The USC Rossier School of Education, one of the country’s top-ranked graduate schools of education, has announced a groundbreaking pledge to ensure the success of its graduates with a commitment to support their continuous improvement and success for their entire professional education careers.
The USC Rossier Commitment is to provide all graduates who request help with ongoing resources as they start and build their careers. Any alumnus who is facing a professional challenge and reaches out to USC Rossier will receive help creating a plan for improvement, will have input from a USC Rossier faculty “rapid response team” and will be guided toward a range of resources and interventions to support his or her success.
“I am exceedingly proud of the USC Rossier Commitment to stand behind our graduates and their abilities to improve student learning. I challenge other colleges and universities to join us and take responsibility for the quality of their graduates and America’s teachers,” said USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher. “As the country focuses on effective teaching to improve student outcomes, we are doing our part to support our graduates in evolving their practice and being the most impactful teachers they can be.”
USC Rossier has been preparing teachers for more than 100 years. In 2009, it launched its breakthrough online Master of Arts in Teaching degree, using a state-of-the-art online learning platform with self-paced coursework, live face-to-face class sessions and field-based teaching experiences.
With the online and on-campus programs, the school has prepared more than 2,000 teaching graduates since 2009 alone. The USC Rossier Commitment also extends to its graduates in counseling, K-12 leadership, student services, marriage and family therapy, and the education doctorate programs.
The school has established a program to administer the USC Rossier Commitment, which includes a hotline and email for graduates to contact the school, a rapid response team of faculty evaluators who conduct the problem diagnosis and plan development, and a roster of resources to help graduates meet their challenges and achieve success. As appropriate, a faculty member may even visit a school site to assess the graduate’s work.
According to Gallagher, the USC Rossier Commitment will greatly enhance efforts to evaluate and improve the school’s programs. The school is focused on the consistent assessment and evaluation of its programs, demonstrated by its use of a third-party evaluator who has been conducting a five-year longitudinal study of the Master of Arts in Teaching.
“We recognize that implementing the USC Rossier Commitment will be complex, and that questions and ideas will be uncovered along the way,” Gallagher said. “But we also recognize that we must stand behind our graduates and their work. We plan to share what we learn through this effort and continue this work over time to help us and others advance the teaching field.”
The school is committed to providing its graduates with the research-based knowledge and skills to make a difference in any classroom — especially urban and other high-need classrooms — by delivering academically rigorous programs that combine theory and practice to address the education needs of an ever-changing population.
USC Rossier graduates, according to Gallagher, are capable of identifying problems of practice in today’s classrooms and have the confidence to implement solutions that can transform educational environments. The USC Rossier Commitment builds on these assurances.