University is catalyst for excellence in K-12 through college education
Carolina's seven major academic initiatives will be celebrated during the week of each home football game this season. The fifth -- in the week leading up to the Carolina vs. Vanderbilt game on Oct. 24 -- is the University's Impact on Education, K-12 through college.
The University of South Carolina is dedicated to the high achievement of all learners, the preparation of successful teachers and administrators, and the development of an educated populace.
Whether it’s preparing K-12 teachers, providing materials to boost learning in the classroom, or supporting outreach programs that increase student success across the state, the University brings together theory, research, and practice to promote excellence in education.
The College of Education offers undergraduate degrees that lead to certification in early childhood (PreK-grade 3), elementary (grades 2-6), middle level (grades 5-8), and physical education (grades K-12), and an undergraduate degree in athletic training.
The College of Education also supports numerous outreach programs, including the S.C. Physical Education Assessment Program, administered by the Department of Physical Education in the College of Education. This program assesses school physical education programs in the state. In-service and training programs for teachers related to standards and assessment also are offered.
The Children's Center provides a program of high quality, developmentally appropriate care and education for young children (infancy through age five) of University families. Enrollment at the Center is representative of the University community and well-suited for demonstration, research, and the professional preparation of teachers of young children. In addition to the preparation of early childhood education professionals, the Center serves as a child study laboratory for students from art, music, physical education, psychology, journalism, and speech and hearing. It also serves as a training site for childcare programs in the area.
Other College of Education outreach programs include the Midlands Writing Project, a collaborative program with school districts throughout the Midlands of South Carolina, which is dedicated to improving the teaching of writing in all classrooms Pre K-12.
Many other undergraduate teacher education programs exist within the University, and they all support prospective teachers in developing both in-depth content knowledge and appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions of teaching required in today’s classrooms. Extensive clinical experiences in a variety of appropriate PreK-12 classrooms and schools are a central component of each program.
These programs include K-12 music education in the School of Music; 7-12 business and technology education in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management; and K-12 programs of art education, dance (concentration in dance education), and foreign language (teacher education options in Classics, French, German, and Spanish) in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Project Lead the Way, a program within the College of Engineering and Computing, offers high school and middle school teachers in South Carolina the chance to attend classes in the college to learn new techniques for teaching engineering fundamentals to their students. It's part of a national program that's focused on getting more pre-college students interested in engineering careers. The program trains high school teachers and guidance counselors and allows high school students to earn up to six college credits. Project Lead the Way also addresses nationwide concerns about declining engineering enrollments and what that might mean for the nation's future. In South Carolina, the program puts engineering and engineering technology subjects in the high school and middle school curricula, and gets students thinking about career opportunities they might never have imagined.
The S.C. Geographic Alliance is an initiative of the Department of Geography. The alliance provides the state's K-12 educators with professional development support that includes workshops, seminars, and high-tech teaching aids. More than 7,000 South Carolina educators are members of the Geographic Alliance.
Biographical Imaginations is a program sponsored by the Department of Educational Psychology that brings history to life through presentations at elementary, middle, and high schools. Dressed as South Carolina teachers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, actors present theatrical programs in the schools that re-create classrooms in the early days of education.
Junior Achievement is a students-helping-students volunteer program that pairs K-12 students with graduate students in Carolina’s MBA/IMBA Student Association in the Moore School of Business. The graduate business students receive training and teaching materials from the Junior Achievement Office in Columbia, then select from elementary, middle, and high schools near the University that have requested Junior Achievement volunteers. In the classrooms, the USC student volunteers lead local K-12 students in business-related activities appropriate for their grade level. Topics include how businesses operate, how they price and market their products, and how they hire and train their personnel. The activities and discussions are designed to teach basic business skills and concepts used in business and a free-enterprise system.
The University’s libraries also are committed to the goal of preparing educators and students. The University’s science librarians provide building tours and bibliographic instruction sessions for science classes from state high schools and colleges. Carolina’s Science Library annually assists junior and senior high school students with their Science Fair projects through a special collection of books and materials for on-site patrons and a Web page for off-campus access. K-12 teachers and media specialists can make appointments with USC reference librarians to learn how to use reference resources in the University’s Thomas Cooper Library. The reference department also conducts tours for school groups and other visitors.
The University also provides classroom materials online for easy access and use by teachers across the state. The Center for Science Education, the marine ecological forecasting Helmuth Lab, and the Lithospheric Seismology Lab are a few examples of these active K-12 science education programs.