COLUMBIA, S.C. (Sept. 5, 2018) — After a successful inaugural year, the Carolina Teacher Induction Program will grow during the 2018-19 school year thanks to a contribution from Colonial Life.
The company’s $50,000 commitment to the University of South Carolina’s Educational Foundation will enable the induction program to expand and pay for resources to provide ongoing support for graduates in their first three years in the classroom.
“While recruiting new teachers is important, reducing the alarming rate at which novice teachers leave the classroom must be a central focus in addressing the teacher shortage,” said Jon Pedersen, dean of USC’s College of Education. “If we could reduce the number of teachers leaving their current teaching positions by just 25 percent, we could save districts nearly $6 million annually.”
CarolinaTIP helps new teachers through the often-difficult first years of teaching by building relationships with new graduates and teachers, offering professional development and instructional coaching, and sharing best practices.
Colonial Life sponsored the initial pilot with $25,000 during the 2017-18 school year. Results were encouraging, with 100 percent of the first cohort of teachers returning to the classroom this fall.
“Supporting teachers who are building the next generation of workers and citizens is a primary focus of Colonial Life’s community outreach,” said Marie McGehee, community relations manager. “This program equips teachers and students with tools that help drive workforce development and economic success across the state.”
Colonial Life has a long history of partnerships with the University of South Carolina, including naming rights at the Colonial Life Arena, support for the installation of a world-class sculpture at the Darla Moore School of Business and providing tuition scholarships through the Arnold School of Public Health.
The company also sponsors several programs to support educators, including the Education Leaders Experience and the Strong Schools Grants program. Employees contribute to the company’s educational outreach efforts by volunteering with reading, mentoring and financial literacy partnerships at local schools; assisting with spring, summer and winter camps at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden; and coordinating after-school enrichment programs for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.