In an effort to promote the advancement in the quality of the experience members of the Teaching Fellows Program offered at the University of South Carolina receive, this course has been designed to meet member needs by offering a regularly set time to provide instructional programming and support, professional development opportunities, and to facilitate the overall personal and professional growth of each Teaching Fellow so that they may meet and exceed program requirements.
As the largest Teaching Fellows program in the state, it is often difficult to organize meeting times and efforts of participants due to the varying amount of academic programs of study for each of the 136 members. Currently, the USC Teaching Fellows program meets once monthly on a selected Sunday afternoon during the academic year. This schedule has been maximized in its current format to accomplish the program’s mission of producing high quality educators, but more student growth would certainly occur if program members met with more regular frequency. This course would offer a regularly scheduled opportunity for program members to meet, participate in professional development and educational opportunities, and collaborate on program related initiatives that would lead to a more efficient use of both time and program resources.
This course is designed to be a 0 Credit Hour offering due to its proposed nature as a support mechanism that would enable the Teaching Fellows program to continue positive growth and also in order to not place additional financial strain on student members. The cost of delivery for this course would be minimal due to already having a full time USC College of Education staff member already dedicated as the Program Director for the Teaching Fellows Program, who in turn would serve as the course instructor.
This course is also being proposed in order to meet indicated areas of improvement that were highlighted from the 2016 Teaching Fellows Program Evaluation completed by the Center of Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) who oversee the Teaching Fellows Program statewide. The course’s learning outcomes been developed to address the select areas of improvement identified within the CERRA program evaluation, which included the need for additional institutional support for program members, increased opportunities to focus on projects and programming that would benefit their professional growth, and assist with College of Education and USC initiatives as needed. The outcomes state that at the completion of the course each student will be able to:
- analyze professional development experiences in relation to teaching and student learning
- plan and provide learning experiences that are supported by best practice and professional standards
- engage in reflective practice
- communicate and collaborate with diverse populations, exhibiting professional behaviors and dispositions
The creation of this course would also increase the equitability between other Teaching Fellows institutions in South Carolina. Other institutions are currently offering set academic courses that allow Teaching Fellows program participants the academic support necessary to meet and exceed program requirements and provide support for program initiatives, all while assisting in the professional growth of program members. The creation of this course would allow for our program to continue to grow in its ability to help our participants reach their professional goals and to also serve the needs of individuals and groups with whom the Teaching Fellows program are associated.