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College of Education

Midlands area teachers earn fellowship to earn doctorate

Four Midlands area teachers earned doctoral fellowships through the Professional Development Schools (PDS) network housed in the University of South Carolina’s College of Education. The fellowship program aims to increase research at partnering public schools as well as support the professional development of teachers and administrators by providing scholarships to educators who are completing the Doctor of Education (Ed.D) program.

The four new doctoral fellows include:

  • Kat Degar, CrossRoads Intermediate in Lexington-Richland School District Five
  • Malisa Johnson, Oak Pointe Elementary in Lexington-Richland School District Five
  • Aisja Jones, Killian Elementary, Richland School District Two
  • Kimberly Smalls, Killian Elementary, Richland School District Two

The fellowship offsets more than 75% of the tuition costs. In all, the College of Education now supports eight fellows – all of whom work at a Professional Development School or within the Professional Development Schools District (PDS-D).

“We believe this PDS fellowship provides an avenue to promote classroom teachers getting advanced degrees while at the same time furthering the focus on inquiry and research within our PDS network. It’s a win-win for teachers, the university, schools and students.”

Cindy Van Buren, Assistant Dean for Professional Partnerships

The PDS network continues to grow and now includes 23 schools in five school districts. Most education majors conduct their student-teaching at the partner schools and also take method courses at the sites.


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