Current Initiatives

The College of Education, Human Performance, and Health is devoted to providing premier educational experience for students. This is done through the implementation of best practices aimed at recruiting students from a variety of backgrounds, providing academic support in students’ chosen major, and by providing high-quality field experiences. View some of its top initiatives and partnerships below.

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  • USC Upstate, in collaboration with Spartanburg Community College and Spartanburg District 7 Schools, is helping lead the way in recruiting African-American male teachers, mentors, and role models for South Carolina schools through the Call Me MiSTER (CMM) program.

    Learn more about the program

    For further information, contact Dr. Walter Lee

  • The College of Education has 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.

  • The Franklin School is a testament to the power of collaborative public-private partnership to transform the landscape of Early Care and Education in conjunction with USC Upstate. 

    The Franklin officially opened on January 7, 2019 with 135 students. The school is committed to a diverse community of students that reflects all of Spartanburg County. Active partners include: First Steps Early Head Start, First Steps Quality Counts, Piedmont Community Action Head Start, Spartanburg District Seven, USC Upstate Child Development and Family Studies (CDFS) and the College of Education, Human Performance, and Health.  This one-of-a kind mixed-income learning center and laboratory school enrolls both Head Start and private-pay students, alongside the prioritized children of Northside residents, and partners with Upstate in the training of child development and family studies professionals. Since the first day the Franklin School opened, the audio and video recording of each classroom has taken place, creating an archive of audio and video assets that can be used by researchers and for professional development.

    The Franklin School was conceived and operates as the CoEHPH early childhood (birth to age four) lab school, where students and faculty from have both an onsite classroom and can observe best teaching practices in preparation to become educators. Students also have access to the audio and video footage archive from each classroom through equipment owned by USC Upstate. The Franklin School is a model early learning center and serves as an example of what is possible when public and private partners unite around a common goal – to provide high-quality education, support families, and train new professionals.

    For further questions, contact Dr. Nur Tanyel

  • USC Upstate is one of eleven universities and colleges participating in the CREATE 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 College of Education provides tuition reimbursements and supplies to qualified full-time public school employees enrolled in the Visual Impairment Program. It also sponsors an on-line summer class in Learning Disabilities to special educators statewide. The College of Education in concert with Create strives to satisfy the growing needs for a highly qualified special education teacher force in South Carolina.

    For further information, contact Dr. Holly Pae

  • Increasing the STEM Potential of Individuals Who Read Braille

    Project INSPIRE’s goal is to support professionals, youth in grades 6-12, and young adults in building their skills in the two braille codes used in the United States for STEM classes. To accomplish our goal our project continues to develop:

    • Six-week online courses for teachers of students with visual impairments, braille transcribers, adult service providers, and university disability resource center personnel
    • Engaging virtual sessions for targeted groups of students (middle school, high school) to learn and practice Nemeth code within UEB Contexts through our “Nemeth in a Box” program and in 2023 and 2024 UEB Technical.
    • Fun virtual STEM Braille Bowl Competitions to challenge braille users in grades 6th-12th throughout the U.S. to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the STEM braille codes

    Learn more about our free on-demand self-paced courses available to anyone and our Nemeth in a Box for Middle School Students. We have developed seven lessons that teachers, families, and others can use with middle school braille readers. The materials developed by Project INSPIRE team will be available through Paths to LiteracyPaths to Technology, and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Project INSPIRE received funding through the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on October 1, 2019. Dr. Tina Herzberg, Professor and Coordinator of the Visual Impairment Education Program, at the University of South Carolina Upstate, is the Principal Investigator for this 5-year project. Download the abstract for an overview of the project. 

    Join our mailing list to get information about upcoming Project INSPIRE events and activities as well as like our Facebook page.

  • REACH UP is designed for those who have earned an AA or AS degree and currently work as a paraprofessional in a public school. Work your full-time paraprofessional job while earning a bachelor’s degree at your own pace! You can choose to complete the program in two, three, or four years. Classes are offered either in an online or hybrid format to accommodate the paraprofessional work schedule!

    If interested, send your unofficial transcripts to Include your email, first and last name, phone number, and current school employer in the body of the message. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Bismarck at 864-503-7407 or

  • The USC Upstate College of Education, Human Performance, and Health 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 200 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.

    The South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program is a fellowship program for qualified South Carolina high school students who wish to pursue a degree in education and a career in South Carolina’s public schools following graduation. Administered by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement, the program provides a $24,000 fellowship/loan over 4 years for up to 175 outstanding high school seniors. The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is one of only 11 institutions in the state identified as a Teaching Fellows Institution. The first cohort of USC Upstate Teaching Fellows graduated in May 2006.

    With a general theme of “Preparing Teachers for a Diverse Society” the Teaching Fellows Program at USC Upstate seeks to provide a wide range of enrichment experiences for this group of outstanding education majors, to nurture them as a community of learners, to introduce them to possibilities for leadership in K-12 schools, and to retain the Fellows — not only at the institution but in the profession as well. Freshman and sophomore Fellows at USC Upstate are enrolled in a seminar class each semester built around a sequence of early experiences in K-12 schools. Each Fellow completes observation hours in primary grades, upper elementary grades, middle schools and high schools. A concerted effort is made to place students in settings where the K-12 student population is particularly diverse. Class meetings of the seminar are used to explore current issues in education, give direction to observations in the assigned K-12 settings, and to debrief after classroom visits. Fellows keep a journal during these early classroom experiences.

    All Fellows participate in several meetings during the semester. These meetings are designed to allow the Fellows an opportunity to become acquainted and explore the opportunities and challenges of education as a career. Fellows form a collaborative bond that will extend beyond their years at Upstate and into their professional careers. Sophomore Fellows attend a professional conference. Junior Fellows travel as a group, usually together with Fellows from other Fellows institutions around the state, to explore diversity in an urban setting. Washington, DC and Atlanta were recent destinations. Senior Fellows focus their time and energy on being outstanding student teachers.

    Fellows take on leadership roles on campus by participating in organizations such as TEACH, and a variety of other campus activities. They serve the Upstate community by performing required service hours each semester for a designated group. They participate in special Teaching Fellow activities—speaking to Teacher Cadet classes, assisting with Teacher Cadet Day on campus, attending the Teaching Fellows Advisory Board meetings, assisting with Teaching Fellow Interview Day, or helping prepare for Teaching Fellow meetings. Upstate Fellows may act as a mentor to a Fellow in their same major, update the website, Facebook page or write an article for the College of Education, Human Performance, and Health newsletter.

    All Fellows are advised by Dr. Brooke Hardin, the Campus Director of the USC Upstate Teaching Fellows Program and a faculty member in the College of Education, Human Performance, and Health at USC Upstate. You may contact her using the information that follows:

    Brooke Hardin, Campus Director
    USC Upstate Teaching Fellows

    For information about Teaching Fellows statewide, go to

  • The South Carolina Center for Teacher Recruitment and Retention (CERRA) in collaboration with the College of Education sponsors 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, Greenville Technical Charter and Spartanburg High Schools. : “Teacher Cadets from all 9 of the participating schools visit USC Upstate for a special College Day where they enjoy presentations by Enrollment Services, Financial Aid, and the College of Education; as well as lunch, group activities, campus tour, and a keynote presentation.”

    Faculty members from the College 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 College of Education provides USC Upstate with the opportunity to showcase its programs to high schools seniors and recruit the next generation of teachers.

Current Partnerships by Program

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Select Past Initiatives and Partnerships

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  • USC Upstate College of Education, Human Performance, and Health and the Center for International Studies Collaborate to Provide Student Teaching Opportunities in Germany.

    In spring 2013, USC Upstate College of Education, Human Performance, and Health and Center for International Studies partnered with the College of Education and the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal to provide the first professor led international student teaching experience, International Student Teaching in Germany. From 2013 to present, the partnership provides all Education students this opportunity. Prior to their senior year when they student teach, the experience is advertised at study abroad fairs through the Center for International Studies, in Teaching Fellows meetings on our main campus and the University Center in Greenville, and various new student orientations. Communications with the International Studies Office at the University of Applied Science Magdeburg-Stendal involve plans with Principals of two to three schools where students observe and teach. The Europaschule Am Stadtsee is our home school and the Principal plans daily schedules to take advantage of our students American English expertise. Plans for introductory German language class through are made 6 weeks prior to our departure with the students. Ultimately, the students blog on the USC Upstate College of Education, Human Performance, and Health and Center for International Studies webpage. Dr. Kela Goodman as Program Leader takes the responsibility as translator and custodian of funds.

  • The Real Men Are Teachers (RMAT) program in the College of Education is designed to support and increase the applicant pool and productivity of underrepresented populations in the teaching profession. Male preservice teachers gain a heightened visibility, preparation, as teacher leaders, and serve as Ambassadors for teacher education. The primary objective of the RMAT initiative is to prepare males majoring in education at USC Upstate to become strong teacher/leaders. This objective is accomplished by program participant matriculating through a leadership0 curriculum and a mentoring component. The leadership curriculum expose participants to the current leadership trends and issues significant to future teacher/leaders. Each protégé is assigned an academic, personal and social mentor. The mentor exists to provide each protégé with informal insights of the profession from a seasoned practitioner.

  • The College of Education sponsors the America Reads tutoring program funded by federal work study funds. Monies are awarded to USC Upstate students each semester. Schools currently being served are Lone Oak Elementary, Hendrix Elementary, Mary H. Wright Elementary, and Cleveland Academy. Carver Middle School will be added in fall 2016. We normally employ and supervise 12 – 14 tutors each semester.

*The initiatives and partnerships listed above provide a sample of the everchanging connections our college has developed. For more information about particular initiatives and partnerships, please contact the COEHPH at