Grants: DRK-12 Pre-Service
STEM Teacher Initiative

DRK-12 Pre-Service



Programmatic Features:


  • To produce well-prepared students for careers in secondary science and math teaching
  • To enhance the quality of instruction at Morehouse College
  • To recruit and retain Black males into teacher preparation and secondary STEM teaching careers

The research questions will focus on the utility and efficacy of early recruitment of African American male students to STEM teaching careers as a mechanism to increase the number of African American males in STEM teaching careers. The research will explore possible reasons why the program is or isn't successful for recruiting and retaining students in STEM/STEM Teacher Education programs including:

  • How do students who remain in STEM education differ from those who leave and how do these individual factors (e.g., student preparation, self-efficacies, course work outcomes, attitudes toward STEM/STEM education, connectivity to STEM/STEM education communities, learning styles, SES, etc.) affect (enhance or inhibit) interest in STEM teaching among African American males?
  • What organizational and programmatic factors (e.g., high school summer program, Saturday Academy, Pre-freshman program, summer research experience, courses, enhanced mentoring, cyber infrastructure, college admissions guidance, leadership training, instructional laboratory, program management, faculty/staff engagement and availability, Atlanta Public Schools and Morehouse College articulation and partnership) affect (enhance or inhibit) interest in STEM teaching among African American males?

Morehouse College and the DREAMS to teach initiative’s main goal is to seek STEM scholars from surounding school systems in Georgia to participate in this program.

Our method is to:

  • Recruit, train and graduate African American and other minority male STEM majors to teach in secondary critical-need schools.
  • Offer Georgia Teacher Certification Programs in Secondary Education.
  • Broaden Dreams to Teach II students’ access to STEM career awareness and understanding of mathematics and science applications in day-to-day functioning.
  • Increase the number of Morehouse graduates who pursue STEM teaching careers by 50%.


Our objective is to:

  • Provide research-based, education-related, communication-building experiences that develop proficiency in mathematics and science teaching careers
  • Enroll Dreams to Teach II participants in a program of study leading to both a STEM major and official certification in Secondary Education “High School” (with state of Georgia GAPSC and national NCATE/CAEP Certification)
  • Participate in environments that support the advancement of science and mathematical learning such as the Leadership Program at Morehouse College.
  • Participate in seminars that broaden STEM students’ horizon beyond what is usually presented in undergraduate education.
  • Provide access to STEM education among minority students to improve STEM education at the secondary level.

During the senior year of high school, scholars will continue to prepare for college and their career in teaching at the Morehouse Saturday Academy. They will receive help with studying for the SAT and writing essays for college applications.

After graduation from high school, scholars will return to Morehouse College for a six-week Summer Pre-Freshman program, formally beginning their college career!



This program could have significant influence on the national educational agenda by providing empirical findings on the best approach to recruit and maintain African American male STEM students in careers as pre-college teachers. This program may evolve as a model to increase minority participation in STEM education by focusing on retention of promising minority science students using targeted recruitment, enhanced mentoring, research training, and community building.


Morehouse College is an independent, fully accredited, historically Black, liberal arts college for men and is a founding member of the Atlanta University Center (the world's largest private center of Black higher education). The College is a pioneer in the preparation of young Black males to assume leadership in higher education, science, and government. We will continue (and intensify) efforts in these areas as well as aggressively address issues of pre-K-12 education of our nation's children in general and that of African American males in particular.

The program broadens participation of K-12 and undergraduate minorities in STEM education by increasing African American male participation in STEM teaching. The dissemination of the program will provide a model for improving minority participation in STEM education and a guidance to extend this model to improve overall retention rates. The DRK-12 program incorporates strong leadership component and develop students into future pedagogical leaders who will not only teach classes but ultimately assume educational leadership roles.

"This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number (NSF Grant Number DRL-1119512)"

 "Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."

DREAMS to Teach student recruitment pamphlet

The DREAMS to Teach student recruitment pamphlet is designed to provide information to students, parents, and teachers about this opportunity for high school students.  It describes the program components and opportunities for participation.  This pamphlet was developed in Year 1 and continues to be disseminated.  The recruitment pamphlet is distributed widely at APS schools.

Partnering School District:  Atlanta Public Schools District (APS)

Who We Are
The working team for this project is composed of Morehouse faculty from STEM departments, the Center for Teacher Preparation and Leadership center, along with APS STEM faculty and Academic Advisor Specialist.  This group meets two to three times per month.  They developed the curriculum for the DRK-12 program that takes into consideration the APS faculty understanding of their students’ current competencies as well as the Morehouse faculty understanding of the students’ competencies that are critical for success as a STEM major.  This working group developed a program to bridge any differences between these.  This process considers the Georgia standards and required Core Competencies as well as programmatic goals to develop future STEM teacher leaders.  Collaborations between education and STEM faculty as well as between Morehouse and APS faculty resulted in development and implementation of the High School Summer Program, Saturday Academy I and II, and Pre-Freshman Program. 

Upcoming Dates: 
Summer Academy Start Date: June 2nd, 2014
Living-Learning Interactive Discussion Dates

Events Calendar

Instructional Laboratory: 
In addition to the computer laboratory facilities, a dual purpose ultra modern college-wide Teaching and Learning Laboratory has been developed for use by both faculty and teacher preparation students. Students receive training in technology tools so they can make full use of these resources in their future classrooms.   This Laboratory is housed within the Survey and Virtual Research Center (SVRC) that was developed with an NIH funded Building Research Infrastructure and Capacity (BRIC) grant.  Housing the instructional laboratory within the SVRC will allow the program to leverage this College wide resource and provide easy access to the other resources within the center.   The SVRC has a full time staff member and supports applied and theory-driven research and instructional innovation and was designed to facilitate webinars, distance learning, collaborative learning, and fluency in information technology.

Photo Gallery

Recent Presentations:
1. Pre-service STEM Teacher Initiative at Morehouse College – Dreams to Teach
SE Regional Noyce Meeting 2014 Greenville, SC
Cynthia Trawick Ed.D. , Triscia Hendrickson, Ph.D. , Natasha M. Crosby, Ph.D., Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.

2.  Inherently Differentiated: Using Problem Based learning to Engage Secondary Science Students (2014) Larry Harris, Candice Henry, Malaika Jordan and Yolanda Mckee
National Title I Conference, San Diego, CA

3. Inherently Differentiated: Using Problem Based learning to Engage Secondary Science Students (2014) Larry Harris, Candice Henry, Malaika Jordan and Yolanda Mckee
National Title I Conference, Georgia Science Teachers Association (2014)  Macon, GA Feb 6-6, 2014

4.  DREAMS to Teach:  Discovery Research Education for African American Men in Stem:  Partnership between HBCU and School District to Increase Number of Black Male Teachers
(2013) Cynthia Trawick1, Abdelkrim Brania1, Charles Meadows1, Triscia Hendrickson1,
Alfred Porter3, Larry Harris3, Malaika Jordan3, Yolanda McKee3,
Corrie Claiborne1, Joseph Eyles1, Gregory D. Ford1, Bryant Marks1, Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos2, and J.K. Haynes1
Morehouse College1 Institute for Biomedical Philosophy2 and Atlanta Public Schools District 3 First International Teacher-Scientist Partnership Conference satellite meeting to the annual AAAS meeting, Boston, MA


Morehouse College Dreams To Teach: Discovery Research Education For African American Men in STEM