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Recommendations are intended to help students make the most of their education by providing examples of experiences that can enrich educational experience and illustrate how within and beyond the classroom experiences relate to one another. These are examples and options, not requirements. 

Early Childhood

To learn more about making the most of your educational experiences within and beyond the classroom contact: 
Angie Baum, Associate Professor, Early Childhood Program Coordinator, bauma@mailbox.sc.edu or Carolyn Dorrell, Early Childhood Undergraduate Coordinator, dorrellc@mailbox.sc.edu 

 

PARTICIPATE: Community Service

Related Course(s)
EDTE 201 — Issues and Trends in Teacher Education

Recommended Sites/Experiences

  • Public schools
  • Childcare programs
  • Tutoring
  • After-school programs
  • Variety of community organizations serving young children and their families (churches, summer camps, youth sports, etc.)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Reflective Paper

Why this is Important
Involvement with families and communities not only provides a service for others but also helps to broaden educators’ perspectives about and appreciation of the diverse world in which we live.

How Students Can Get Started
Meet with a Leadership Coach in the Leadership and Service Center.

Connect with a community partner/organization you are passionate about or where you are completing a practicum

 

PARTICIPATE: Diversity and Social Advocacy

Related Course(s)
EDEC 336— Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in Early Childhood Classrooms
EDEC 344 — Supporting Linguistic Pluralism Across the Content Areas

Recommended Sites/Experiences

  • PASOs

Sample Research or Advocacy Project Topics

  • Advocating for African American children, their needs, perspectives, and voices
  • Public discourse and debate regarding educational equity issues

Why this is Important

Every day, we live in and interact in brilliantly diverse societies both locally and globally. At the same time, the early childhood faculty recognizes that misperceptions and misinformation continue to exist that lead to damaging stereotypes and biases that prevent equitable learning opportunities for every child. To address this, our program invites students to learn in ways that contradict such biases by deepening familiarity with and appreciation for diverse ways of being, learning about innovative programs and practices that broaden their abilities to interact with and learn from others locally and globally, and identifying and changing unjust practices.

How Students Can Get Started

  • Apply to participate in the Early Childhood Urban Education Cohort (before your junior year)
  • Get involved with REACH – Race, Equity, and Advocacy in Childhood. Contact faculty advisor, Meir Muller (meir@mailbox.sc.edu) or Kamania Wynter-Hoyt (wynterhk@mailbox.sc.edu)
  • African American Pre-K-12 Student Forums

 

PARTICIPATE: Global Learning

Related Course(s)
EDUC 360 — Global and Multicultural Perspectives on Education in International Settings (course satisfies the Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences Core Competency), in Maymester: Annual trips to Reggio Emilia, Italy; in Summer: Trips to Bogota, Columbia. Please check with the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education for availability of this course.

Opportunities

  • The early childhood faculty highly recommends that students attend and participate in the Latino Children’s Literature Conference that is organized by ITE faculty member, Dr. Julia López-Robertson. Please check with the ITE department for details.
  • Engage with children and families to learn about and value cultural and linguistic resources in all homes and communities.
  • Be a Conversation Partner – International Student Services
  • Buddies Beyond Borders – International Student Services

Why this is Important
Students who participate in travel study abroad and interact with international students on campus have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the world and their place in it. Exposure to these different cultures are unique experiences that influence students for a lifetime.

How Students Can Get Started
Contact the Study Abroad Office
Talk to your academic advisor about taking EDUC 360

 

PARTICIPATE: Peer Leadership

Student Organization(s)

  • Kappa Delta Pi
  • Future Educators Association
  • Palmetto State Teachers Association
  • REACH Race, Equity, and Advocacy in Childhood (student organization)
  • Student Diversity and Inclusion Advocate’s Office

Opportunities
Students have opportunities to serve on College of Education committees with faculty. In some courses, they participate in planning conferences and other presentations of their learning.

REACH, Race, Equity, and Advocacy in Childhood, is an organization for students who collaborate with each other to deepen understandings about the work of social justice in early childhood classrooms with a particular focus on issues of race. This organization is a place to share and learn strategies for teaching and advocacy and a safe space for discussing issues of race and equity. Students can earn Teaching for Equity Recognition and can participate in ways that count toward USC’s Graduation with Leadership Distinction.

Student Diversity and Inclusion Advocate’s Office provides students the opportunity to participate in yearly events: Gathering Table (Fall) and COE Gives Back (Spring). Students also participate on the Student Advisory Committee and the Student Ambassador Program.

Other Recommendations 
Students gain valuable leadership experience by getting involved with the Leadership and Service Center, residence hall governance, being a peer leader for U101, or engaging in one of the many other leadership opportunities on campus. These experiences help students build skills that will serve them well in teaching and other professional roles in schools. Preservice teachers also have the opportunity to present at professional conferences.

Why this is Important
Early Childhood students are prepared to be “collaborative educational leaders”. Students demonstrate leadership with children, in the classroom, and with their peers. Students learn about varied leadership opportunities in education, including serving as an advocate for children and families.

How Students Can Get Started
Attend a student organization meeting.
Meet with a Leadership Coach in the Leadership and Service Center (Russell House)

 

PARTICIPATE: Internships/Professional Practice

Related Course(s)
EDEC 340P — The Young Child: Birth-3, Practicum
EDEC 342P — The Young Child: 3-8, Practicum
EDEC 443 — Internship in Integrated Curriculum
EDEC 492 — Internship in Curriculum, Assessment, Teaching, and Professional Roles

Recommended Sites/Work Experiences 
An important part of the Early Childhood program is for students to have internship experiences with programs serving children from birth– 8 years and with all age ranges (birth– 3 years), preschoolers (3-5 years), and primary age children (5-8 year olds). Students participate in many different types of schools/centers with children from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Professional Organizations
Students are encouraged to join state and national professional organizations and to use knowledge from those associations to support their ongoing learning and the learning of peers and colleagues. Some organizations include:

  • South Carolina Early Childhood Association
  • Zero to Three
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • South Carolina Alliance of Black Educators
  • National Black Child Development Institute
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • National Council on Social Studies
  • Council for Exceptional Children Division for Early Childhood

Other 
Early Childhood students have first-hand experiences in a variety of schools/ centers as a component of many other courses besides those specifically labeled as practica or internships. In addition, most early childhood methods courses are taught on-site in schools to provide supervised, guided teaching practice and experience.

Why this is Important
Internships are at the core of the Early Childhood program. Students participate in school and child care settings throughout the program.

How Students Can Get Started
Seek opportunities beyond your program of study 

PARTICIPATE: Research

Related Course(s)
EDEC 340 and 342 — The Young Child: Development, Care, and Education: A case study of one child in each course (infant/toddler and 3-8 year old) including data collection and analysis.
EDEC 591 — Seminar in Teaching Young Children: Inquiry projects completed during final internship. 

Sample Research Projects or Topics

  • Student-led inquiry in the kindergarten daily schedule
  • Read-alouds that support children’s literacy goals
  • Implementing inquiry based lessons that meet State standards
  • Fostering children’s empathy in the classroom
  • High quality, hands-on science in a Kindergarten classroom
  • Integrating “brain breaks” to help students stay on task

Other Recommendations 
Students are encouraged to explore opportunities for grant support to engage in an inquiry project through the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). Students may choose to expand on the work of their inquiry project in EDEC 591 or to work collaboratively with a member of the faculty to conduct other investigations through Office of Undergraduate Research support.

Why this is Important
Teachers are researchers every day as they observe children, learn about children’s families and communities, and use their learning to inform teaching practice. But they are also consumers of research. They teach brilliantly because they draw on the latest and best work in the field, building the knowledge necessary to address the needs of all children. In early childhood education, we feel strongly that teaching is far more than a repertoire of strategies or practices; teachers understand the impact of practices because they know their field and they engage in ongoing professional learning that constantly pushes them to learn and teach in thoughtful, innovative, just, research-based ways.

How Students Can Get Started
Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research

 

INTEGRATE

How to Integrate 
All courses require early childhood education majors to create effective learning opportunities for children and for themselves by integrating empirical and experiential knowledge across courses and other experiences. The early childhood faculty works together to help students develop deep understandings of complex issues, ideas, policies, and practices by building intentionally and conceptually across courses. Courses are not isolated experiences but integrated into a comprehensive degree program designed with a research based foundation in specific convictions about what matters in the education of young children.

Early childhood majors use their integrated learning experiences to create innovative learning opportunities for young children as they engage in new contexts every semester. They are challenged to apply their learning to get to know children, families and communities in ways that allow them to draw on the rich resources of homes and communities to build practice that supports all children in inclusive and validating ways. They apply their learning to teaching effectively, learning from the wisdom of experienced teachers as well as raising questions and working toward change that continues to move the field forward.

Teachers of the 21st century have the ability to understand and appropriately apply theory and research in decision-making in all aspects of teaching—whether how to interact with a child, design a lesson, collaborate with families, work effectively with peers, or design a new program with other professionals. Our goal is for early childhood graduates to be “collaborative, educational leaders” who are well informed in such areas as content, child development, and cultural understanding, and who have strategies to advocate for and lead on behalf of young children.

 

LEAD

Initial Career Opportunities
Early childhood majors can look forward to a range of career possibilities as they leave the university and enter the field. Some of those initial career opportunities include:

  • PreK-3rd grade teacher
  • Child Care Center Teacher
  • Agency Leader (e.g., Infant/Toddler Specialist, Resource/Referral Coordinator, Child Care Licensing Coordinator)

Related Graduate Programs 
As early childhood majors consider graduate work to further their learning, they enroll in one of a range of Masters (and eventually Doctoral level) programs. A few of them are listed below:

  • M.Ed. in Teaching with an emphasis in a range of areas
  • M.Ed. in Language and Literacy
  • M.Ed. in Special Education
  • M.Ed. in Administration
  • M.Ed. in Speech Pathology
  • Post M.Ed.: Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning, Curriculum and Instruction, Language and Literacy, Special Education, Educational Administration, Educational Research, Foundations of Education

Future Career Opportunities 
With a few years of teaching experience (and in most cases, further degrees), early childhood majors can aspire to positions such as:

  • School Administrator
  • Child Care Center Director
  • Reading Specialist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • School District Administrator/Coordinator
  • Teacher Educator/Professor
  • Consultant
  • Agency Head/State Leader in the provision/development of early childhood programs

Impact on Students’ Future
USC Early Childhood graduates are empowered to make a difference for children, families, and communities through the combination of their extensive knowledge and experience. The early childhood program has particularly been cited for its outstanding preparation related to working in diverse settings, in depth understanding of young children (birth-age 8), and effective strategies in working with families. These skills assist graduates, not only as outstanding teachers, but as informed community leaders who are prepared to serve as advocates for children, families, and quality early care and education in a variety of settings.

Elementary

To learn more about making the most of your educational experiences within and beyond the classroom contact: 
Beth White, Clinical Instructor, whiteel@mailbox.sc.edu
Kristy Sokol, Academic Advisor, sokolk@mailbox.sc.edu

 

PARTICIPATE: Community Service

Related Course(s)
EDEL 440 – Elementary Mathematics Instruction
EDEL 450 – Elementary Science Instruction
EDRD 430 – Elementary Literacy Instruction I
EDRD 431 – Reading Assessment
EDEL 305 (formerly 505) – Nature and Management of Elementary Classrooms
EDEL 306 (formerly 506) – Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy for the Elementary Classrooms
*All listed courses involve embedded community service.

Recommended Sites/Experiences

Why this is Important
Students provide one-on-one support in an elementary classroom which allows for reduced student-teacher ratios and individualized instruction for students. Students also have the opportunity to volunteer and work for local organizations serving children in the state of South Carolina. 

How Students Can Get Started 
Talk with your academic advisor and instructors about community service opportunities. Visit the Cocky’s Reading Express website.

 

PARTICIPATE: Diversity and Social Advocacy

Related Course(s)
EDEL 306 (formerly 506) – Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy for the Elementary Classrooms
EDRD 430 – Elementary Literacy Instruction I

Recommended Sites/Experiences
ESOL

Sample research or advocacy project topics

  • Advocating for African American children, their needs, perspectives, and voices
  • Public discourse and debate regarding educational equity issues

Why this is Important
Every day, we live in and interact in brilliantly diverse societies both locally and globally. At the same time, the early childhood faculty recognizes that misperceptions and misinformation continue to exist that lead to damaging stereotypes and biases that prevent equitable learning opportunities for every child. To address this, our program invites students to learn in ways that contradict such biases by deepening familiarity with and appreciation for diverse ways of being, learning about innovative programs and practices that broaden their abilities to interact with and learn from others locally and globally, and identifying and changing unjust practices.

How Students Can Get Started 
Students interested in the courses must be elementary education majors and should discuss courses with their academic advisor.

 

PARTICIPATE: Global Learning

Timing for Study Abroad
Spring semester Freshman year, Sophomore or any summer

Opportunities
Opportunities through the College of Education and within the Study Abroad Office.

Why this is Important
Elementary Education students are immersed in another culture outside their dominant culture. This experience affords students to be immersed in another language which offers students insights to the linguistic and cultural experiences many students in public schools face. Students also study educational practices, meet families, and become engaged with the local community. 

How Students Can Get Started 
Talk with academic advisor and the Study Abroad Office.  

 

PARTICIPATE: Peer Leadership

Student Organization(s)

Other Leadership Opportunities
Participation in educational organizations at the local, state, and national level. Preservice teachers also have opportunities to present at professional conferences such as:

Why this is Important
As educators, USC elementary majors will take leadership roles in their schools and communities. These early opportunities to present provide them with invaluable professional experiences they will carry with them into their professional careers. 

How Students Can Get Started 
For information related to student organizations, contact your academic advisor.

For information related to professional development, College of Education student opportunities, and conference involvement, contact faculty and visit the organization’s website. 

 

PARTICIPATE: Internships/Professional Practice

Related Course(s)
EDTE 201 – Issues and Trends in Teaching and Learning
EDEL 305 (formerly 505) – Nature and Management of Elementary Classrooms
EDEL 306 (formerly 506) – Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy for the Elementary Classrooms
EDEL 440 – Elementary Mathematics Instruction
EDEL 450 – Elementary Science Instruction
EDRD 430 – Elementary Literacy Instruction I
EDRD 431 – Reading Assessment
EDEL 441 – Introductory Elementary Internship
EDEL 471 (formerly 570/571) – Internship in Environments, Planning, and Motivation for Teaching and Learning
EDEL 490 – Internship in Elementary Education
MATH 221 – Basic Concepts of Elementary Mathematics I

Recommended Sites/Work Experiences 

  • Local Public Elementary Schools
  • After-school programs
  • Tutoring Programs
  • Math pen pals with children enrolled in elementary schools

Professional Organizations

Why this is Important
Internships are a required part of the program which provides students with the opportunity to teach and learn with and from children and teachers across diverse field placements. Students also participate in after-school and community-based programs in order to grow their understandings of the rich cultural resources inherent in communities.

How Students Can Get Started 
Many of the courses are required of elementary education students. Talk with your academic advisor about your interest in these courses. Visit the professional organization website for more information about volunteering and becoming a member.

 

PARTICIPATE: Research

Related Course(s)
EDTE 201 – Issues and Trends in Teaching and Learning
EDEL 491 (formerly 591) – Seminar on Teaching

Sample Research Projects or Topics

  • An Analysis of Student Confidence in Writing
  • Assessment of Student Learning: Metacognition in Mathematics
  • Mathematics in a Single-Gender Environment
  • Year-Round Schooling
  • Flexible Seating

Why this is Important
Teachers must understand, document, and study children’s learning over time. Teachers are researchers. In these courses, students conduct their own research in order to become responsive educators who understand children’s learning across time. 

How Students Can Get Started 
Talk with your favorite faculty member who shares your research interest. Talk with your academic advisor about registering for courses.

 

INTEGRATE

How to Integrate
EDEL 491 (formerly 591): Students are encouraged to apply for Magellan Scholarships which enable them to participate in research projects with professors and to present their research across a variety of venues.

At the Senior Showcase, preservice teachers present their research which demonstrates their ability to design a study, collect and analyze student data in order to implement effective instruction that supports student learning. Preservice teachers present their studies to professors, teachers, their peers, and the wider community. 

EDEL 490: Interns integrate their Unit Work Samples with the action research from EDEL 491.

Honors College students could also integrate their Honors Thesis with their academic coursework.

 

LEAD

Initial Career Opportunities 

  • Elementary Education Teachers
  • Interventionists
  • ESOL – English as a Second or Other Language Teacher
  • Gifted and Talented Teacher

Related Graduate Programs 
M.Ed. in Language and Literacy
M.Ed. in Teaching in Elementary Education or Secondary Education or Middle Level Education
M.Ed. in Special Education
M.Ed. in Educational Technology
Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning
Ph.D. in Language and Literacy
Ed.S. or Ph.D. in Educational Administration
Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction
Ed.S. or Ph.D. in Counselor Education
M.Ed. or Ph.D. in Early Childhood
Ph.D. in Foundations of Education, 
Master of Speech Pathology in Speech Language Pathology 

Future Career Opportunities

  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Reading Specialist
  • Administrator
  • Coordinator
  • Interventionists
  • ESOL – English as a Second or Other Language Teacher
  • Gifted and Talented Teacher
  • Reading Coach
  • Higher Education Faculty
Middle Level Education

To learn more about making the most of your educational experiences within and beyond the classroom contact: 
Nate Carnes, Program Coordinator, ncarnes@mailbox.sc.edu

 

PARTICIPATE: Community Service

Related Course(s)
EDFI 300 – Schools in Communities
EDML 321 – Middle Level Teaching and Management
EDTE 201 – Issues and Trends in Teaching and Learning 

Recommended Sites/Experiences
EDML 321 has a service-learning component that has candidates engaged with young adolescents in school and community settings.

Why this is Important
Beyond the inherent good in performing service in schools and the community, it is important (especially at the middle level) for teacher candidates to interact with students outside the classroom. Interacting with young adolescents through service-learning often helps to debunk stereotypes teacher candidates may have about young adolescent learners as disengaged or unmotivated. Such experiences also allow them to learn how to form positive relationships with students.

How Students Can Get Started
Students will have to apply to the professional program in order to enroll in the EDML 321 course. Talk with you academic advisor about registering for these courses.

 

PARTICIPATE: Diversity and Social Advocacy

Related Course(s)
All coursework has components of working with diverse populations threaded within the program.

  • EDPY 401 – Learners and the Diversity of Learning
  • EDFI 300 – Schools in Communities

Why this is Important
It is inherent to preparing you to work with diverse populations in the middle school. The research shows that there is increasing diversity in students in terms of race, culture, social structures, gender, sexuality, and even bullying. Additionally, research has shown that the number of homeless young adolescent students has continued to rise. Middle school educators with these experiences will be better prepared for these circumstances in their classrooms.

How Students Can Get Started 
Students should consult with their academic advisor regarding these courses.   

 

PARTICIPATE: Global Learning

Related Course(s)
EDUC 360 – Global and Multicultural Perspectives on Education in International Settings

Timing for Study Abroad 
Summer

Opportunities/Destinations 
Europe and Latin American Countries. We would support a student studying abroad anywhere as long as it’s during the summer.

Why this is Important 
Studying abroad makes students a well-rounded individual.

EDUC 360 is a study abroad offering available to students throughout the university. The course engages students in school settings in places abroad. In the past, students have gone to Norway, Italy, and Latin America.

How Students Can Get Started
Contact the Study Abroad Office for more information. Students can also contact your advisor regarding your interest.

 

PARTICIPATE: Peer Leadership

Student Organization(s)

  • Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA)
  • Kappa Delta Pi – Honor Society

Why this is Important
CMLA provides opportunities for teacher candidates in preparing to become Middle Level teachers. This organization also provides opportunities to be engaged at the state and national level. 

How Students Can Get Started
Visit the organization website through Garnet Gate.

 

PARTICIPATE: Internships/Professional Practice

Related Course(s)
EDML 321 – Middle Level Teaching and Management
EDML 598 – Internship A in the Middle School
EDML 599 – Internship B in the Middle School

Recommended Sites/Work Experiences
Students can gain professional work experience at selected school sites.

Professional Organizations
South Carolina Association for Middle Level Education
Association for Middle Level Education

Why this is Important
In the Middle Level Education program, the internship and student teaching experiences are the most profound learning experiences for preservice teacher candidates. Through these experiences, candidates engage in the work of a classroom teacher and begin to embrace their identities as professionals. It adds contributes to their professional growth and stature. It establishes and broadens their network within the profession. Further leadership opportunities. Furthermore, it increases their employment opportunities.

How Students Can Get Started
Talk with your academic advisor and consult with faculty regarding professional organization opportunities. CMLA is another avenue.

 

PARTICIPATE: Research

Related Course(s)
EDML 584 – Middle School Internship Seminar
EDML 598 – Internship A in the Middle School
EDML 599 – Internship B in the Middle School

Other Recommendations
Honor’s College research project

Why this is Important
It is a valued component of the College of Education’s conceptual framework in what you need to be a well-rounded, successful middle level educator. It strengthens their profile as a lifelong learner.

How Students Can Get Started
Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and explore opportunities for Magellan or other scholarships. Talk with your favorite faculty member about research opportunities.

 

INTEGRATE

How to Integrate
The yearlong internship (EDML 598 and EDML 599) is the most significant integrative learning experience in Middle level Education. Planning and implementing learning experiences for middle level students is, at its core, a problem-solving endeavor. Teachers must integrate content knowledge with knowledge of their students, beliefs about how their students learn, and understanding of the conditions under which learning occurs. 

 

LEAD

Initial Career Opportunities
Middle level teacher

Related Graduate Programs 

  • Ed. in Teaching
  • Ed. in Language and Literacy
  • Graduate work in school administration 

Future Career Opportunities
Some of our graduates pursue careers in school administration (e.g., principal)