2020 News Stories

2020 News Stories

College of Education logo

Faculty and Staff Notes: Fall 2020
December 22, 2020

The College of Education's faculty members are actively engaged in research and other scholarly activities, including service to the University, the community, and the field of education. Learn about the accomplishments and achievements of our faculty and staff during the Fall 2020 semester.

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Dana Thompson Dorsey

USF College of Education welcomes Dana Thompson Dorsey as new endowed chair and director of David C. Anchin Center
December 16, 2020

The College of Education welcomes Dana Thompson Dorsey, JD, PhD, as the new endowed chair of education innovation and director of the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching. In this role, Dr. Thompson Dorsey will advance the Anchin Center’s mission of collaborating with teachers, school leaders, districts and other educators to improve the quality of education for students and transforming the teaching profession to attract, retain and develop quality, culturally responsive educators.

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Education in Action virtual event explores digital equity during COVID-19
December 16, 2020

Hosted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Education in Action event centered on the theme “Building Digital Equity in Today’s Schools,” and featured keynote speaker Kenneth Shelton, an education technology expert who has advocated for digital access initiatives in various State Departments of Education, Ministries of Education and nonprofit organizations.

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Lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling

Professor leads workshop series to promote inclusion, equal opportunity at USF
December 10, 2020

To educate the University of South Florida (USF) community on issues relating to racism and equity, a team led by College of Education Associate Professor Ruthmae Sears, PhD, launched an online series focused on promoting inclusive excellence on all three USF campuses. Hosted by USF’s Black Employee Steering Committee, the Institute on Black Life, and the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), the Enlightenment Workshop Series invites faculty, staff and students to learn about topics such as cultural competence, bias and systemic racism. 

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Pecha Kucha Virtual Event 2020

Virtual Pecha Kucha allows faculty, students to share brief research presentations
December 2, 2020

The Fall 2020 Pecha Kucha Research Event featured the work of eight College of Education faculty and student researchers who were challenged to demonstrate the most captivating elements of their research in only six minutes and 40 seconds.

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Literacy Studies faculty and students to present research, receive awards at Literacy Research Association Annual Conference
December 1, 2020

Students, faculty members and alumni from USF’s Literacy Studies Program will present their research at the Literacy Research Association’s (LRA) 70th Annual Conference. Held virtually this year, the LRA Annual Conference brings together individuals who share an interest in advancing literacy theory, research, and practice to engage in research and dialogue pertaining to literacy and related topics.

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Students at USF's Preschool for Creative Learning

Preschool for Creative Learning receives $1.3 million grant to support USF student parents
November 9, 2020

The University of South Florida’s (USF) Preschool for Creative Learning (PCL) received a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide financial assistance and other resources to USF students who are parents of preschool-aged children. The project, “Childcare Access Means Parents in School” includes funds to provide partial tuition assistance for children enrolled at the PCL whose parent is a USF student and classified as “Pell-eligible” as determined by their financial aid status. 

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MARVL App

Virtual characters created at USF to teach emergent bilingual students English
November 9, 2020

A new research-based app developed by College of Education Assistant Professor Sara Smith, PhD, will soon be accessible to K-12 students and teachers in an effort to bolster a more multilingual society. The patent-pending Multimedia Augmented Reality Vocabulary Learning (MARVL) app is paired with special vocabulary cards by using the camera lens of a smartphone or tablet, which then activate two virtual characters who teach English to Spanish-speaking students.

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Laptop by window

Registration now open for David C. Anchin Center ‘Reimagining Education’ Virtual Conference
October 29, 2020

Registration is now open for the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching’s first virtual conference, “Reimagining Education: Opportunities for Achievement, Equity and Justice in a Post-Pandemic World.” Created in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the conference will discuss the urgency the education sector faces in developing enduring, transformative changes for how education is provided to diverse populations in Florida schools. The online conference will take place on Dec. 3-5, 2020.

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College of Education Building

College of Education Welcomes New Faculty for the 2020-21 Academic Year
September 25, 2020

The College of Education is proud to welcome new faculty for the 2020-21 academic year. These individuals bring with them a diverse set of research interests and experiences that demonstrate their commitment to high-impact research, student success and innovation in the field of education.

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Faculty and Staff Notes: Summer 2020
September 25, 2020

The College of Education's faculty members are actively engaged in research and other scholarly activities, including service to the University, the community, and the field of education. Learn about the accomplishments and achievements of our faculty and staff during the Summer 2020 semester.

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Shape the Future. Go Teach.

USF partners with College Football Playoff Foundation to inspire student-athletes to ‘Go Teach’
September 17, 2020

The University of South Florida (USF) College of Education and USF Athletics are proud to announce the launch of a new partnership with the College Football Playoff Foundation to motivate college student-athletes to enter teaching careers after graduation.

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Two hands with the words "stop racism" written on them

USF selects 23 research projects for funding in anti-racism effort
September 9, 2020

A University of South Florida research task force working to address racial issues and attitudes on a local, national and global scale has selected 23 projects exploring a wide range of issues in systemic inequality, economic and health disparities, Black history and contemporary challenges for funding. Multiple research projects from faculty and staff in the College of Education were selected for funding as part of this effort. 

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Girl smiling outside at sunset

UMatter program to provide young people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity for a college education and experience
August 26, 2020

A new program led by a team in the College of Education on USF's St. Petersburg campus will provide a population of students who aren’t typically represented on college campuses the opportunity to experience higher education and campus life.

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World map with points to show where course participants are from

David C. Anchin Center online course provides teachers with best practices for virtual instruction
August 20, 2020

Driven to provide educators with the skills and tools they need to be successful while teaching online, James Hatten, an instructor in USF’s Instructional Technology program, collaborated with the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching this summer to launch an online professional development series titled, “Effective Online Teaching.” The two-week-long course was created using an asynchronous format and welcomed more than 500 participants who were eager to sharpen their skills before the new school year.

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Teacher working with students in a classroom on laptops

USF researchers partner with nonprofits CodeVA, TERC on NSF-funded project to bring computer science into Virginia’s middle school history classrooms
August 19, 2020

University of South Florida (USF) professor Michael J. Berson, PhD, is partnering with Virginia-based nonprofit CodeVA and math-science nonprofit TERC on a multi-year research project to broaden middle school students’ participation in meaningful and culturally relevant computer science instruction during their history classes.

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Elementary CyberCamp screenshot

USF successfully hosts Virtual Elementary CyberCamp for 29 students
July 30, 2020

The University of South Florida hosted the first-ever USF Elementary CyberCamp to introduce elementary students grades 3-5 to cybersecurity. The camp curriculum was created by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT) and the USF College of Education and was designed as an engaging, educational, and fun virtual experience for the campers.

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Michael Berson headshot

Professor receives national award for contributions to social science education field
July 28, 2020

College of Education Professor Michael J. Berson, PhD, received the Irving Morrissett Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Science Education this month at the Social Science Education Consortium’s (SSEC) 2020 Annual Meeting.

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CyberCamp group photo

Virtual CyberCamp helps high school students develop cybersecurity skills, explore careers paths
July 27, 2020

High school students from across the state of Florida and beyond joined together for a week of online conversations and activities while exploring the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity. Now in its fifth year, the University of South Florida’s CyberCamp gives high school students of different ability levels and backgrounds hands-on experience in cybersecurity principles while providing them with opportunities to network with industry professionals in the Tampa Bay cybersecurity community. 

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Consuelo Blake in virtual classroom

USF students gain literacy teaching skills through virtual tutoring program
July 23, 2020

In response to USF's shift to fully-online instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic, the College of Education's summer literacy practicum course was hosted in a format that gave USF students experience tutoring preschool and elementary-aged students in virtual settings.

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Ruthmae Sears headshot

Associate Professor selected for fellowship with IAspire Leadership Academy
July 22, 2020

USF Associate Professor Ruthmae Sears, PhD, was selected to join the second cohort of the Aspire Alliance’s Institutional Change Network (IChange) IAspire Leadership Academy. The IAspire Leadership Academy is a National Science Foundation funded program that is designed to develop and train the next generation of underrepresented leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in higher education. 

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Anchin Scholars in Residence and STEM Fellow headshots

David C. Anchin Center announces new Scholars-in-Residence, STEM Fellow
July 22, 2020

The David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching welcomed two new Scholars-in-Residence and a STEM Fellow for the 2020-21 academic year. The Anchin Center, housed in USF’s College of Education, welcomes USF faculty members each year to participate in the Scholar-in-Residence Program. New this year, the Anchin Center’s STEM Fellows Program welcomes USF faculty to explore research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. 

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USF Announces the Appointment of Interim Dean for the College of Education
June 29, 2020

USF has announced the appointment of Professor Judith A. Ponticell as Interim Dean of the USF College of Education, effective July 6, 2020. Dr. Ponticell has served as Chair of the Department of Leadership, Counseling, Adult, Career, and Higher Education at USF since 2014 and has shown herself to be a strong, balanced and effective academic leader.

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Tampa Bay Area Writing Project logo

Tampa Bay Area Writing Project launches ‘Dear Writer’ Summer Program to help students explore creative writing from home
May 29, 2020

The Tampa Bay Area Writing Project is launching a new online summer program for students who want to explore their creative writing skills while social distancing at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To follow social distancing guidelines, the project’s 2020 Summer Programs have moved fully online in the form of “Dear Writer,” an 8-week long experience that creative writing enthusiasts can participate in completely from home.

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USF graduates in regalia outside Sessums Elementary

81 College of Education students receive full-time teaching offers from Hillsborough County Public Schools
May 8, 2020

Eighty-one students graduating from the USF College of Education’s teacher preparation programs this semester have received full-time teaching offers from Hillsborough County Public Schools.

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Ryan Blew

Elementary Education major Ryan Blew selected for College of Education Graduation with Distinction Award
May 7, 2020

The Graduation with Distinction Award is presented to select undergraduate students in the College of Education who stand apart from their peers based on their academic excellence, professional development, community service or research and scholarship while a student at USF.

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Preschooler painting a stick from the outdoors

Activities to keep your preschooler learning from home—tips from the USF Preschool for Creative Learning
May 6, 2020

Teachers from the USF Preschool for Creative Learning share ideas that offer activities for play with young children while supporting learning connections in a variety of content areas. These experiences allow for children to work together with family members and engage in discussion as they play.

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College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients 2020

USF College of Education announces recipients of 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards
May 5, 2020

The USF College of Education is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Each year, the College of Education presents our Distinguished Alumni Awards to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our graduates. Recipients are selected by a committee of College of Education faculty, staff and administrators from nominations submitted by the USF community.

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student learning on laptop with teacher

David C. Anchin Center launches free professional development series to help educators teach online
May 4, 2020

The David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching has launched a new series of online professional development courses to help K-12 teachers learn best practices for effectively teaching online.

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teacher with students using computer

FCIT launches free online course series to support K-12 teachers through virtual instruction
April 23, 2020

The Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT), in partnership with USF Corporate Training and Professional Education, has launched the first in a series of fully-online professional development courses to help support K-12 teachers in virtual teaching environments.

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Malina Pakulak teaching an online lesson from her classroom in Italy

Alumna adapts to rapid changes in education while teaching in Italy during COVID-19 pandemic
April 16, 2020

Malina Pakulak knew becoming an educator would require flexibility. Yet, when the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck Italy, forcing the country into a nation-wide lockdown on March 9, Pakulak wasn’t sure what the teaching profession would look like in the coming weeks.

“It happened like the flip of a switch,” Pakulak said.

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ChooSELovetothrive series

USF School Psychology Program joins national initiative to bring free social emotional learning resources to parents, educators
April 14, 2020

Faculty and graduate students in USF’s School Psychology Program have joined a collaboration of nonprofit organizations to launch the "ChooSELove To Thrive" series, a campaign that provides parents and educators with social emotional learning strategies for supporting students and families through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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USF student Jessica Alvarez hosts a video read aloud for her students

College of Education teacher candidates adapt to changes in schooling amid COVID-19 pandemic
April 9, 2020

Though teaching their students face-to-face in a classroom is no longer an option, seniors completing their final internship in one of the College of Education’s teacher preparation programs are adapting to a “new normal” by virtually teaching and connecting with their students in creative ways.  

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Student using laptop

10 Tips for Success in Online Classes
April 3, 2020

It’s no secret that a sudden shift to online instruction may leave many students feeling overwhelmed about their academic success. USF Instructional Technology faculty members James Hatten, PhD, and Sanghoon Park, PhD, share tips and strategies to help you successfully navigate the transition to online learning. 

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mother and son hugging at home

Tips for Parents: How to Talk to Your Child About COVID-19
April 3, 2020

Uncertain times can leave parents feeling uneasy about how to talk to their child about what’s going on in the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. USF Counselor Education Instructor Cynthia Topdemir, PhD, shares strategies and resources for parents and educators to use while talking about the coronavirus with their children.

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father and son playing with a toy at home

How to meet the social, emotional needs of your child during COVID-19
April 3, 2020

The sudden life adjustments caused by COVID-19 may cause many of us to feel mentally, physically and emotionally drained—and these feelings have no age limit. USF School Psychology Instructor Kahlila Lawrence, PhD, provides some strategies for how parents can best support their children socially and emotionally while the whole family is at home full-time.

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father and daughter using a laptop together

How parents can support their K-12 student in online learning
April 3, 2020

For many parents, the sudden leap into online learning brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic may be an additional challenge presented during an already stressful time. USF Instructional Technology Instructor James Hatten, PhD, shares tips for parents who are currently learning how to best support their child’s success in a newly created online classroom.

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Ashley White headshot

Doctoral student accepts faculty position at University of Wisconsin-Madison
March 31, 2020

College of Education doctoral student Ashley L. White has accepted a position as assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education.

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Faculty and Staff Notes: Spring 2020
March 23, 2020

Read about the latest accomplishments and recognitions of faculty and staff in the University of South Florida's College of Education.



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Education expert Gloria Ladson-Billings presents at USF

Education expert Gloria Ladson-Billings explores teaching 21st century learners in Diversity Committee presentation

In an event hosted by the USF College of Education’s Diversity Committee, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and president of the National Academy of Education, led an engaging workshop that centered on the theme, “You’re Teaching but are They Learning?”

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Amber Dumford, PhD

Associate Professor receives ‘Best Paper Award’ from Association for Institutional Research
March 19, 2020

College of Education Associate Professor Amber Dumford, PhD, was awarded the Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research. 

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Students studying together outside on the USF campus

USF Graduate Programs Among the Nation’s Best in New U.S. News and World Report Rankings
March 17, 2020

The USF College of Education's programs are ranked among the best graduate programs in America according to the latest rankings from U.S. News and World Report. The 2021 Best Graduate Education Program rankings place USF's education programs in the top 75.

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Johanna Lasonen Headshot

Professor receives Lifetime Achievement Award from AERA International Studies Special Interest Group
March 9, 2020

College of Education Professor Johanna Lasonen, PhD, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Educational Research Association’s International Studies Special Interest Group.

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Group photo of State Farm Check Presentation at Gus A. Stavros Center

Gus A. Stavros Center receives gift from State Farm to support financial literacy education programs
March 4, 2020

The Gus A. Stavros Center for Free Enterprise and Economic Education received a $20,000 gift from State Farm to support the Center’s K-12 economics education professional development programs. 

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Elizabeth Hadley presents her research at USF College of Education

David C. Anchin Center presentation explores strategies for supporting oral language development in pre-K classrooms
February 27, 2020

During a presentation hosted by the David C. Anchin Center for the Advancement of Teaching, College of Education Assistant Professor Elizabeth Hadley, PhD, presented her research on why supporting oral language development in pre-K classrooms is critical to developing young readers.

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USF students and faculty at the NAPDS National Conference

College of Education students and faculty present research, win awards at NAPDS National Conference
February 21, 2020

Numerous faculty members and students from the College of Education shared their research and innovations at the National Association for Professional Development Schools’ (NAPDS) National Conference. The NAPDS National Conference brings together school and university partnerships from around the country and abroad to address the challenges faced while meeting the needs of the next generation of students, PK-12 educators, and university faculty.

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Tanetha Grosland, PhD

Assistant Professor receives FJER’s 2019 Reviewer of the Year Award
February 20, 2020

Tanetha J. Grosland, PhD, an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the College of Education, was awarded the 2019 Reviewer of the Year award by the Florida Journal of Educational Research (FJER).

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AP teachers studying a macroeconomics textbook

Registration Now Open for 2020 AP Summer Institute at USF
February 20, 2020

As the largest College Board endorsed program in the southeast region, the USF AP Summer Institute offers more than 25 different courses to attendees over the course of two different weeks: July 20-23 and July 27-30.

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International Student Panel at USF

Diversity Committee panel provides international students with forum to share experiences at USF

To help international students learn from their peers’ experiences, the College of Education Diversity Committee hosted a panel discussion that allowed seven international students to candidly express the opportunities and challenges they’ve had while studying at USF.

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Literacy program at Passport to Literacy event

Literacy Studies Program collaborates with Caribbean Community Association in 'Passport 2 Literacy' Event
January 27, 2020

Hosted by the Caribbean Community Association (CCA), the 'Passport 2 Literacy' MLK event was presented with the goal of joining children and families together in order to develop and motivate young readers. To help make the event a success, representatives from the College of Education’s Literacy Studies program volunteered.

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Student using a laptop at a desk

College of Education’s online graduate programs climb 14 points in U.S. News rankings

The University of South Florida (USF)’s College of Education was recognized nationally for its online graduate programs as part of the 2020 rankings released in January by U.S. News and World Report.

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Dr. Bárbara C. Cruz at the Universidad de Alicante in Spain.

Social Science Education professor receives Fulbright Award to Spain
January 15, 2020

College of Education Professor Bárbara C. Cruz, Ed.D., was selected as a Fulbright Scholar for the Spring 2020 semester and traveled to Alicante, Spain in January to teach and conduct research at the Universidad de Alicante.

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Veselina Lambrev

Assistant Professor receives AERA 2020 Best Paper Award
January 8, 2020

College of Education Assistant Professor Dr. Veselina Lambrev, PhD, was awarded the 2020 Paper Award by the American Educational Research Association’s International Studies Special Interest Group. 

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Nathaniel von der Embse presents to the audience about his research in supporting teacher emotional well-being

David C. Anchin Center hosts presentation on improving teacher well-being
January 7, 2020

At the Anchin Center's first community event of the year, Associate Professor and David C. Anchin Center Policy Fellow Dr. Nathaniel von der Embse presented about his work in supporting teacher emotional health and well-being.

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 USF student teacher with ESE students in a local classroom

ESE majors use service-learning projects to gain experience in local schools
January 3, 2020

As part of a practicum course in the Exceptional Student Education undergraduate program, students completed service-learning projects in partner schools to ease into the school environment before completing more in-depth clinical experiences.

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