Aiding in the Success of Future Educators

Hailing from Garland, Texas, Cornelius Q. Anderson has made impactful strides, leveling up in the educational industry with his eyes set on new ventures at the College of Education. He stands as a progressive educator, rewriting the narrative around teaching by leading with conviction and intentionality. In his time at UNT, he’s stood as a catalyst of change for the College of Education and his students. Amongst his many accolades and roles, he provides resources for his students through UNT’s Teacher Pathways Program, where students can find pipelines to success as future educators and teachers of tomorrow.

“We’re looking to advance educational equity by preparing our next generation of students. We focus on diversity while preparing teachers from high school. Our teachers that we engage are coming from pre-k through 12th grade. Many of the students that know that they want to go into education fall in that pipeline in their district,” Anderson said. “We create direct pipelines to get them to come to UNT because we believe that we have what they need to make them successful for the 21st century. We get students trained, degreed, and certified to prepare them for their teaching career. We're currently working with about 20 school districts, and these partnerships are continuing to grow.”

His success in this role comes from his work ethic and dedication to sustaining his legacy. As a Black educator in higher education, he prides himself in the feats that he’s accomplished not solely for himself, but for his family, and future predecessors.

“I'm a first-gen graduate student. Receiving my bachelor's, and later my master's, was a big deal. It felt like generational curses were being broken in my family. Now, I'll be the first in my family to receive a doctorate, and I couldn't be more blessed for this opportunity. Although my journey to get to this point hasn't been easy, it hasn't been impossible either. I truly wouldn't be here today without my faith.”

In the Fall of 1998, before Anderson's career took flight, he went from working tirelessly at his two jobs, funding his own education as an undergrad, and keeping his head in his textbooks while attending class. His hustle and bustle afforded him the opportunity to start his educational career at an elementary school, where he had mentors along the way to help him build his career and create a sense of belonging.

“I've never felt a true sense of belonging due to being adopted. My mother was young and had twins at 16. My aunt gave her a helping hand and adopted us," Anderson said. “I grew up learning how to create a sense of belonging and how to cultivate that family that I never had. That became a big part of my leadership characteristics.”

With a niche ability to create a safe space for others, his charismatic personality, and steadfast faith, lights up the room in every space he comprises. Leading with conviction, he allows his passion for people to charge his work. He’s led by his spirit, blowing in the direction where his conviction leads him. At the College of Education, Anderson unites with his peers and students to advance the educational system. He believes it is a gift to cultivate and nourish upcoming educators.

“I lead by conviction. I have a responsibility to do right by students. I want them to truly be prepared. I want to make sure that I'm being a leader and example that is going to positively impact those individuals and others,” Anderson said. “When you learn something and you feel it to be true, it comes out as a conviction. I’m trying to give my students any and everything that I know that's going to help them.”

As old, traditional ways of teaching wash away, progressive forms of thinking take their place. Anderson continues to stand as a forebear of change for advanced, inclusive-centered education. These winds of change blow over into his life, inspiring him to stay rooted in his calling and make a positive change at the College of Education.

“Trust the process. Even if you encounter some bumps in the road, trust the process. Not everything in life is going to be peaches and roses," Anderson said.” Anderson said. “You’re going to encounter some obstacles but it's not for you to throw your hands up and quit. It’s for you to learn from the experience."