National Council of Teachers of English Now Accepting 2021 Early Career Educator of Color Applications - National Council of Teachers of English

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National Council of Teachers of English Now Accepting 2021 Early Career Educator of Color Applications

2021 cohort size will double thanks to a donation from Penguin Random House.


Contact: Abby Heverin, NCTE Communications Manager,; 315-408-2759


Champaign, Illinois—The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is now accepting applications for the 2021 Early Career Educator of Color (EC-EOC) Leadership Award.

The EC-EOC Award supports early career teachers of color as they build accomplished teaching careers in literacy education. Award recipients benefit from robust professional learning opportunities, mentorship, and access to a supportive network of peers from across the country.

NCTE has funded this program for more than a decade. The 2021–2022 cohort will double as a result of a generous financial contribution from Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher.

NCTE encourages educators in their first five years of a paid teaching career who aspire to build a career in literacy education to apply for this national leadership opportunity. Practicing preK to university-level literacy educators of color are eligible to apply. People of color refers to historically underrepresented groups: African American, American Indian, Asian American, Latinx, and Pacific Islander.

“NCTE is committed to growing diversity within the teaching profession and supporting teacher leadership. Participating in this program is an excellent way to grow in practice and gain early national leadership opportunities. Current and prior participants now lead initiatives and advance teaching practice across the country,” NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick said.  “Early career educators can use support now more than ever, and we are thrilled to double the size of the cohort, thanks to the partnership of Penguin Random House.”

“At Penguin Random House, we’re deeply committed to building a diverse literary landscape that’s truly representative of the world we live in,” said Kaiulani Williams, Director, PreK–12 Education Marketing, Penguin Random House. “Through their Early Career Educator of Color Award, NCTE does crucial work at the community level to support the literacy educators making a huge difference in their students’ lives. We’re honored to help further their mission, at a time when teachers’ work has never been more important.”

Award recipients receive two years of support from a mentor, the opportunity to present or copresent at the NCTE Annual Convention, an opportunity to collaborate with NCTE leaders, and a plaque to recognize their participation.

Recipients also receive round-trip airfare, hotel, and meals for the summer EC-EOC Institute in year one. In year two, they receive round-trip airfare, complimentary registration at the NCTE Annual Convention, three nights’ lodging expenses, and reimbursement for basic expenses for each day at the Convention.

Twelve educators will be chosen for the 2021–2022 cohort. The application deadline is April 15, 2021.

About NCTE

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. For more than 100 years, NCTE has worked with its members to offer journals, publications, and resources; to further the voice and expertise of educators as advocates for their students at the local and federal levels; and to share lesson ideas, research, and teaching strategies through its Annual Convention and other professional learning events. Learn more at

About Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson. As of April 1, 2020, Bertelsmann is full owner of the company. With more than 300 imprints and brands on six continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English-, German-, and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and more than 600 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.