Clemson’s College of Education to offer new combined undergraduate-graduate degree option
Clemson’s College of Education will introduce a new combined degree option that allows undergraduate students to more quickly earn a master’s degree and enjoy the benefits of extended teacher residency. The program replaces student teaching in a student’s final undergraduate semester with graduate education classes, and the following year is comprised of a year-round teacher residency.
According to Jeff Marshall, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, this affords several benefits to academically strong students interested in an accelerated path to a graduate degree. Marshall said research shows the perks extend well beyond just earning their master’s degree much quicker.
“We designed this program because of the demonstrated benefits of year-round teacher residency,” Marshall said. “Research shows that teachers prepared through residency are more likely to stay in the profession, feel better prepared on day one and have a greater impact on student achievement.”
Students will have something to show for four years of effort; they will still graduate with a B.A. or B.S. degree, but they will not be recommended for certification. This eligibility comes at the end of teacher residency during the program’s fifth year.
According to Suzanne Rosenblith, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Education, this degree option better prepares teachers and falls in line with the most successful efforts at educational reform. She said underserved students stand to gain as much if not more from teacher residencies.
“This new option does more than just help our students in terms of their preparedness,” Rosenblith said. “It will have a mission driven impact because it will help new teachers make positive changes in the lives of underserved students and their communities.”
Students will be required to have at least a 3.4 GPA and 90 credit hours before they are eligible to participate in the program. If interested, students should consult with the undergraduate academic advising office as early as possible.