Florida State University’s College of Education recently launched Project ElevatED, a new initiative aimed at raising the profile of careers in education and recognizing education professionals around the state for the difference they make in the lives of students.
Project ElevatED seeks to change the narrative around education careers and promote our programs as pathways to meaningful lives in the service of our students. We can better serve our University and our state by providing better training, support and recognition of the teachers, counselors, administrators, coaches and other professionals who work with Florida’s students.
We kicked off Project ElevatED during halftime of the FSU-NC State football game Saturday, Sept. 28. In partnership with the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, FSU President John Thrasher and Dean Damon Andrew honored the Florida Teacher of the Year, Principal of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year, Superintendent of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year on the field. All current and former education professionals in the stadium were also asked to stand and be recognized for their important work in the education of Florida’s students.
The initiative is designed to support the key influencers in the lives of Pre-K-12 students, whether they serve as teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, principals, superintendents, coaches, athletic directors, or in other critical roles.
Florida State University founded the first College of Education in the state in 1905, and for more than 100 years, we have prepared some of the very best Pre-K-12 professionals in the history of Florida. In preparation for the launch of Project ElevatED, we critically examined the educational support we provide to these professionals and added new programs as needed over time.
Within the past two years, the College of Education has launched online Ed.D. programs in educational leadership and policy and instructional systems and learning technologies, along with an online master’s in curriculum and instruction focused on autism spectrum disorder. This fall, the college redesigned and relaunched the M.S./Ed.S. program in school counseling, well as an online graduate certificate in coaching. Each of these programs was designed to prepare Pre-K-12 professionals to overcome the challenges they face today and in the future.
As part of these new program launches, a new Interdisciplinary Center for Athletic Coaching, known as FSU-COACH, is being designed to meet the growing demand for well-trained athletic coaches at all level of competition, from school and amateur leagues all the way to professional organizations.
For some people, a coach can make as much of a difference in their life as a teacher or even a parent. Training the next generation of coaches will have a tremendously positive effect on the lives of students and society at large.
As part of Project ElevatED, FSU alumni who are working as teachers in Florida will be sent a care package over the next year that includes a stuffed Cimarron, the official mascot of the Florida State Athletics Kids Club, that can be placed on their desks or other highly visible areas of their classrooms. This care package is a token of our appreciation for all the important work that teachers do. We also want our alumni to be able to show their FSU pride. By having Cimarron in a prominent location, it will no doubt spur curiosity from their students about FSU and provide our alumni with the opportunity to talk about their time here and why they chose to go into education. We will continue to need high quality teachers in the future, and this initiative helps the next generation of students think about the profession of teaching as their way to positively impact society.
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