A Rock Hill-based program designed to turn bright teens into aspiring educators is a finalist for the 2012 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence.
The Teacher Cadets program, run by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement at Winthrop University, is one of three initiatives in the state that the Center for Education Policy and Leadership found to be highly effective.
We are elated that South Carolinas Teacher Cadet Program continues to serve as a state and national model for pre-collegiate curricula for teacher preparation, program director Marcella Wine-Snyder said.
Not only does the Teacher Cadet program work in South Carolina, but it does so in many other states as well.
High school juniors and seniors enrolled in Teacher Cadets get hands-on lessons in life as an educator by working in schools, where they create lessons and teach them to students. For a fee, they can get credit at a partner college.
To enroll, a student must maintain a B average, get five teacher recommendations and write an essay. About 2,500 students from 160 high schools take part each year, according to CERRA.
Proponents say the program, launched in 1985, is essential to creating a lasting pipeline of talented teachers.
More than 50 entries were considered before the Riley Institute at Furman University named three finalists. The Center for Education Policy and Leadership is based at Furman.
The other finalists are the Bridges to a Brighter Future, a college readiness and retention program in Greenville County Schools, and Clemson Universitys Reading Recovery Training Center, which runs a literacy intervention program for struggling first-graders.
The winner will get a $10,000 grant to enhance the program. The two other finalists each will get a $1,000 grant.
A winner will be announced Oct. 17.