USF’s closing of the College of Education runs counter to its own goals and the community’s needs

The teacher at the front of each classroom is an absolute cornerstone of a strong education system. And a strong pre-kindergarten through college or technical school system is the backbone of a thriving economy and community. These are interconnected, and that makes the recent decision by the University of South Florida to close its College of Education and end undergraduate teacher education so incongruent to the goals of this community and USF’s own stated goals.

Charles M. Harris is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pinellas Education Foundation. [ Provided ]

The future of the College of Education at USF directly connects to the unwavering commitment of the Pinellas Education Foundation to elevate high-quality instruction to accelerate student achievement. As a coalition of business and community leaders, we collaborate with local partners to advance student success and better prepare them for the world beyond the classroom. Critical to

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USF’s College of Education can still turn around

USF will shutter College of Education | Oct. 16

We can turn this around

I have been involved with the Univer- sity of South Florida’s College of Edu- cation in one form or another since the 1970s. It was once one of the premier col- leges of education in the nation. Over the past 20 years, I have witnessed a sad decline in the quality of not only the undergraduate training, but true part- nerships with school districts.

What is happening now should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been involved in the college. In my nine years on the USF Foundation Board, I witnessed the college consistently being treated like the unwanted child of the university. But I do believe the under- graduate program can be saved as a

4-year program. While it is true people are not exactly banging down the doors to become teachers,

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