The mission of the program is to “recruit talented high school seniors into the teaching profession and help them develop leadership qualities.” The Teaching Fellows program provides enrichment opportunities for promising future teachers, in addition to making available to these students a forgivable loan of up to $6,000 per year of college (up to $24,000).
The South Carolina Teaching Fellows program was founded in 1999 by the state’s General Assembly and is administered by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA). Students must pursue a teaching degree and the loan is forgiven when the Teaching Fellow teaches at a SC public school for the duration of time that they received the loan (one year of service for every year they have received funds).
In addition, Teaching Fellows participate in advanced enrichment programs at their home institution, ongoing professional development, and are involved in communities and businesses throughout the state. Currently, Teaching Fellows are enrolled at 12 Colleges and Universities across South Carolina.
All funds provided through the Education Improvement Act (EIA) of 1984
As of March 2019, a total of 1,954 Teaching Fellows from the 2000-2014 cohorts had graduated from the program. Of these graduates, 1,392 (71.2%) were employed in a South Carolina public school district during the 2018-2019 academic year. Another 62 (3.2%) of the graduated Fellows are in deferment, meaning they are in graduate school or the military, have been granted a grace year, or had a special request approved and are still eligible to teach and receive forgiveness for this loan. One thousand one hundred and nineteen (1,119) Fellows have already satisfied their loans through service, and 76.9% of these Fellows are still employed in a South Carolina public school district. More than one-fourth of all graduates (521 Fellows) are currently teaching for loan forgiveness in a South Carolina public school district.
In February of 2017, a dissertation on the impact of the Teaching Fellows program on the development of teacher leaders was completed. The central research question asked, how does a community of practice such as the Teaching Fellows program, prepare college graduates to be teacher leaders? The key findings are listed below.
A full-text version of the dissertation may be found at: http://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/dissertations/3349/
Dr. Jenna Hallman, email@example.com