2018 News

College of Education partners with Kathleen High School in ‘Schools of Hope’ Whole School Transformation program

USF professors present to teachers at Kathleen High School

To kickoff a new partnership with Kathleen High School, College of Education professors met with the school's teachers and administrators this week to discuss a new grant that will provide tuition reimbursement for USF graduate programs.

TAMPA, Fla. (March 1, 2018) – The University of South Florida College of Education has partnered with a Polk County high school to provide support to teachers and administrators in their work towards transforming the school.   

The partnership is part of a $4.4 million grant Kathleen High School received through the Schools of Hope Whole School Transformation program. Through USF’s involvement, educators at Kathleen High School will build capacity for sustaining improvement and innovation as the grant provides reimbursements for tuition and fees for Kathleen staff to pursue advanced degrees and graduate certificates in education at USF.

Faculty from the College of Education are currently working with Kathleen High School to evaluate the needs of the school and to potentially offer on-site instruction for teachers and administrators to pursue graduate courses through USF.

“We are extremely excited about the partnership, as the Schools of Hope grant represents a unique opportunity for the College of Education to partner with Polk County to meet both pressing shorter term goals for turnaround and long term goals of sustainable transformation,” said Dr. Bill Black, an associate professor in the College’s Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program who is serving as the program coordinator for the partnership.

Kathleen High School is one of 20 schools selected by the Florida Department of Education in the competitive grant process. Funding from this grant will support Kathleen High School as it continues its first year of a two-year turnaround school plan to raise the school’s performance grade from a D or F to at least a C. Other initiatives taking place as part of the grant include academic coaching and career counseling for students and a research-based music therapy program. 

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at USF has collaborated with Polk County Public Schools previously through other projects such as the Educational Leadership Professional Learning Alliance and the Race to the Top funded Gulf Coast Partnership, which still continues through the David C. Anchin Center’s ongoing Gulf Coast Partnership, a cohort program for assistant principals in USF’s partner school districts who aspire to obtain their state of Florida certification and become a school principal.

The grant will support $457,000 in tuition reimbursements for teachers and administrators at Kathleen High School through June 2019.  

About the USF College of Education: 
As one of the top 100 colleges of education in the nation, the USF College of Education is committed to preparing the next generation of leaders in the field of education. Through innovative research opportunities, hands-on field experiences and community partnerships, the College of Education provides the resources students need to be world-class educators, researchers and leaders. The USF College of Education is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation and is fully approved by the Florida Department of Education.