A popular, highly competitive scholarship program for aspiring teachers is coming to the University of Lynchburg this fall. Call Me MISTER (“Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models”) is designed for male students from diverse, underserved, or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. The program includes a scholarship of $5,000 that is renewable each year.
Founded in 2000 at Clemson University, Call Me MISTER has since caught on at dozens of colleges and universities across the country and was featured on PBS and Good Morning America, among other news outlets.
“We’re excited about bringing this nationally recognized teacher recruitment program to the University of Lynchburg,” said Dr. Emma Savage-Davis, dean of the College of Education, Leadership Studies, and Counseling.
“Working with our area schools, we hope to develop pathways for high school students to enter our teacher preparation and eventually become teachers in pre-K-12 classrooms.
“I believe if you grow teachers at home, they will come back to teach those who follow them in their communities. Together, we will work to provide a quality teaching force to reduce the teacher shortage in our community.”
Through the program, selected student participants — known as MISTERs — grow and develop into “exemplary educators prepared to serve, teach, and lead in the state’s lowest-performing K-12 schools, working with educationally at-risk K-12 students,” Savage-Davis said.
MISTERs are required to attend a four-year institution and complete their program of study in teacher education. In some cases, the program may allow enrollment in a Master of Teaching program, leading to initial certification.
MISTERs are expected — upon completion of the program and licensure — to assume a teaching position in an area school division. In addition to the formal teacher education curriculum, MISTERs are required to actively participate in the program’s Servant Leadership model, which includes individual, group development, and community outreach activities.
Benefits of the Call Me MISTER program include financial assistance, pedagogical knowledge, leadership training, career development, practical experience with a K-12 classroom, academic support and coaching, mentorship opportunities, personal empowerment, a cohort system of peer networks for support, and service opportunities through the University, including community outreach.
While not required, MISTERs are strongly encouraged to reside on campus and participate in Lynchburg’s Call Me MISTER Living Learning Community.
To be accepted into the program, students must complete the following steps:
- Apply to the University of Lynchburg and get accepted.
- Submit a University of Lynchburg application or Common App.
- Provide an official high school transcript.
- SAT/ACT scores are not required. Students are welcome to submit test scores, if available, but those scores will not impact an admissions decision.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
- Submit the Call Me MISTER application and additional documentation:
- Two letters of recommendation:
- One from a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal from your high school
- One from a person who can express your involvement in the community and/or potential for entering the teaching profession
- Two essays:
- “Why I Want to Teach,” which will address your motivation for entering the teaching profession and the contributions you hope to make to the profession and to the community as a teacher
- “How do you believe the Call Me MISTER program will benefit you as a student?”
- Two letters of recommendation:
- A signed statement certifying that you are a student from an underserved, underprivileged, or economically disadvantaged background or area
- An interview upon your acceptance to the University of Lynchburg and submission of all materials. During your day on campus, you will interview with multiple University and education representatives.
Lynchburg’s College of Education, Leadership Studies, and Counseling promotes a collaborative environment where students work closely with faculty in the classroom and in professional organizations and through service opportunities.
CELC professors are reflective practitioners, encouraging students to look back at their work, learn from it, and eventually become independent professionals.
CELC offers initial teacher license degrees in multiple areas, including elementary education, special education, English education, history and social science education, mathematics education, Earth science education, chemistry education, biology education, health and physical education, music education (instrumental and vocal), and Spanish education. Students who apply to be a MISTER must be a major in one of these initial teacher license degrees.
For more information about Call Me MISTER, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 434.544.8444.