USC Rossier Raises the Standard for Graduate Support

National news outlets and education publications were buzzing last month when the USC Rossier School of Education announced the USC Rossier Commitment, a groundbreaking initiative that provides its graduates with support toward their continuous improvement and success for their entire professional education careers. From USA Today to Education Week, education writers and experts have been talking about USC Rossier's move as one that establishes a new standard in teacher preparation and alumni support.

USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher is determined to stand behind the school's high-quality programs and says, "As the country focuses on effective teaching to improve student outcomes, we are doing our part to support our graduates in evolving their practice." Graduates of all USC Rossier programs, including the online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), MAT-TESOL and Master of Education in Advanced Instruction programs, which were launched in partnership with 2U, will recognize USC's characteristic approach to transforming classroom education:

  • Mission-driven design. Through the USC Rossier Commitment, the school is standing behind its graduates and its mission to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally and globally. Designed to help graduates facing challenges in their classrooms, the USC Rossier Commitment offers:
    • A hotline where alumni can request assistance meeting a specific professional challenge or goal.
    • A nine-member faculty Rapid Response team who will help diagnose the issue or challenge and work with the graduate to develop an improvement plan. When appropriate, a faculty member may even visit a school site to observe the alumnus' work.
    • Coaching, mentoring and referrals to additional resources both within and outside of USC Rossier.
  • Outcomes-focused, student-centered. USC Rossier's teacher preparation programs focus squarely on improving student outcomes, offering rigorous curricula and field-based teaching experiences. While the programs are designed to address the education needs of an ever-changing population, the USC Rossier Commitment recognizes that different challenges arise every day in the classroom. That's why Rossier is standing behind its graduates to help them address those challenges with guidance from expert faculty and a range of resources.

    Ongoing access to interventions, resources and Rossier faculty raises the bar for ongoing teacher support. As Dean Gallagher says, "I challenge other colleges and universities to join us and take responsibility for the quality of their graduates and America's teachers."
  • A continuous feedback loop. Graduates who access the Commitment hotline can provide real-time insights into what is or isn't working in today's classrooms. This information will be an essential tool in helping Rossier assess and continually improve its own programs. Beyond Rossier, the information may help influence practice more broadly. As Dean Gallagher says, "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."

For our part, 2U will be reporting lessons learned from the USC Rossier Commitment to help other partner universities improve their graduate support services. Stay tuned for future updates.

To learn more about USC Rossier Online and the USC Rossier Commitment, visi rossieronline.usc.edu.