As director of the college's Field Placement Office and project director of Oswego's Teacher Opportunity Corps, Nichole Brown is happy to play a pivotal role in preparing the teachers -- and students -- of the future.

Q. What is the role of the Field Placement Office?

A. The Field Placement Office works very closely with faculty and staff and the School of Education and with educators in P-12 schools to find authentic, rich, diverse placements for our teacher candidates in the field of education.

Q. How did you wind up in this role?

So I am an educator. I did my undergraduate degree in education. Spent about three years in the field, but came to a point in my life to where I wanted something different. And one of my mentors said, "I think this is something that you would be interested in."

Q. How many students does your office place, and where?

In a year, we make about 900 placements, placing about 400 students all around the state of New York. Depending on the program would really determine where those candidates are going to be placed. Making sure that they get the experiences that they need to be successful teachers. So really, marrying that theory to practice.

Q. What can you tell us about your role with the Teacher Opportunity Corps?

A. I have the honor to serve as the project director for the School of Education's Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC II) grant-funded program. We received $1.6 million for a five-year grant. TOC II was developed to increase the number of historically underrepresented individuals entering the teaching field and to strengthen the retention of teachers, specifically in high-need schools with recurrent teacher shortages. The program is all-around teacher diversity, equity and access, diversifying the teacher workforce. Eighty percent of the teachers in the workforce are white, while students of color make up the majority of the student population in New York state, and really nationwide. TOC II candidates at Oswego receive financial, social, academic and professional support.

Q. How do you feel about having such an important role for preparing our future teachers?

Education is rewarding, so I think it's a true honor to be able to play a pivotal role in making sure that the candidates have placement so that they are successful and to make sure that they get experiences that they need to know that they know that they want to go into education.