Brief Program Summary: In October 2019, Early Learning Indiana launched the Educate ME
Early pilot program to recruit, train and support men of color in entering the early childhood
education field as classroom teachers. The program was a partner effort with Educate ME
Foundation, Inc., an Indiana Nonprofit organization determined to increase the number of men
and women of color in the field of education.
African American and Latino males who applied and were selected as fellows co-led a classroom
with the mentorship of a full-time teacher at an early childhood center in Central Indiana, with
plans to transition to full-time teaching in the second year. In addition to the support of a mentoring
teacher, Educate ME Early Fellows will receive individualized coaching and guidance from an
Educate ME program coordinator throughout their experience.
The Educate ME Foundation team’s goal was to recruit, train, place and support 50 men of color
within Central Indiana to become program fellows. Ultimately, 48 people joined cohorts and
completed training, and 7 participants found positions within the early learning sector. While the
COVID-19 pandemic created unique challenges, the pilot program revealed some key areas to
be addressed to strengthen the success of future cohorts.
Success Metrics: To increase diversity in early childhood education. To create a new talent
pipeline to address workforce challenges (lack of early childhood educators) in the field. To
accelerate teacher preparation and increase professionalization of the field by offering intentional
training and professional development to new hires.