Clemson University Teacher Residency Program wins Riley Institute statewide award

Katie Quine
Marketing and Communications Manager
The Riley Institute at Furman University


The program was recognized with the Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence for making a positive impact on South Carolina public education.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Clemson University Teacher Residency Program received the twelfth annual Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence during a celebration of South Carolina public education presented by Furman University’s Riley Institute on October 25 in Columbia. The award includes a $10,000 prize to be used to further the program’s work.

Former United States Secretary of Education and former South Carolina Governor Dick Riley presented the award, which is given annually to a program that is positively impacting public education in South Carolina. The award is named for Riley and his late wife, Ann “Tunky” Riley, a devoted teacher and passionate advocate for quality public education for all children.

“South Carolina sets the example in so many good ways — we just need to do a better job of talking about it,” Riley said in his closing remarks.

Clemson University Teacher Residency Program prepares individuals enrolled in Clemson’s bachelor’s-to-master’s teaching program with strong content knowledge, a full year of student teaching, and mentorship by high-quality, experienced educators with the aims of increasing teacher retention and preparedness as well as PK-12 student achievement.

“With all of the great programs in South Carolina doing important work for public schools, it is such an honor to be recognized with the WhatWorksSC Award,” said Laura Eicher, Director of Teacher Residency within Clemson University’s College of Education.

Riley also recognized two finalists, Communities In Schools of South Carolina and the Upstate Schools Consortium, which each received $1,000.

Communities In Schools of South Carolina surrounds students with a community of support through the placement of school-based coordinators, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The Upstate Schools Consortium offers professional development opportunities related to a wide range of topics for K-12 educators, district office personnel, and future educators on Furman’s campus and online.

The winner and both finalists will become members of the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSC Clearinghouse, an online resource that collects and shares key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools. They will also be featured on South Carolina ETV’s, which compiles thousands of media resources for teachers and students from pre-K through 12th grade.

For more information about the WhatWorksSC Award and Clearinghouse, visit or contact Katie Quine at For more information about Clemson University Teacher Residency Program, contact Laura Eicher at


About the Riley Institute at Furman University

Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute advances social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond by building leadership for a diverse society, broadening student and community perspectives on critical issues, hosting expert speakers, supporting public education, and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. Learn more at