Skip to main content
The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Centers of Excellence Symposium explores ways to improve teacher education

Wed, 06/14/2023

COE opening

The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) hosted the 2023 Centers of Excellence Symposium June 7-8 at the University Center of Greenville, bringing together more than 85 educators, policymakers, and researchers to discuss the latest trends in teacher education and professional development

COE breakoutThe South Carolina Centers of Excellence program is a competitive grant program awarded to improve teacher quality and student achievement in South Carolina. The program enables eligible institutions, or consortia of such institutions, to serve as resource centers in a specific area related to the improvement of teacher education. In the current fiscal year, the CHE funded six centers at five universities and colleges across the state. The centers offer a variety of programs and services, including:

  • Alternative educator certification programs to prepare teachers to teach in high-need areas
  • Professional development programs
  • Research on teacher education and professional development
  • Teacher retention and recruitment
  • Leadership development and training at rural schools
  • Retention and recruitment of diverse educators

“It is our goal to use this symposium as a platform for the Centers of Excellence to bring the programs and other state programs together to share effective models, practices, establish potential partnerships, discuss emerging needs, and exchange resources and information,” said Dr. Lishu Yin, the CHE ‘s program manager for Educator Quality, Retention, and Recruitment.

The theme of this year’s symposium was "Celebrating a Culture of Collaboration Through Resourcefulness of Partnerships." The event featured presentations and discussion from leaders in teacher education on topics including:

  • The latest research and data from on teacher education
  • Alternative educator certification programs for teacher preparation and professional development
  • Replicating successful program models
  • Internship certificate program
  • Leader coaching models
  • Educator preparation programs and apprenticeship programs
  • Strategies for increasing teacher retention and recruitment
  • Streamlining teacher education program curricula between two-year and four-year higher learning institutions
  • Summer bridge programs for remedial education
  • Professional development in mathematical literacy
  • Summer camps for gifted education development for children in rural areas

“We would like to seek solutions to address the critical issues related to teacher education, and the ultimate goal is to improve the student learning outcomes,” Yin added. “We are not here for competition, but we are here for collaboration to maximize the resources we have in the Palmetto State.”

Presenters for the four general sessions and 21 breakout sessions included six Centers of Excellence teams and more than 25 South Carolina education leaders. Representatives from The U.S. Department of Labor and South Carolina Technical College System also participated in the topical discussion groups. Action items will be followed up on at the September South Carolina Education Deans’ Alliance meeting.

COE opening session