circumstances that affect learning opportunities for young Black students and those from other minority groups,” he said.

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The enrollment process will begin this month. Classes are scheduled to start in August. Participants who enroll in the program by September will receive a $5,000 scholarship towards tuition, officials said.

The fellowship is open to both individual applicants as well as groups of applicants who primarily have their tuition costs sponsored by their local school district, charter network or professional association.

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Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr. speaks at the 2020 graduation Saturday at the Harkness Hall Quadrangle in Atlanta on May 15, 2021. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr. speaks at the 2020 graduation Saturday at the Harkness Hall Quadrangle in Atlanta on May 15, 2021. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

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Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr. speaks at the 2020 graduation Saturday at the Harkness Hall Quadrangle in Atlanta on May 15, 2021. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr. said in a statement the effort falls in line with the school’s mission.

“This partnership will give CAU scholars the knowledge, skills and tools needed to become principals and leaders in our nation’s schools and diversify the higher education leaders’ pipeline,” he said.