The Accelerator for Learning and Leadership for South Carolina (ALL4SC) is one of eight newly funded research and outreach projects which are part of the University’s Excellence Initiative, launched by its Board of Trustees to fuel innovations in teaching and learning across the state.
Only as a unified team can we maximize the potential of our students.
J.R. Green, superintendent of Fairfield County schools
The goal of ALL4SC is to accelerate excellence in teaching and learning through:
- community-based schooling that integrates the academic, social and health needs of students;
- creative approaches to teacher recruitment, preparation and retention;
- leadership development for more effective system of education from early childhood through college; and
- journalism and storytelling to inform and inspire innovations in teaching, learning, and schooling.
Through this initiative, the university will partner with school systems, communities, educational organizations and lawmakers to strengthen education in South Carolina.
A growing number of communities in our state are losing industries and jobs and facing a dire teacher shortage. Student performance lags behind the national average. Support-services that could help these communities are siloed and often underutilized. ALL4SC wants to change this trajectory by igniting change from inside of the our state’s communities. ALL4SC builds on what is already working — and brings together key players - from students, teachers and church leaders to researchers, business owners and lawmakers.
This is not another program or a standalone research center, but rather a catalyst for developing systems and more effective approaches to serving students and the educators who work with them every day.
Jon Pedersen, College of Education dean
Our first partner community
The work will begin in Fairfield County, South Carolina. The school district’s superintendent, J.R. Green (B.A. '91, M.A. '94 and Ph.D '00), says improving student achievement isn’t the sole responsibility of schools but instead requires input and change by the entire community.
“Only as a unified team can we maximize the potential of our students,” says Green. “If the students improve their academic performance, graduate and attend post-secondary education but are not able to return home to work because of a lack of job opportunities, then our community will not grow and prosper. The ALL4SC initiative is exciting because it advocates for a community-wide effort, not just a schoolhouse effort.”
University of South Carolina researchers, who represent 12 academic and professional units, will work together with Fairfield County business and school leaders as well as community members to:
- more clearly defining the challenges they face;
- catalogue the resources and assets that already exists to support P-12 students;
- develop and use tools and processes to align people, data, evidence and money so all students can receive the support they need; and,
- develop and launch a communications strategy to engage practitioners, policymakers and the public about what works and why — and what needs to be done next.
"Everything that needs to be done to serve children, their families and communities is already being done somewhere,” says Barnett Berry, founding director of ALL4SC and a research professor in the College of Education. “However, no state has put all the pieces of the puzzle together; we can do this in South Carolina.”
ALL4SC will deepen partnerships, refine approaches, engage in research, propose new forms of accountability for schooling, communicate results and support efforts by other partners across the state.
By the fifth year, ALL4SC will develop a financial and organizational model for interdisciplinary, university-wide collaboration that extends to UofSC’s system campuses and its highest-need school/community partners.