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College of Education

Middle Grades Initiative

The South Carolina Middle Grades Initiative works through partnerships and collaborations with educators, researchers, government agencies, non-profits, and post-secondary institutions to sponsor projects that support improved academic achievement and positive youth development.

Read to Succeed

Literacy has been an important area of focus for the Middle Grades Initiative. Students in the middle grades must read to learn. Students who cannot read at grade level face obstacles across all subject areas in middle school and beyond.

Given the critical need to ensure that children develop reading proficiency early in their school career, we have expanded the focus of our current efforts to improve literacy among South Carolina students to include early childhood and grades K-12.

Dr. Baron Holmes has been a key partner with the SC Department of Education, the SC Education Oversight Committee and other stakeholders in developing the comprehensive, system-wide approach to improving reading that is reflected in the Read to Succeed bills that the General Assembly passed in June 2014.

Key components of the bills include the creation of a Read to Succeed office, development of district pre k-12 reading proficiency plans, additional teacher training in literacy, mandatory readiness assessments for pre-K and kindergarten students, summer reading camps, and retention for 3rd grade students who do not meet minimum reading standards (with certain exceptions for students with limited English proficiency, certain disabilities and others).


Literacy Teacher add-on endorsement

The South Carolina Read to Succeed Office gave provisional approval to the College of Education’s Literacy Teacher add-on courses for 2014-2015, and final approval in January 2015.
The law requires that beginning in fiscal year 2015-2016, middle and secondary licensed classroom teachers are required to take at least one course or three credit hours, or the equivalent professional development hours as determined by the South Carolina Read to Succeed Office, to improve reading instruction within five years of their most recent certification. The coursework and professional development must be approved by the State Board of Education and include courses and professional development leading to the literacy teacher add-on endorsement.  Coursework and professional development must include a course in reading in the content area.
The South Carolina Read to Succeed Office has approved the College of Education’s content area literacy course for middle level and high school in-service teachers.

All of the College of Education’s pre-service courses for early childhood, elementary, middle level and high school classroom teachers, all courses for the in-service Literacy Teacher add-on endorsement, and the one course for in-service middle level and high school teachers have been approved by the Read to Succeed Office.