Scholarship Aims to Boost Minority Male Teachers in S.C.

Scholarship Aims to Boost Minority Male Teachers in S.C.

Former South Carolina State Representative Floyd Breeland has always had a role in education – as a teacher, principal and administrator in the public school system for 33 years and as an advocate for education in Charleston for more than five decades. Breeland has also been active in many civic organizations and in his church, Mother Emanuel A.M.E.

To recognize Breeland’s significant contribution to education, the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance launched an initiative to raise at least $50,000 to endow the Representative Floyd Breeland Scholarship, to be awarded annually to a minority male student in the College of Charleston’s teacher education program.

“I am thrilled we have funded the Representative Floyd Breeland Endowed Scholarship with over 250 donors contributing,” says Fran Welch, dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. “Representative Breeland currently directs the College’s Call Me MISTER Program and is very beloved on our campus and in the community. We are committed to increasing diversity in the state’s teaching force, and this newly endowed scholarship will assist us in reaching our goal.”

Teacher education professor Renard Harris (far right) and current and former participants in the College's Call Me MISTER Program gather to honor former S.C. Rep. Floyd Breeland (center).

Teacher education professor Renard Harris (far right) and current and former participants in the College’s Call Me MISTER Program gather to honor former S.C. Rep. Floyd Breeland (center).

Breeland is a native of Badham, S.C., and graduated from Williams Memorial High School in St. George before going on to earn a B.A. in English from Allen University in Columbia, S.C., and a M.S. in secondary school administration from Indiana University. For 16 years, Breeland served in the S.C. House of Representatives, District 111, in Charleston, sponsoring several pieces of major legislation and serving on multiple committees before he retired in 2008.

College of Charleston Board of Trustees Member Demetria Clemons with Former S.C. Representative Floyd Breeland.

Shortly after retiring, Breeland was asked by Dean Welch to be the director of the College of Charleston Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) Program, a highly acclaimed initiative that addresses the critical shortage of minority male teachers, particularly among South Carolina’s lowest performing elementary and middle schools.

Trends show the number of minority students rising while the number of minority teachers stays the same or declines in our state.  We’re committed to building the ranks of minority teachers by financially supporting promising future professionals. As part of the “Changing the Face of Teaching” initiative, this scholarship addresses the critical need for more qualified teachers from diverse backgrounds in South Carolina and helps close the achievement gap in the state’s schools.

Scholarship recipients will receive the teaching skills necessary to lead a classroom of diverse learners and become positive role models for their students. And that is something that Breeland is honored to represent.

RELATED: Read more about the College of Charleston Call Me MISTER Program in College of Charleston Magazine.