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USF Launches New Program to Prepare Tampa Bay Region’s Science Teachers

Dozens of area teachers will receive professional development and mentorship aimed at improving student outcomes

Members of the Tampa Bay Wipro Science Education Fellowship Program, including the program's first cohort, school district coordinators and USF faculty facilitators, at the induction ceremony held on May 7. Credit: USF College of Education

The University of South Florida College of Education will soon launch a new fellowship program to provide science teachers in the Tampa Bay region with the tools they need to become more effective instructors, advance science education curriculum and achieve greater student success.

Through a grant awarded to USF by Wipro Limited, a select group of talented science teachers in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco County school districts will join the Tampa Bay Wipro Science Education Fellowship Program. Wipro Limited is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. Started in 2012, the Wipro Science Education Fellowship is a multi-year program, which aims to nurture excellence in science education in public school systems through teacher training.

For each of the next three years, the program will welcome a new cohort of 20 science teachers who will undergo 250 hours of intense capability development training while continuing to teach in their respective schools.   

Facilitated by USF faculty members Allan Feldman, Karl Jung and David Allsopp, the project will provide opportunities for teachers to engage in lesson planning and research activities to develop improvement programs for science curriculum in their schools. Participants will also work alongside a USF faculty mentor to better improve their individual professional development.

"As part of the Wipro Science Education Fellowship program, we join a nationwide effort in which teachers and administrators from different districts engage in professional development together to exchange ideas and innovative practice,” Feldman, a professor of science education and the principal investigator for the project, said. “Participants in this fellowship program will gain important knowledge and skills needed to work with their colleagues to improve science teaching and learning across all levels and subjects."   

The program tailors to the needs of its participants by utilizing the goals of the Wipro Science Education Fellowship Program. The program trains educators to build leadership skills and teaching excellence within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines by leveraging research-validated expertise from participating universities and designing transformative instructional experiences for under-funded K-12 schools.

"The Wipro Science Education Fellowship Program works with local partners across the U.S. who have a passion for improving public education in their local communities,” said Anurag Behar, chief sustainability officer of Wipro Limited. “The program seeks partners with expertise in teacher education and the desire to develop it further, as well as credibility and relationships with local communities and school districts. We believe the University of South Florida to be a perfect partner to help further our mission.”

“The USF College of Education and David C. Anchin Center are excited to have received this important award,” Allsopp, assistant dean for educator preparation and partnerships and director of the David C. Anchin Center, explained. “This project will help to address the severe needs local school districts have with respect to teachers who can elevate the science outcomes for students across the K-12 curriculum.”

The program will begin in August 2018.

Wipro’s footprint in Tampa increased considerably after the acquisition of HealthPlan Services in 2016. HealthPlan Services was founded in Tampa in 1970, and is a leading provider of software and services for healthcare payers. The company services over 3 million insured members covering ~ 25% of the ACA market nationwide. The company has selected Tampa Bay as Wipro’s US-based Center of Excellence for its Business Process Services portfolio.

About Wipro Limited:

Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, we have over 160,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future.

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