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College of Education

Apple Core Initiative

The Apple Core Initiative is designed to recruit, enroll, and retain South Carolina high school students from historically underrepresented populations into the teacher education programs at the University of South Carolina to fill both a capacity and diversity void in South Carolina public schools.

The Apple Core Initiative is driven by theoretical and pedagogical perspectives grounded in culturally relevant pedagogy, develping cultural competence in the classroom to maximize student learning. In addition to core competencies resultant of their coursework, ACI students will gain a deeper understanding of how to teach in culturally responsive ways, bolstering their effectiveness with the diverse population of students enrolled in South Carolina schools. Through special training, workshops, and field study experiences across that state, students will have opportunities to explore the diversity of communities within the state as well as a unique opportunity to study cultures abroad.

The intended outcome of the program is to diversify the cadre of teacher candidates in USC’s College of Education and subsequently the number of teachers of color in classrooms in the state of South Carolina.

Critical components of the Initiative are the comprehensive support system to assist students in transitioning from high school into a predominantly white institution and preparing our students to pass the Praxis Core exam. What makes the Apple Core Initiative unique is that it provides teacher education candidates:

  • The opportunity to participate in a cohort-based, four-year support program designed around best practices with respect to recruitment and retention of underrepresented students,
  • An intensive, academic support structure in acquiring teaching practices grounded in cultural relevant pedagogy; and
  • An opportunity to study abroad to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for global diversity, culture and education.


Application Requirements

In order to be eligible for acceptance to the Apple Core Initiative, you must:

  • Be fully accepted into USC’s main campus
  • Maintain the University’s 2.75 GPA guideline
  • Submit a passing score on Praxis Core by 2nd year (fall semester)
  • Commit to four years to ensure degree completion
  • Complete a culminating project to fulfill the requirements for Graduation with Distinction (one of five categories)

For full details on the application process including deadlines, please visit the College of Education's Scholarships page.

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