USF, Hillsborough County Recognized For Excellence In Teacher Education

The Association of Teacher Educators, a national organization that focuses on high quality teacher preparation, recently recognized education partners in Tampa Bay for their role in preparing teachers to educate the next generation.

The 2014 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education award was given to the innovative partnership between the University of South Florida (USF) Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies and Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The award criteria included: collaborative development, research-based principles, data-based decision making and demonstrative positive impact on students.

"Today, high quality teacher education requires intense collaboration with school-based partners," says Diane Yendol-Hoppey, Ph.D., chair of childhood education/literacy studies at the USF College of Education.

The strong partnership is the pinnacle of USF’s success, allowing teachers coming out of the program to receive many hands-on hours in the field and make instructional decisions specific to individual student needs.

The program is unique in that students work directly in classrooms throughout their studies rather than a traditional internship during the last semester. Rather than designing coursework based on theoretical ideas, the program links research-based practice with student learning. These initiatives help provide conclusive data about the positive impact on students.

Another unique aspect is the Partnership Resource Teachers -- Hillsborough County public school teachers on leave who work at USF. These shared positions, funded jointly by USF and the school district, help create strong curriculum links between the university and the field. Every USF faculty member also spends at least one day per week in the field, understanding the challenges the teachers face.

USF’s elementary education degree has 450 students within its two distinct programs: the Urban Teacher Residency Partnership Program and the Elementary Cohort Program. 80 percent of graduates teach in Hillsborough County after graduation, making it an important pipeline for talent.  

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Diane Yendol-Hoppey, USF

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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