Teaching future teachers: Educators visit USC to learn best practices
About 80 educators from around the country visited the campus recently to learn how to serve on accreditation teams evaluating colleges of education.
The group represented the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education—the body that rates how well colleges educate future teachers.
Earlier this year, the USC College of Education earned full continuing accreditation from NCATE. The college was recognized for receiving the highest rating in the NCATE standard on field experiences and clinical practice, including student teaching and other school-based experiences. The NCATE evaluators awarded USC accreditation through 2017 with no areas for improvement.
“As an independent accreditation entity, NCATE sets a high bar, especially in terms of specifying performance standards for candidates who are seeking to become members of the education profession,” said Les Sternberg, dean of the USC College of Education. “To achieve national recognition without any areas of improvement being specified by NCATE is truly a testament to the extremely high quality of the preparation programs being offered at the University of South Carolina.”
USC is one of the first colleges in the nation to focus on field experiences and clinical practices and subsequently achieve the highest rating of excellence by NCATE. The College of Education serves as the hub of the professional education unit at USC, with the college leading the development of school–university partnerships.
The College of Education has had collaborations with schools for more than 20 years and has published more than 40 research papers on school-university collaboration in the past five years. More than 80 percent of the college’s teacher preparation courses are taught on-site in local schools, and the university works with 140 schools in seven districts.