Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Future teachers to get more classroom training through USF, Hillsborough schools partnership

TAMPA — Much like doctors' medical residency programs at hospitals, the University of South Florida and the Hillsborough County School District are teaming up to provide intensive in-classroom training to budding teachers.

Starting this fall, 30 USF undergraduate education students will be assigned schools where, from their first semester until they graduate, they will coteach with teachers in the Hillsborough County School District.

It's meant to give the education students more hands-on learning to more practically prepare them for the real world. But it will be equally beneficial for the students, who will have extra help from college students with knowledge of the latest education research, said Diane Yendol-Hoppey, chairwoman of USF's childhood and literacy studies department.

"We need the talents of both the Hillsborough public schools and the university to create really powerful teacher education," Yendol-Hoppey said. "This is in line with what educational reform groups are calling for."

The change sparked another shift at USF. Because of a limited number of spots, the university will soon cut the number of students accepted to the education college from several hundred to just 90 per year.

"It'll be more selective. I think that's a good thing," Yendol-Hoppey said.

She said there are currently about 700 total education students, juniors and seniors, still pursuing degrees. The new partnership program, which begins in the fall, will eventually include three cohorts of 30 students each.

On board so far are the MOSI Partnership Elementary School, across the street from USF, the on-campus Pizzo Elementary School and the USF/Patel Partnership Elementary School, both on the USF campus. Yendol-Hoppey said the goal is to expand that to six Title 1 schools, where the majority of students get free or reduced-price lunches.

For now, three Hillsborough County teachers will be put on special assignment to serve as liaisons between the school district and university. In addition to coteaching with the USF students in the elementary schools, they will teach courses to the same students at the university, said Gwen Luney, Hillsborough's assistant superintendent for student services and federal programs.

USF and the school district will each contribute funds for those teachers' salaries, with USF paying $99,200 in two installments and the Hillsborough district pumping in approximately $45,000 of Title 1 funds, Luney said.

She said she hopes the new initiative will lead to greater retention for new teachers, particularly in Hillsborough's high-needs schools.

"It's kind of a 'grow your own' kind of thing," she said.

Prior to this partnership, USF's education students spent only the last leg of their degree tracks in real elementary schools — a brief internship before being thrust into the working world.

Danielle Dennis, a USF professor who also helps coordinate the partnership, said one of the first things her students discover in the elementary classrooms is the way different kids learn differently.

Another surprise is that teaching is not just about standing in front of a class, but rather more interacting with students in small groups or one-on-one.

Getting that firsthand experience versus just hearing or reading about it gives USF education students an advantage when they graduate, Dennis said.

"Generally, there is a criticism of teacher education programs that it's all theory-based and the practice piece is missing. And generally, that's true," she said. "Our goal is to provide the opportunity to bridge that theory and practice."

Reach Kim Wilmath at or 813-226-3337.

Future teachers to get more classroom training through USF, Hillsborough schools partnership 08/20/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 19, 2011 4:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries


    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?



    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.