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USF cutting College of Education’s undergraduate program due to budget cuts

TAMPA, Fla. — The University of South Florida announced major changes to the College of Education due to budget cuts Thursday afternoon. During a press conference, Ralph Wilcox, USF Provost and Executive Vice President said that the College of Education’s annual budget would be reduced by $6.8 million over two years as part of USF’s budget renewal process.As a result, USF’s College of Education undergraduate program would close, however, the Graduate School of Education would remain open.In a letter to faculty and staff, Interim Dean Ponticell wrote, “We are strategically reimagining and reconfiguring Education at USF from a comprehensive College of Education to a more focused Graduate School of Education with an appropriate organizational affiliation with another college such as the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. This will allow us to continue to serve our students and communities, including our vital partners in our area school districts.” Ponticell added that the change reflects the evolving demands of students.”Going forward, USF Education students will have an opportunity to earn teacher certification through a Master of Arts in Teaching degree which may be completed in a fifth year following a baccalaureate degree in a content area, giving Education students a competitive advantage among job seekers in the market,” she wrote.”We will continue to serve the needs of our K-12 partners across Tampa Bay and throughout the state of Florida but in different ways,” Wilcox said. ” We are not abandoning teacher education. We are not eliminating all teacher education degree programs. But we believe that we have a real opportunity to strengthen our contribution to the K-12 community through national leading research initiatives and through post-graduate education training and opportunities.”

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