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USC Upstate School of Education Highlights and Special Initiatives

The USC Upstate School of Education has developed a series of partnerships with local schools, districts, and community organizations. These partnerships and the faculty members involved are described below.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS

DUNBAR CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The Dunbar Child Development Center and USC Upstate have developed a professional relationship, which provides university students in the early childhood program meaningful practicum experiences and children at the center enriching instructional experiences. Students in SEDE 445, SEDE 410, SEDE 422, and SEDE 420 meet in a classroom at the child development center for course lectures and discussion. During clinical experiences students are integrated into the early childhood settings for observation and directed teaching. The Dunbar Child Development Center is a part of Greenville County Public School System. It provides services for infants through four years old. Programs such as family literacy, ESL, and Head Start, are also found in this center.

DUNCAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
In the spring of each year, undergraduate elementary education majors enrolled in reading and language arts methods spend two mornings a week on site at Duncan Elementary. In addition to meeting these university classes, students spend approximately an hour of each day providing support for teachers and students in elementary classrooms. Planning with the classroom teacher, USC Upstate students implement both small group and whole class lessons related to reading and language arts.

D. R. HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL
In 1996, Spartanburg County School District Five and D.R. Hill Middle School formed a partnership with the USC Upstate School of Education. The faculty, administration and students of D.R. Hill help to strengthen the student teaching and clinical components of the USC Upstate teacher education program by providing opportunities for intensive real world experience for prospective teachers. USC Upstate School of Education faculty members, in turn, provide in-service professional development opportunities for D.R. Hill faculty and administrators. One hallmark of the partnership is its provision for teacher education methods courses to be delivered on-site at D.R. Hill creating an environment for the better preparation of prospective middle and secondary level teachers.

DISTRICT SEVEN  SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
With the support of a Title II Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant sponsored by the South Carolina State Department, the Learning Disabilities Program established partnerships with local schools and to provide the USC Upstate students experiences necessary for K-12 certification preparation. These experiences involve three student considerations: to recognize the teaching responsibilities and student needs unique to elementary, middle, and secondary school levels; to teach within different delivery of service models including resource, self-contained, and general classrooms; and to work with students with learning disabilities who require a range of different instructional techniques designed to meet their specific needs.

MARY H. WRIGHT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 
A professional development school partnership between USC Upstate and Mary H. Wright Elementary School in Spartanburg has been awarded financial support from the South Carolina Department of Education. Two classroom teachers, Monica Threatt and Shelley Winkler, and an administrator, Dean Blanton, from Mary Wright, and two USC Upstate faculty members formed a team focused on the professional growth of team members, the preparation of USC Upstate education majors, and the enhanced learning of Mary Wright students. Teachers at Mary Wright come to USC Upstate to speak to university students in the combined reading/language arts methods classes. Mr. Blanton provides on-site orientation to Mary Wright, an urban school with ninety-nine percent of its students on free and reduced lunch. Mary Wright teachers assist in the design and implementation of field experiences related to the reading/language arts classes. USC Upstate faculty substitute in the classrooms of the Mary Wright teachers gaining experiences pertinent to their roles as education professors. Selected students from the reading/language arts classes serve as teaching assistants for Mary Wright teachers.

FLORENCE CHAPEL MIDDLE SCHOOL 
Since Florence Chapel Middle School opened in 2005, Spartanburg County School District Five and Florence Chapel Middle School and the USC Upstate School of Education have worked together as partners in the preparation of middle grades teachers. The faculty, administration and students of Florence Chapel Middle School help to strengthen the student teaching and clinical components of the USC Upstate teacher education program by providing opportunities for intensive real world experience for teacher candidates. USC Upstate School of Education faculty members, in turn, provide in-service professional development opportunities for Florence Chapel Middle School faculty and administrators. One hallmark of the partnership is its provision for teacher education methods courses to be delivered on-site at Florence Chapel Middle School, an authentic environment for the better preparation of prospective middle grades teachers. 

SCHOOL-UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP DAY 
This is a collaborative between Jesse Bobo Elementary School in Spartanburg District Six and the School of Education.  A group of 5th grade students are chaperoned by the principal and classroom teachers to visit our campus for the day.  They will listen to a variety of speakers from campus, tour the campus, and have lunch in the cafeteria.  The School of Education faculty members involved in this initiative believe it is important for students to begin thinking about their futures at an early age and to see what college life is all about.  This collaborative is a first-step in providing children with information about teacher education, and university life in general.

SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND THE BLIND
The USC Upstate School of Education works collaboratively with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB). SCSDB serves as a practicum, service learning, and field-based experience site for both graduate and undergraduate students. USC Upstate and SCSDB also work closely together to provide quality professional development for teachers across the state serving students who are blind and/or visually impaired. 

WOODMONT  MIDDLE SCHOOL, GREENVILLE COUNTY SCHOOLS
On-site course delivery of middle grades curriculum and clinical courses which provide an authentic environment for the better preparation of prospective middle grades teachers. The faculty, administration and students of Woodmont Middle School help to strengthen the student teaching and clinical components of the USC Upstate middle grades teacher preparation program by providing opportunities for intensive real world experience for middle school teacher candidates.

SPARTANBURG DISTRICT 4 COLLABORATION 
Middle grades and secondary education teacher candidates complete their Clinical I (SEDS 342) experience at Woodruff Middle and High Schools.  Teacher candidates are placed in content classrooms where they complete 30 hours of observation and an ethnography of adolescent learners.  This is the second semester for this collaborative effort.

BOILING SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL – SPARTANBURG SCHOOL DISTRICT 2  
Teacher candidate clinical experience and service learning are provided in the social studies methods class for middle and secondary teacher candidates that is taught at BSHS..  Faculty in-service is also available. When possible, teacher candidates work in the ESOL lab with non-native speakers in a tutoring situation.

POCALLA SPRING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – SUMTER DISTRICT 2
Upstate elementary teacher candidates  tutor  students who scored low in the area of reading on the PACT test.   The SEDR 444 Struggling Reader class is taught on site weekly at Pocalla Springs Elementary as well.  Story-telling sessions and faculty in-service are provided.

CROSSWELL DRIVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SUMTER DISTRICT 17 
K-Kids (a service organization for children.) was formed at Crosswell. Upstate students also designed a Math Jeopardy Game for the students to review for PACT testing. 

LEMIRA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – SUMTER SCHOOL DISTRICT 17 
On-site course delivery, teacher candidate clinical experience and service learning, and eacher candidate student teaching experience are done in partnership with Lemira and the Sumter campus. Faculty in-service is also provided.

CLINICAL AND PRACTICUM EXPERIENCES 
All USC Upstate School of Education professional courses require a practicum experience in public schools beginning with the introductory foundations course. Practicum experiences are intended to provide students with opportunities to relate theories to actual practice; to create meaningful learning experiences; and to study under the guidance of an experienced classroom teacher. These practica are an integral part of specific education courses and as such are supervised by the instructor of those courses in collaboration with the classroom teacher. The School of Education partners with the schools of Spartanburg and Greenville Counties to provide these practicum experiences for our students.

DIRECTED TEACHING
Directed teaching is a supervised clinical experience totaling 70 or more days. Each USC Upstate education major receives experience within his or her certification area. Students are placed with an experienced classroom teacher where they observe, assist and eventually take over and teach the class. The experience includes an exploration of ethical and legal issues, research through analysis and evaluation of teaching and analyzing the teacher candidate’s impact on student learning.

OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED PARTNERSHIPS

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND RECERTIFICATION COURSES
The School of Education, through its Graduate Programs Division provides professional development opportunities for area teachers in addition to offering Master of Education degrees in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Some professional development courses are special topics courses for which teachers pay regular tuition. Others are courses contracted for by local districts or other professional units such as the Upstate HUB and provided free of charge to qualified teachers. Faculty members at USC Upstate have also received funding for grants, which provide professional development opportunities for area teachers. Dr. Rebecca Stevens is the director.

TEACHER CADETS 
The South Carolina Center for Teacher Recruitment sponsor the Teacher Cadet program, an honors high school class designed to attract academically talented students into the teaching profession. Since the implementation of the Teacher Cadet Program in 1986, thousands of bright young people have explored the field of education and approximately 38% of these have entered the profession. USC Upstate serves as a college partner with nine local Teacher Cadet Sites: Boiling Springs, Broome, Byrnes, Chapman, Chesnee, Dorman, Greer, Landrum, and Spartanburg High Schools. Faculty members from the School of Education visit these Teacher Cadet Sites and present information from the curriculum. Planning sessions for the teachers, professional resources such as books ad videos, as well as a visitation day for cadets to tour the USC Upstate campus are provided. This collaboration between local high schools and the School of Education provides USC Upstate with the opportunity to showcase its programs to high school seniors and recruit the next generation of teachers.

TEACHING FELLOWS INSTITUTE 
The USC Upstate School of Education is 1 of 11 Teaching Fellows Institutes in the state. Our program is in the top 3 of the most desired choices for high school graduates applying to become a Fellow.  The mission of the South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program is to recruit talented high school seniors into the teaching profession and to help them develop leadership qualities. Each year, the program provides Fellowships for up to 175 high school seniors who have exhibited high academic achievement, a history of service to the school and community, and a desire to teach South Carolina's children. Teaching Fellows participate in advanced enrichment programs in Teaching Fellows Institutions, professional development opportunities during summer months, involvement with communities and businesses throughout the state and receive up to $6000 in yearly scholarships for four years while they complete a degree leading to teacher certification. The scholarship provides up to $5700 for tuition and board and $300 for summer enrichment programs (contingent on funding from the S.C. General Assembly) administered by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (CERRA). A Fellow agrees to teach in South Carolina one year for every year he/she received the Fellowship.

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION DIVERSITY CONFERENCE 
This collaborative endeavor between USC UPSTATE and Benedict College brings teacher education students together each fall and spring to encourage understanding and growth regarding diversity by getting teacher candidates from diverse backgrounds to meet and work with one another.  It is strictly for students in their directed teaching semester and includes student teachers from the following campuses: USC Upstate, Benedict College, South Carolina State University, Claflin University, Columbia International University, USC Columbia, Converse College, Morris College, Furman University and Clemson University. This highly successful conference has gained national recognition.

PROJECT CREATE 
USC Upstate is one of eleven universities and colleges participating in the CREATE (Centers for the Re-Education and Advancement of Teachers in Special Education) consortium. This initiative funded by the South Carolina Office of Exceptional Children provides course scholarships and textbooks to over five hundred public school teachers completing their special education licensure. At USC Upstate, the School of Education provides tuition reimbursements and supplies to qualified full-time public school employees enrolled in the Learning Disability Teacher Assistant Program. This teacher training Program offers courses for completing add-on or initial k-12 certification in Learning Disabilities. Fall and spring semester classes are scheduled in the evening to accommodate the teacher candidates’ work hours on both the Greenville and Spartanburg campuses. The School of Education in concert with CREATE strives to satisfy the growing needs for a highly-qualified special education teacher force in South Carolina.

USC UPSTATE SPEAKERS BUREAU 
Faculty members in the School of Education are proud to participate in the USC Upstate Speakers Bureau. The Bureau provides speakers for community organizations and agencies on a variety of topics. Speakers are considered experts in their fields and provide these services at no cost to the agencies other than normal travel expenses. Participating faculty and their areas of expertise are listed in the university brochure.

TEACHER ASSISTANT MERGED PROGRAM IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION AND LEARNING DISABILTIES
This new initiative provides teacher assistants currently employed in schools the opportunity to gain Elementary and Learning Disability certification. Each semester, the School of Education offers two evening professional-level courses on both the Greenville and Spartanburg campuses. Individuals who have an undergraduate degree participate as ‘certification only’ candidates. Others, who have significant coursework towards a degree, may earn a Bachelor of Arts in Education. Successful completes of both options become eligible to receive certification in Elementary Education and Learning Disabilities.

CHARLES LEA CENTER 
We have created a partnership with the Charles Lea Center to provide campus classes and activities to adult clients.  The College Enrichment Experience meets Wednesday nights and offers six classes – Basic Reading, Basic Math, Beginning Computer Skills, Current Events, History of Spartanburg, and Low-impact Aerobics.  Additionally, clients have the opportunity to eat dinner on campus and attend extracurricular and cultural events.

TEACHER-TO-TEACHER PROGRAM 
District 6 and the School of Education are working together to provide a fifth-year mentoring program to selected students.  These spring teacher candidates work during the fall with their cooperating teachers and continue with them during directed teaching.  During the Induction Year, if they continue in District 6, the university mentors the new teachers and provides a graduate course to them. The program is modeled on the Furman Teacher-to-Teacher program.

SHERMAN COLLEGE OF CHIROPRACTIC PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE 
The Office of Graduate Programs and Special Initiatives coordinated the Teaching Methodology Institute for the faculty at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  The professional development Institute provided three courses: Principles of Learning, Instructional Design, and Instructional Methodology.  Institute participants deepened their knowledge and skills in teaching strategies for a variety of learners specific to their teaching content within the chiropractic profession.  These 10 week professional development courses each award 2 CEU credits.  The courses were taught by School of Education faculty.  USC Upstate awarded 78 Continuing Education Certificates to the program’s 16 participants who attended the 9-month program.

POST BACCALAUREATE CERTIFICATE IN ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES (ESOL) 
University of South Carolina Upstate has received approval from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education to offer a 15-hour post baccalaureate certificate in English for Speakers of Other Languages. This certificate will provide the specialized courses allowing certified teachers to acquire the fifteen hours currently required by the South Carolina State Department of Education for endorsement in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

  


 SCHOOL OF EDUCATION SERVICE-LEARNING SITES

School of Education candidates perform service learning at the sites as described below:  

Crescent Hills Apartment after School Homework Center
Assisting elementary and middle school students with homework assignments. Hours are from 2:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M.
Contact Person:  Robin Tinsley     582-7877

Spartanburg Children’s Shelter
Assisting early childhood through high school students with homework assignments consistent with your major. Hours are Monday through Thursday 4:00 P.M until 5:15 P.M. and Fridays 4:00 P.M until 6:00 P.M.
Contact Person:  Tammy Nolen    583-7688 

Bethlehem Center After School Homework Center
Assisting elementary and middle school students with homework assignments. Hours are from 2:20 P.M. until 5:30 P.M daily
Contact Person:  Lee Roper     582-7158

Boys and Girls Club (The Hanger)
Assisting middle grades through high school students with homework assignments consistent with your major. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 4:00 P.M. until 5:15 P.M. and Fridays 4:00 P.M until 6:00 P.M.
Contact Person:  Markishia Blair   285-1082

Carver Jr. High School
Assisting middle grades through high school students with homework assignments consistent with your major. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 4:00 P.M. until 5:15 P.M. and Fridays 4:00 P.M until 6:00 P.M.
Contact Person:  Mary Henry   594-4435

Kingdom Kids
Assisting children at Cornerstone Baptist Church and Houston Elementary with homework. Available Monday through Friday
Contact Persons:   Ms. Andre’ Tarpley or Ms. Sheila Mallory           582-2101

Phyllis Wheatley Center – Greenville
Assisting elementary and middle school students with homework assignments. Hours are from2:20 P.M. until 5:30 P.M daily
Contact Person:  Ms. Donna Coleman  864-235-3411

Spartanburg Children’s Shelter
Foster home recruitment. Work directly with foster parents and help them assist the foster children. Hours are in the evening from 6:30 P.M until 8:30 P.M
Contact person:     Kimberly Gist  864-596-3001-Ext.2339

Cleveland Learning Center:
Tutoring Program for students at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.  The program operates evenings from 4:00 – 7:30 Monday through Thursday.
Contact: Loreta Dylgjri – 864-577-7640