Gamecock EdQuarters, the College of Education's one-stop student service center, coordinates placements for candidates in our teacher preparation programs. We maintain positive collaborative relationships between USC's educator preparation programs and over 140 P-12 schools in 33 districts in Columbia and surrounding communities.
We place practicum and internship candidates in Partnership Sites interested in mentoring future educators and also organize professional development and research projects in 18 Professional Development Schools. In addition, Gamecock EdQuarters serves as the link between the university and 11 local Teacher Cadet programs designed to introduce high school students to the teaching profession.
About Partnership Sites and Professional Development Schools
The University of South Carolina recognizes the vital role that teacher candidate placement in school settings plays in improving the quality of teachers and other educators entering the profession. The university therefore appreciates the commitment made by local school districts in encouraging P-12 faculty to mentor USC teacher candidates as they progress throughout their programs.
All of our partner schools fall into one of two models: Partnership Sites and Professional Development Schools. Each model has its own levels of input from both the schools and the university, but both models rely on a shared commitment to improved teaching and learning. Partnership Sites and Professional Development Schools are identified through discussions between university and school district personnel, with the following criteria serving as the basis for selection:
- The school should have an instructional staff that is interested in working with teacher candidates and which understands the requirements of doing so.
- The school should have well‑qualified faculty who employ effective teaching techniques.
- The school should be sensitive to multicultural concerns in its curriculum and programs.
- The school should be innovative and progressive in its policies and practices, with faculty willing to allow University of South Carolina candidates to try a variety of teaching practices.
- The school should have adequate physical facilities and up‑to‑date instructional equipment and materials.
- The school should have a curriculum that includes optimum educational experiences for both pupils and teacher candidates.
- The school should have a well‑organized in-service program to stimulate professional growth of the instructional staff.