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The South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program at the
University of South Carolina Upstate

The South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program is a fellowship program for qualified South Carolina high school students who wish to pursue a degree in education and a career in South Carolina’s public schools following graduation. Administered by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement, the program provides a $24,000 fellowship/loan over 4 years for up to 175 outstanding high school seniors. The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) is one of only eleven (11) institutions in the state identified as a Teaching Fellows Institution. The first cohort of USC Upstate Teaching Fellows graduated in May, 2006.

With a general theme of “Preparing Teachers for a Diverse Society” the Teaching Fellows Program at USC Upstate seeks to provide a wide range of enrichment experiences for this group of outstanding education majors, to nurture them as a community of learners, to introduce them to possibilities for leadership in K-12 schools, and to retain the Fellows -- not only at the institution but in the profession as well. Freshman and sophomore Fellows at USC Upstate are enrolled in a seminar class each semester built around a sequence of early experiences in K-12 schools. Each Fellow completes observation hours in primary grades, upper elementary grades, middle schools and high schools. A concerted effort is made to place students in settings where the K-12 student population is particularly diverse. Class meetings of the seminar are used to explore current issues in education, give direction to observations in the assigned K-12 settings, and to debrief after classroom visits. Fellows keep a journal during these early classroom experiences.

All Fellows participate in several meetings during the semester. These meetings are designed to allow the Fellows an opportunity to become acquainted and explore the opportunities and challenges of education as a career. Fellows form a collaborative bond that will extend beyond their years at Upstate and into their professional careers. Sophomore Fellows attend a professional conference. Junior Fellows travel as a group, usually together with Fellows from other Fellows institutions around the state, to explore diversity in an urban setting. Washington, DC and Atlanta were recent destinations. Senior Fellows focus their time and energy on being outstanding student teachers.

Fellows take on leadership roles on campus by participating in organizations such as TEACh, and a variety of other campus activities. They serve the Upstate community by performing required service hours each semester for a designated group. They participate in special Teaching Fellow activities—speaking to Teacher Cadet classes, assisting with Teacher Cadet Day on campus, attending the Teaching Fellows Advisory Board meetings, assisting with Teaching Fellow Interview Day, or helping prepare for Teaching Fellow meetings. Upstate Fellows may act as a mentor to a Fellow in their same major, update the web site, Facebook page or write an article for the School of Education newsletter.

All Fellows are advised by Phyllis Williams, the Campus Director of the USC Upstate Teaching Fellows Program and a faculty member in the School of Education at USC Upstate. You may contact her using the information that follows:

Phyllis Williams, Campus Director
USC Upstate Teaching Fellows
Phone:  864-503-5532
E-mail: pwilliams2@uscupstate.edu

For information about Teaching Fellows statewide, go to CERRA.org.