Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A Midlands college is doing what it can to get more minority males in front of a classroom so they can help change lives.

Claflin University was chosen to be a part of an initiative that works to get more African American male high school students interested in becoming teachers.

“We do know that minority males make up less than two percent of the nation's teachers,” Claflin Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Anthony Broughton explained.

Broughton said the lack is a problem.

“We do have teachers who are teaching in ways that are irrelevant to students' lives,” Broughton said.

The educator said teachers who share similar backgrounds or experiences as their students can better teach them.

“Professors or teachers who are in that cultural element teaching students have proven it is effective in bolstering academic excellence,” the Claflin educator said.

Claflin is one of several to split a $1.5 million grant to be a part of the Project Pipeline Repair: Restoring Minority Male Participation and Persistence in Educator Preparation Programs.

Claflin education faculty and staff will mentor and expose the teaching field to high school juniors in the Orangeburg area.

This is all in hopes of getting more minorities to become educators to help all students have the same opportunities to succeed.

“Having a black male teacher, they know about the racial barriers they know about the experiences that plague society concerning black males, they understand that and they're able to empower and inspire,” Broughton said.

“I think it’s great. I didn’t know anything about education,” Claflin Education Major Quincy Agnew said. “This course is going to kind of give them more access to the test and things they need to know so I think it’s going to really help the people who want to be teachers.”

University officials made their partnership official Wednesday afternoon.

High School students can apply to be a part of the program that will get them a mentor, an iPad and the opportunity to get a scholarship.

Things will kick off in August.