Bachelor of Science

Elementary Cohort FAQ's

WHAT DOES THE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION/ESOL PROGRAM CONSIST OF?

The Elementary Education/ESOL Cohort program is a 5-semester full-time program with a modified part-time option for Spring semester admits. Upon completion, students earn an Elementary Education/ESOL endorsement teacher certification that makes them eligible to teach grades K-6 in schools across the state of Florida. The program fully prepares pre-service educators for a career in the field of Elementary Education. The program’s content is constructed to meet all state of Florida requirements for professional educators.

WHEN DO I START?

The program is designed to be started after all general education requirements have been met or an associate of arts (AA) degree has been obtained. All students must attend a College of Education orientation before registering for any Elementary Education classes. Orientation dates are available from the Student Academic Services office.

WHAT IS A COHORT?

A cohort is a group of two elementary education schools, usually in the same geographic area, in either Hillsborough or Pasco County. The classes in each cohort are the same, but each cohort has a different class schedule. Students must follow the class schedule of their cohort. You will be placed in a specific cohort and a specific school within that cohort when you enter the program in the fall. This will be your cohort/school for the first four semesters. Students are allowed to indicate a cohort/school preference when they enter the program, but placement in the preferred cohort is not guaranteed. During the final internship semester (fifth semester), students may petition to complete their final internship at a non-partnership school. Elementary Education students can intern in Hillsborough and Pasco County Public Schools only for final internship. Guest internships are not permitted in other counties.  

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ME TO COMPLETE THE PROGRAM?

Fall admit students will complete the program as a member of a cohort in 5 semesters with 15-18 credit hours in Fall & Spring semesters, and 12 in the summer. Spring admits will complete the program in 6 semesters by taking 12 credit hours of Educational Psychology/ESOL/Exceptional Student Education courses in the spring and then joining the following Fall cohort course sequence. Spring admits will therefore have less credit hours in some semesters compared to the Fall cohort admits. All students will graduate in the Spring semester.

CAN I TAKE COURSES IN THE EVENING?

Some of your courses may offered in the evening; however, you must be available during the day for many of your courses.

HOW MANY INTERNSHIPS/FIELD EXPERIENCES WILL I HAVE?

You will have a field classroom experience in each semester. The Level I field experience is one full day a week. Level II is one day a week in the same classroom as Level I. Level III is two full days a week. The final internship is five full days a week. The summer field experience will be in an alternative, non-traditional setting such as The Boys and Girls Club or the HOST Program. Students may also participate in an Alternative Field Experience class in the summer through the Cambridge Schools Experience – a four-week study abroad experience in Cambridge, England. There is also a two-week study abroad experience in Costa Rica.

AM I ALLOWED TO CHOOSE THE SCHOOL IN WHICH I INTERN?

No, the placement for your Field Experiences are determined by program faculty. You will stay in the same cohort group at the same school for your level I, II, and III internships. You will be responsible for arranging your own transportation to the school you are placed in. Your final Field Experience is determined by the School Board of the county in which you wish to intern, either Hillsborough or Pasco counties. If you have an extenuating circumstance such as transportation needs or daycare issues, you can complete a petition. No guest internships are allowed in other counties.

ARE THERE DEADLINES I NEED TO BE AWARE OF?

Yes. There are deadlines for you to register for a college orientation, apply to take the Florida Teacher Certification Exam, graduation, and to submit your final internship application. These deadlines are usually sent via email or posted on CANVAS, but it is your responsibility to stay informed!

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO REGISTER?

You will be registered for all your first semester courses after you attend the College of Education’s admitted student orientation. In subsequent semesters, you will register yourself in OASIS for the class schedule given to you by program faculty.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TO REGISTER FOR?

All your courses will be outlined on the course plan sheet. You will be required to follow the course sequence and schedule for your cohort.

HOW CAN I STAY BETTER INFORMED?

At orientation, your USF email will be subscribed to the Elementary Education program email list. Notifications of important program and course information are sent using this email list. You are responsible for regularly checking your USF email for this information. In addition, there is a cohort Facebook page.

If you have any other questions during your time at USF, please first consult the USF Undergraduate Catalog for the year you began the program or the Schedule of Classes catalog. If either of these publications is unable to answer your question, please contact the Early Elementary Education office at 813-974-3460 (EDU 202) or Student Academic Services at 813-974-2979 (EDU 106).

CAN FINAL INTERNS RECEIVE AN EARLY RELEASE FROM THE INTERNSHIP TO BE EMPLOYED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There will be no early release of undergraduate elementary preservice teachers from their final internship to take a teaching position unless students are in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Pre-service teachers are eligible to be employed, but only after the final date of their internship and participation in the Inquiry Conference.