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Students from six counties visit USC-Salkehatchie

One hundred and eighty three students from 12 high schools in six counties arrived at the University of South Carolina’s Salkehatchie Campus in Walterboro Friday morning to learn about the CERRA program. CERRA’S mission is to provide collaborative leadership in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of outstanding educators for all children in South Carolina.

CERRA is the oldest and most established teacher recruitment program in the country. The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement, established by the Commission on Higher Education in December 1985 and funded by the South Carolina General Assembly, enters its 26th year of operation in 2011-2012. Following the passage of the state’s landmark Education Improvement Act, CERRA was created out of a concern for the condition of South Carolina’s teacher supply pool and a need for a centralized teacher recruitment effort.

CERRA’s agenda is a comprehensive one in which the Center pursues a variety of programs for increasing the number of students in the education pipeline and recruiting and retaining qualified, caring, and competent teachers. The Center’s primary target groups are middle and high school students, college students, and adults interested in changing careers.

CERRA also targets groups of accomplished teachers through programs including mentoring, teacher leadership and National Board Certification. The network of educators in our programs overlaps in powerful ways to increase the level of collaboration for recruitment, retention, and advancement of South Carolina educators.

The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement offers an array of programs and services that carry students and prospective teachers from middle school through classroom professional development. CERRA segments its program and service offerings into three areas: pre-collegiate, pre-service, and service. Many of our programs serve as a national model for teacher recruitment and teacher leadership initiatives.

As the students were waiting in line to eat Buck’s Pizza for lunch, a group of students form Bluffton High School was standing at the line’s end. When asked how they ended up being last, one of them said, “We were told that the coolest kids were to go to the back of the line.” A second student offered, “They teach kids at Bluffton to be considerate.”