High School Graduation Network Convening

On Wednesday, our High School Graduation Network met at The Boeing Company in North Charleston to discuss 4 projects:

  • College and Career Readiness
  • Disconnected Youth
  • Students with Special Needs

The High School Graduation Network is comprised of community members who are committed to improving the on-time graduation rate in our region and ensuring students are ready for college or a career in the modern workforce.

To learn more or to join the Network, contact Sarah Piwinski, TCCC’s Director of Data Management and Analysis, at sarah@tricountycradletocareer.org or 843.408.6598.

Job Opening: Family Connects Project Manager

Trident United Way, the Convener of Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Kindergarten Readiness Network, is hiring a Family Connects Project Manager to support the Network’s work.

A full description of the position is posted here, and applications are being accepted now. We urge anyone interested to apply! Depending on the candidate, this can be a full-time position with benefits or an independent contractor position.

In June, the Kindergarten Readiness Network voted overwhelmingly to proceed into the due-diligence period with Family Connects, an evidence-based program that’s intended to serve all families with newborns in the region.

Through Family Connects, nurses visit newborns and their families at their homes in the first three months of life to connect them with community resources and health care providers.

Intensive planning for the program will take place over the next nine months during the due diligence period, and we have already received commitments from Trident United Way and The Duke Endowment to fund the work.

The Family Connects Project Manager will serve as primary relationship and project manager for the Family Connects exploration process in collaboration with the Family Connects team, Trident United Way staff, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative, Kindergarten Readiness Guiding Team, hospitals and other relevant stakeholders.

S.C. education deans collaborate to remedy acute teacher shortage

The deans of six of South Carolina’s larger Schools and Colleges of Education have formed a consortium to address collaboratively some of the state’s most pressing education issues. Today, they have released a statement urging action to address the teacher shortage being experienced across South Carolina.

The deans convened at the request of the Provosts of nine colleges and universities across the state who have been meeting for the past two years under the auspices of the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC), a collective impact site at work in the Low Country.

“This statement on the part of education deans reflects both a deep concern on their part for the teaching profession in our state and an intention to take collective action in the interests of public education,” John C. Read, CEO of TCCC, said. “We were gratified to be asked to facilitate their work.”

The statement is directed at the newly established South Carolina Educator Retention and Recruitment Study Committee, which was established by the Legislature, as well as the South Carolina Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education. The statement was facilitated by TCCC and prepared by the deans following meetings with senior representatives of SCDOE, CHE and the Education Oversight Committee (EOC).

The dean’s consortium has met twice, and future meetings are planned to address the teacher shortage and other pressing education issues.


Statement addressed to the S.C. Educator Retention and Recruitment Study Committee regarding the teacher shortage in South Carolina:

The shortage of qualified teachers in South Carolina, especially in high poverty and rural areas and in disciplines including math and science, has become so critical as to compromise both the quality of education and future economic development across the state. Enrollment declines at colleges of education only serve to exacerbate this crisis.

On August 18, 2017, the Deans of Education from Clemson University, College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, The Citadel, University of South Carolina and Winthrop University, as well as representatives from the Center for Education Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) and the S.C. Education Oversight Committee (EOC), met to establish the facts and potential countermeasures. The meeting was convened and facilitated by the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC).

A second meeting occurred on August 30 in Charleston, S.C. with State Superintendent Molly Spearman and Jeff Schilz, Interim President of the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, in attendance.

Fact Finding

The number of teachers leaving their positions each year (6,500 in 2016) is significantly higher than the number of S.C. graduates of teacher programs available to fill them (1,700 in 2016). Enrollment in S.C. teacher training programs is declining on average by 4% per year.

Of the nearly 6,500 teachers who did not return to their positions:

  • 25% took a teaching position in another S.C. district or special school;
  • 23% percent left because of a personal choice;
  • 18% retired;
  • 12% moved out of the area;
  • 5% changed professions altogether;
  • 5% took a teaching position out of the state or country; and
  • 4% were terminated or their contracts/letters of agreement were not renewed.

Additionally, 38% of the 6,500 teachers who did not return had five or fewer years of classroom experience.

High teacher turnover creates a continuous state of rebuilding in schools, often diminishing the collaboration and cohesion needed to build a sense of community. Additionally, the constant process of hiring and replacing teachers consumes an inordinate amount of districts’ capital — both human and financial.

Unless corrective action is taken, the failure to attract and retain great teachers will significantly compromise the education attainment of our children, the fiscal health of our communities and our collective capacity to attract new jobs and families to our state.


The need for innovative programs and strategies for both recruiting and retaining quality educators in South Carolina is apparent. Collective action is required to develop and implement incentives and structures to attract, develop and retain quality teachers.

We urge the S.C. Department of Education and the S.C. Commission on Higher Education to work with us and other Schools and Colleges of Education to:

  1. Provide expedited approval of pilot programs that would allow for conditional certification of educators followed by full credentialing after years of service, demonstration of instructional effectiveness and success in Praxis subject assessment.

We are committed to working together in the development and deployment of these pilots to ensure that they are complementary and aligned. We further commit to working within our own institutions to minimize delays and to “fast-track” internal approval.

  1. Work with the governor and S.C. Legislature to significantly increase funding for evidence-based programs, including Call Me Mister and Teaching Fellows.

These programs are known to work and can contribute significantly to the supply of qualified teachers. In the case of Teaching Fellows, we urge that the amount of the award be increased immediately, in line with CERRA’s recommendations, and ultimately the number of awards.

Additional areas of critical need that we intend to address as a group in the coming months include the following:

Develop powerful messaging that truly outlines the needs.

  • Further analyze the shortage to target geographic and content areas.
  • Define the shortage not only by the number of required teachers but also by the number of students impacted.

Develop multiple pathways to certification.

  • All certification pathways must produce educators who have content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as demonstrated professional disposition for classroom instruction, and who have completed rigorous, supervised field experiences in the subjects they will teach.
  • Provide flexibility to districts and colleges of education in partnership with districts to develop models that respond to local needs.

Educator compensation must be addressed.

  • Low teacher pay, especially in their first five years, is a handicap in attracting new teachers to the profession.
  • Innovative initiatives that include differentiated tuition programs and/or loan forgiveness need to be evaluated as possible recruitment tools.

Address the issue through both the lens of recruitment and retention.

  • Develop marketing that encourages students to pursue this career path.
  • Showcase excellence.
  • Engage the business community in changing the narrative on teaching and its importance.
  • Market existing teacher loan programs better.
  • Increase fiscal support for individuals to pursue this career path, i.e. Call Me Mister, ProTeam and Teacher Cadet programs.
  • Develop career advancement opportunities for veteran teachers that will retain our best teachers in the classroom, i.e. dual roles, teacher leadership, National Board Certification.
  • Supplement National Board Certification to promote mid-career retention.
  • Provide new teachers with appropriate professional support, feedback and demonstration of what it takes to help their students succeed.

Address school climate.

  • Address the underlying causes for why educators depart within the first five years, i.e. compensation and working conditions.
  • Increase supports and training for district and school-level leadership. Leaders must be able to build authentic collaboration with their staff members while providing instructional supervision.

Respectfully submitted,


Larry G. Daniel, Dean
Zucker Family School of Education
The Citadel

George Petersen, Dean
College of Education
Clemson University

Frances C. Welch, Dean
School of Education, Health & Human Performance
College of Charleston

Tracy Meetze-Holcombe, Dean
School of Education
Francis Marion University

Jon Pedersen, Dean
College of Education
University of South Carolina

Jennie Rakestraw, Dean
Richard W. Riley College of Education
Winthrop University

Kiwanis Club of Charleston

Special thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Charleston for inviting TCCC CEO John Read to speak at the club’s weekly lunch today.

Kiwanis is an international organization that is dedicated to improving the world one child, one community at a time.

Are you looking for an overview of the state of education in the tri-county region? We have you covered! To schedule a presentation for educators, businesses or community groups, please email Ashley Heffernan at Ashley@TriCountyCradleToCareer.org.

Businesses Give Back Day

Today is Businesses Give Back Day!

Support any of these businesses and a portion of proceeds will benefit 140 nonprofits, including Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative!

Lowcountry Giving Day

This year, Lowcountry Giving Day will be held on Tuesday, September 19 at Joe Riley Park in downtown Charleston. We’re hoping community members like you will support us in one of the following ways:

  • Make a donation online on September 19 at http://text.gives/cradletocareer.
  • Make a donation on September 19 by texting “CradletoCareer” to 855-735-BIDR (2437).
  • Send a check payable to Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative to 6296 Rivers Avenue, Suite 308, North Charleston, SC 29406 or drop a check off on September 19 at area South State Bank branches.
  • Visit our booth at Joe Riley Park on September 19 and make a cash or credit card donation.

No donation is too big or too small, and every dollar we raise, our board has committed to match up to (at least) $20,000! Your support is key to continuing our work to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.

Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative?

We look forward to seeing you at “The Joe” and, as always, we appreciate your support!

We’re hiring!

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative is hiring a Director of Continuous Improvement.

The job description is posted here and below:

The Director-Continuous Improvement (DCI) reports to the TCCC’s CEO and has overall responsibility for the further development of the Tri-County Regional Improvement Process (TRIP!) and its deployment across the region. The facilitation of TCCC’s Networks, Consortia and Project Teams also falls within his/her responsibilities.

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative is a non-profit, collective-impact site dedicated to the success of every child in education attainment in the tri-county region. Three years ago, TCCC adapted a process of improvement for use in collective-impact work that has proven effective in bounding and guiding collaborative work at the population level. It has become clear, however, that infusing tools found in Results-Based theory will assist in strengthening the process and in taking it to scale across the region.

A three-year grant funded by The Duke Endowment provides for the build-out of TRIP!, utilizing evidence-based tools found in Results Based Leadership, Accountability and Facilitation. Working with a group of consultants, the DCI will oversee the first phase of the work: to create a manual and training syllabus that integrates these tools into TRIP!

The next phase of the work involves hiring 1-2 full-time facilitators to become certified in the expanded version of TRIP! With this support, the DCI will then initiate a process in which 10 non-profits in the region are recruited to become certified in TRIP! The process with these non-profits will be on-going, with the DCI periodically conducting peer collaborations among participating non-profits. The DCI will also become certified as a ‘Train the Trainer’ and will ensure that all Networks, Consortia and Project teams have trained and compensated facilitators.

The Trident United Way is a close partner in this work, having deployed TRIP! across its grantees. The DCI will maintain a collaborative relationship with TUW during all phases of the work to assure alignment in the application and deployment of the process.

The DCI will be accountable to the CEO and the Board for ensuring that TCCC processes are properly bound, guided and supported by certified facilitators.

-BA or BS, with a graduate degree preferred
-Five years experience minimum as either a consultant, trainer or line manager in the deployment and application of continuous improvement tools consistent with the underlying principles of TRIP!
-Black Belt or equivalent certification preferred
-Non-profit experience preferred
-Excellent written and verbal communications skills
-Excellent facilitative and trainer skills
-Demonstrable attention to detail, analytic skills
-Sets high expectations and works collaboratively to achieve them
-Committed to education attainment and equity

Compensation commensurate with experience and in the $60-70k range.

Interested candidates are encouraged to email CEO John C. Read at johnread@tricountycradletocareer.org.

REI training opportunity

Racial Equity Institute training is coming back to Charleston next month!

All TCCC staff members have been through this two-day training, and we encourage you to consider it as well. This powerful training is designed to help communities address institutional racism.

The next training session will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 23-24 at the College of Charleston’s North Campus at 3800 Paramount Drive.

Details here: https://www.kintera.org/site/apps/ka/rg/register.asp?c=bsIPI2NEKgK4F&b=9534909&en=7qLDLOMrH4JDJTNIJqKQJUOFLgKNK5NGLbLMJ3NJJuG