University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies graduates receive world-class instruction and training in a variety of professions. The college’s core mission is to prepare professional educators for K-12 settings. The college also prepares numerous ancillary professionals that make the K-12 educational system work smoothly, for example, library media specialists, school counselors and educational leaders. Beyond K-12 education, the college prepares a diverse array of human services professionals who find employment in a variety of industries such as the for-profit and non-profit corporations, fitness, higher education, hospitality and tourism, government, mental health and health care, military, sports organizations and more.
USA College of Education and Professional Studies alumni help communities around the world learn as children and keep helping them live fully as adults. The college's leadership team, faculty and staff work continuously to create and maintain relationships with alumni, corporate sponsors, foundations and leadership donors. Thank you for your continuous support.
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The USA College of Education and Professional Studies prepares professional educators through programs that lead to undergraduate and graduate degrees, leading to initial educator certification credentials in the state of Alabama. These programs are accredited by the Alabama State Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (formerly NCATE).
The college also offers degrees to assist those who wish to engage in education and training work outside of K-12 education through its undergraduate degrees in early childhood studies and its master’s and doctoral degrees in instructional design. In addition, the college offers graduate programs for the advanced preparation of educators, including classroom teachers, administrators, counselors, reading specialists, library media specialists, health and physical education, school counselors and technology specialists. Student can also pursue a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership with tracks in both P-12 education and higher education.
Our 57 full-time faculty provides more programs of study and graduates more educators to work in Alabama schools than all other colleges of education in the region combined. The number of our graduates annually surpasses all but a very few universities in the state. Over the past five years, the faculty have authored more than 250 professional publications and secured nearly $7 million in grant funding. Recognized as leaders in their disciplines, faculty hold office in regional and national professional organizations and are shaping the future for education in Alabama through their participation in nationally-recognized programs such as the Alabama Reading Initiative, the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative and the Noyce Scholars program.
Our faculty also include nationally and internationally recognized experts in men’s mental health, mixed methods research, educational assessment, disabled learners, childhood literacy, STEM education, juvenile justice, fitness and nutrition, and leadership theory. In addition, the college is a groundbreaker at South and in the region in the area of online learning and educational technology. This includes establishing South's first online course offerings, as well as continuing to provide consultation related to remote learning and technology-based learning to K-12 schools and industries in our region.
Education Partners and Initiatives
The College of Education and Professional Studies has strong relationships with personnel in partnership schools throughout the region. These collaborations enable faculty to plan and implement learning experiences for new teachers, provide professional development for experienced educators, and engage in research on teaching and learning. Recently, this has included helping students rise to the challenge of rigorous competency evaluation requirements such as edTPA and to continue to provide students with a diverse field placement experience before completing their teaching degree. In collaboration with colleagues in the USA College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education and Professional Studies has established a Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics to ensure high quality math and science instruction for the youth of Alabama. College faculty have also secured federal funding to support the Noyce Scholars program, which brings much needed new STEM teachers into the field. Lastly, college faculty have multiple projects that provide consultation on educational technology and other STEM learning experiences such as computational reasoning, robotics and engineering experiences to local schools.
The College of Education and Professional Studies is dedicated to the promotion of lifelong learning and to the enhancement of access to education for a variety of individuals and communities. Through its sponsorship of the South Alabama Research and Inservice Center (SARIC), the college provides professional development to more than 7,000 K-12 educators in the surrounding six counties.
Educational initiatives in the college extend beyond K-12 schools. The federally funded PASSAGE USA program provides a higher education experience for intellectually and developmentally disabled college students that promotes independence and future occupational skills. College faculty also provide consultation to various USA offices focused on promoting student retention and well-being and particularly among students with unique needs such as first generation college students, veterans, international students, and Pell Grant-eligible, disabled, or racial and ethnic minority students.
External Partners in Other Fields
Given the diverse array of professions represented within the College of Education and Professional Studies, other initiatives and partnerships have taken place in recent years outside of K-12 education. Faculty are involved in external funding through the USA College of Medicine and College of Nursing exploring diverse topics in health care, private corporations to evaluate the efficacy of nutritional supplements, and the U.S. Department of Justice investigating best practices for caring for sexual assault victims. Faculty are also involved in external funding from local and regional foundations and governments to conduct consultation, program evaluation, as well as activities related to social justice issues and racial equity concerns. Such partnerships and funding will only become more commonplace as the college’s mission and activities expand.