Winthrop University: Winthrop Among Three Institutions Awarded State Grants to Improve Teacher Education
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Winthrop Among Three Institutions Awarded State Grants to Improve Teacher Education

February 09, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Winthrop’s center will be awarded $99,802 to specialize in partnership internship residences to address teacher shortages.
  • Winthrop officials said residencies typically provide financial support for teacher candidates during internship in exchange for teaching in the district beyond after certification.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Given the increasing attrition rates and decreasing number of teacher candidates in South Carolina, Winthrop University will create a Center of Excellence that will focus on partnership internship residences to address the shortage. 

Called Addressing Shortages through Partnership Internship Residences in Education (ASPIRE), the center will seek to design, study, and disseminate best practices for Internship Certification implementation specifically with undergraduate teacher candidates for the Rock Hill, Clover and York school districts. 

Winthrop is one of three institutions in the state receiving the one-year grants from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education to support teacher education improvement. The other recipients are The Citadel and Converse College. 

Winthrop’s center will be awarded $99,802 to specialize in partnership internship residences to address teacher shortages. 

Winthrop officials said residencies typically provide financial support for teacher candidates during internship in exchange for teaching in the district beyond after certification. 

Beth Costner, associate dean for the Richard W. Riley College of Education, said Winthrop is dedicated to working with the college’s school partners to explore innovations that provide meaningful experiences for the university’s teacher candidates while meeting the needs of public schools. “ASPIRE, together with the university’s NetSERVE grant, will provide opportunities to explore teacher residency models as a mechanism to meet teacher shortages in our region and state,” she added. 

Costner and Bettie Parsons Barger, director of the Rex Institute for Educational Renewal and Partnerships, will serve as co-directors of the ASPIRE Center. 

This center will result in: 

*A sustainable, research-based Internship Certificate model that addresses immediate and long-term teacher shortage needs;

*Master teacher training to support mentorship and advancement in the profession for aspects such as undergraduate certification;

*Dissemination of Internship Certificate implementation model across partnership districts and state teacher preparation programs; and

*Collaboration with other centers, professional organizations and partner preparation programs to explore model efficacy. 

ASPIRE will develop a pilot for an undergraduate Internship Certificate process that addresses teacher recruitment and retention at all pre-baccalaureate levels with the following schools: Larne and Oakdale Elementary schools; York Intermediate School; Clover, Sullivan and York Middle schools; and South Pointe and York Comprehensive high schools. Hopefully schools in other nearby counties will be added later. 

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu

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Last Updated: 10/4/21