BOSTON – Just a few weeks ago, Javier Bermudez Reveron was too shy to lead discussions on the works of French philosopher Michel Foucault.

It wasn’t that the 21-year-old senior at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras didn’t understand the material. He was just unsure about public speaking and expressing himself confidently.

After completing an intensive four-week program at a well-known New England prep school that trains blacks, Latinos and Asians with potential as college professors, Reveron is not only leading discussions but also is looking to have his own classroom one day.

“Absolutely it has given me more confidence,” Reveron said after taking part in the Phillips Academy Institute for Recruitment of Teachers in Andover, Mass.

The institute, celebrating its 20th year, on Friday introduced 65 college students to recruiters from top graduate schools including Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

Some were part of the latest batch of potential teachers the Andover program trained through summer classes in an effort to diversify faculty at the nation’s top colleges, high schools and elementaries.

“I knew there was such a dire need for people of color to be represented in teaching in universities and high schools,” said Kelly Wise, the institute’s executive director and founder. “I wanted to create this program to really feed public institutions.”

Even after 20 years, diversity among faculty members still remains a concern, Wise said.

According to the American Council on Education, blacks and Latinos make up 9 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty at universities nationwide. Census estimates say blacks and Latinos make up about 28 percent of the nation’s population.

Since 1990, the institute has helped hundreds of students of color become teachers, officials say.

More than 100 former students have completed their doctorates and more than 500 have completed their master’s degrees, said Clement White, a Spanish professor at the University of Rhode Island who teaches at the summer workshops.

The institute now accepts white and Asian students who also are committed to diversifying faculty.

Under the program, students undergo intensive training by reading the works of theorist and social critics like Foucault and Gloria Anzaldua, White said. They are also critiqued on how they answer questions, lead discussions and respond to criticism.

“We interrogate them. We challenge them,” White said. “They also take GRE classes. They are constantly engaged and in discussions.”

After the summer workshops, institute faculty prepare students for meeting with graduate school recruiters searching for the nation’s top candidates.