The Citadel and Colleton County schools collaborate to enrich literacy education

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Partnership to advance Colleton teachers’ education with master’s degrees

The Zucker Family School of Education at The Citadel is making it easier for teachers in rural counties to earn their master of education degrees. The most recent example is a partnership between The Citadel Graduate College and the Colleton County School District (CCSD). The two institutions are providing up to 20 CCSD teachers the opportunity to earn Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Literacy Education degrees at a lower cost and closer to where they work and live.

This is will be the second time The Citadel and CCSD have cooperated to advance literacy education. Eight Colleton teachers graduated from The Citadel Graduate College with M.Ed.’s in Literacy Education in May of 2019. It worked so well, the program is being renewed with the hope of enrolling even more teachers.

 “The Citadel Graduate College collaboration with our school district was one of the best opportunities I have been a part of in my professional career,” said M.Ed. graduate and Northside Elementary teacher Michelle Phillips. “The program allowed me to be more confident in teaching literacy and I made friends with colleagues I may have never met otherwise.”

Phillips described the professors as “professional and compassionate.” She went on to say, “I have taken the knowledge gained from the experience to help support all of the readers in my own classroom.”

The Citadel-Colleton Literacy Cohort requires two years of coursework, beginning in 2020. It is offered exclusively to Colleton teachers at this time and who enroll will receive tuition-reduction benefits, expedited admission and waived fees.

“The Citadel has also provided similar programs in conjunction with Bamberg, Charleston and Jasper County school districts,” said Robin Jocius, Ph.D., Zucker Family School of Education professor and program coordinator for literacy education. “The preceding programs, and the current partnership with Colleton County are specifically tailored to that population of teachers and students. Our goal is for the teachers to use this knowledge as they learn it, providing a direct, positive impact for their own students at all grade levels.”

The 2019 Colleton-Citadel Literacy Cohort graduates were Sally Burgis, Kawaii Elliott, Julie Hiott, Michelle Phillips, Carey Polk, Jessica Reid, Taylor Rentz and Brittney Williams. In addition to earning their M.Ed. in Literacy Education, they received Graduate Certificates in Literacy Education and have met coursework requirements to receive the South Carolina Read to Succeed Literacy Teacher and Literacy Coach teaching endorsements.

Additional information about the upcoming cohort will be distributed to all Colleton county teachers at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year. Information and application sessions will be held in Colleton County in September. For more information, please contact Dr. Robin Jocius at or (843) 953-9686.