The University of South Florida recently announced a proposal to close their undergraduate teachers college. Their reasons were:
1. To address a significant funding shortfall due to Covid19 and
2. A declining number of students in the USF Teachers College.
USF is the leading supplier of teachers for our region of Florida, and our Education Committee is actively monitoring the situation. This decision is not final. The preliminary announcement is being examined at the University, by school districts, state legislators and our Education committee. Below is a recent communication from Tracee Tyner Norris, Director of Development, USF College of Education.
“I wanted to make you aware of an announcement today from President Steve Currall, Provost Ralph Wilcox and Interim Dean Judith Ponticell regarding the USF College of Education. As expressed in the statement below, the University intends to continue offering carefully selected undergraduate degrees in education.
Today we were pleased to join several Tampa Bay region school district superintendents for an important conversation on how USF will continue to deliver teacher education programs in the future.
Let us reiterate that no final decisions have been made regarding the College of Education. Meetings like the one today, and many others that Interim Dean Judith Ponticell continues to participate in with school superintendents, faculty, staff, students and community members, serve as critical opportunities to share ideas and listen to input as we reimagine our education programs during a period of significant budget challenges.
We recognize that in addition to research in the field of education, USF plays a key role in teacher preparation and certification for our region and in providing master’s and doctoral degree programs to support the development of counselors, principals, superintendents and other K-12 leadership positions. While changes are needed at USF after a 63% drop in the college’s undergraduate enrollment over the past decade, we intend to continue offering carefully selected undergraduate degrees in education, though likely fewer than the nine baccalaureate degrees, 15 majors, five minors and 18 concentrations currently available.
In the coming weeks, we will further receive and review information regarding the demand in K-12 schools for graduates of the undergraduate programs, and we will make informed and evidence-based decisions that align with the data. USF is also exploring how to deepen our commitment to STEM education on the St. Petersburg campus.
As our university-wide process of strategic realignment moves forward, USF remains committed to our responsibility of meeting the needs of the surrounding communities while continuing to be responsible stewards of the university’s financial resources.”