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Teaching Fellows Program

The South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program is a scholarship 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 (CERRA), the program provides a $24,000 scholarship/loan over 4 years for up to 200 outstanding high school seniors. Directed by Amanda Darden, Coastal Carolina University is one of only eleven (11) institutions in the state identified as a Teaching Fellows Institution. 

Teaching Fellows Orientation

Coastal Carolina Teaching Fellows mission statement is “Shaping Tomorrow’s Teachers Today.” This begins with Teaching Fellows Orientation. All Teaching Fellows (TF) will be required to attend a one-day Orientation program, orchestrated by CERRA, in the summer prior to starting classes. Here, the Teaching Fellows will formally meet their directors, other members of their cohort, and some members of previous cohorts. The orientation will specifically focus on getting to know the new cohort and directors and answering any questions the incoming freshman may have regarding the scholarship program or the university as a whole.

As emphasized in the Teaching Fellows Program literature, camaraderie is an emphasis of the program. It is not just a scholarship program, but also a program that provides opportunities to develop close relationships and leadership skills. Those aspects of the program will be introduced at orientation.

Experiences

The common theme for our experiential opportunities will be a focus on tutoring, service learning, and projects related to improving literacy among students and throughout the community. Currently, the CCU Teaching Fellows program has partnered with Horry County Schools (HCS) to give each freshman and sophomore Teaching Fellow their own field placement in a classroom that matches up with their major. Along with the partnership with HCS, CCU Teaching Fellows has partnered with English Language Services (ELS). ELS is a program in which students from all over the world come to the United States to learn English. All junior fellows will assist and lead the learning for their specific group of ELS students.

Every year, Teaching Fellows goes on a specific adventure, unique to every cohort. Freshman will go on a team building adventure, filled with specialized activities designed to create a strong, cohesive unit. Sophomores will attend Sophomore Conference, held by CERRA. At Sophomore Conference, the Fellows will hear from professionals inside and outside of the field, as well as have the opportunities to lead their own discussion topics. The junior class will go on a diversity rich experience. Finally, the senior class will attend Hill Day in Columbia. Hill Day is an experience in which all graduating Teaching Fellows will travel to the State House, and speak to members of state legislature about current issues regarding the education system in South Carolina.

Welcome Week

College life is a major change for freshmen, and with that in mind, the University has planned a program to assist them with this transition. Welcome Week is designed to complement the orientation program described above. During Welcome Week, Fellows will also attend a variety of activities designed to acquaint them with resources and ideas regarding time management, extracurricular opportunities, study habits, learning support systems, student organizations, leadership opportunities, as well as continuing to build comradery within the cohort. 

The new freshman cohort will be placed in a Residential Learning Community (RLCs), called the TEACH Community, designed to assist them in making the transition from high school to college. This residential arrangement will complement the scope and sequence of courses and learning experiences that the cohort group will share. Resident advisers and academic mentors, in collaboration with the director of the Teaching Fellows Program, will help facilitate floor events, guest lectures, field trips and one-on-one support.

Each new Teaching Fellow will be assigned a peer mentor who is a second-year Teaching Fellow. The mentors will serve as a guide for the new Fellows as they navigate their way through their first year of college, and the years to follow.

Teaching Fellows will also have a specifically designated meeting with the Director of the Teaching Fellows Program, Spadoni College of Education (SCOE) Program Coordinators and representatives from the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee. The focus of this meeting will be to meet individual faculty, school leaders, and community members who will be working with Teaching Fellows throughout their service-learning and school-based experiential learning projects.

Leadership Development

Coastal Carolina University provides opportunities for students to become involved in several organizations on a variety of participant and leadership levels. Teaching Fellows will become more aware of these opportunities through representatives from the Office of Student Activities and Leadership attending the monthly Teaching Fellows. The monthly These opportunities extend from freshman through senior year.

In addition, the Dean of the Spadoni College of Education, Associate Dean, Program Coordinators, and all members of our Teaching Fellow Advisory Board and College Board of Visitors will be instrumental in providing leadership opportunities to our Teaching Fellows. Specifically, Teaching Fellows will be required to serve as representatives and possibly officers on the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, the Spadoni College Teacher Education Advisory Committee and the Student South Carolina Education Association. In addition to these required activities, Teaching Fellows will have opportunities to interact with leaders across campus through seminars and educational events held at the Biddle Center for Community Engagement and the Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning (CeTEAL). Several community leaders serve on our Board of Visitors who will also provide opportunities for students to observe, volunteer and become involved in service learning experiences through their organizations.

Student Activities and Leadership Mission

The Office of Student Activities and Leadership believes that each Coastal Carolina University student's experience is enhanced by activities and programs outside of the classroom. The office creates opportunities for students to participate actively, grow personally, and explore new ideas and interests through a variety of entertainment, educational and involvement experiences. Supporting the University's mission of ensuring student success, Student Activities and Leadership provides students the necessary tools and resources for their individual and student organization success. This office exists to create a student life experience exclusive to Coastal Carolina University. To accomplish this mission, we will promote student involvement outside the classroom, provide high-quality guidance and support to individual students and student organizations, and develop students who are productive, responsible members of the community.

For more information about the Coastal Carolina University Teaching Fellows Program, contact Campus Director Amanda J. Darden at adarden1@coastal.edu.