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College of Education

Professional Development Schools

Like Partnership Sites, Professional Development Schools also provide quality placements for teacher candidates. However, they move beyond this one element of collaboration by agreeing to a three-year commitment to the following:

  • a demonstrated emphasis on inquiry-based teaching and learning;
  • the presence of a critical mass of faculty working with USC teacher candidates throughout their programs;
  • a faculty-wide examination of the National Network for Educational Renewal’s Agenda for Education in a Democracy;
  • conducting of at least one research or demonstration project in collaboration with USC faculty over the course of the three-year relationship;
  • the hosting, whenever possible, of pre-service courses on-site;
  • active participation in the governance of the PDS Initiative within USC’s School-University Partnership Network;
  • the provision of a dedicated physical space within the school for use by a USC Liaison and district remuneration of 50% of the USC Liaison’s annual salary;
  • the assignment of a P-12 faculty member or administrator as the site’s Clinical Adjunct responsible for collaborating with the USC Liaison in guiding PDS initiatives, and district remuneration of 50% of the Clinical Adjunct’s annual stipend.

Benefits for participation as a Professional Development School include:

  • the assistance of a USC Liaison who will work with the school no less than fifteen hours a week supervising USC teacher candidates and serve as a support person for the school’s professional development activities;
  • free leadership training related to the National Network for Educational Renewal’s Agenda for Education in a Democracy for faculty and administrators;
  • free training for faculty on mentoring beginning teachers;
  • at least one free, on-site professional development course, or similar professional development experience, per three-year cycle, with the topic to be identified by school faculty and staff;
  • involvement of a USC faculty member in at least one significant research or demonstration project over the course of the 3-year period;
  • priority consideration for participation in practicum and internship experiences;
  • priority consideration in hosting on-site courses for teacher candidates that provide enrichment experiences for children and professional development opportunities for teachers;
  • priority consideration for grant-funded initiatives and teaching assignments at USC;
  • financial support for faculty and staff to attend the PDS National Conference;
  • opportunities to serve on USC committees to represent the P-12 perspective and share in decision-making regarding education programs and faculty searches; and
  • the option to “bank” tuition reductions from coaching teachers for use by teachers working with USC teacher candidates in other roles.

The USC Professional Development School initiative currently consists of the following schools:

Elementary Schools

Bridge Creek
Horrell Hill
Lake Carolina
North Springs
Oak Pointe
Rice Creek

Middle Schools


High Schools

Dutch Fork
Lower Richland