USF, SCF, Ringling partner up to help students become teachers

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SARASOTA/MANATEE - A new partnership with three schools will now help aspiring artists to become teachers.

USF Sarasota-Manatee, State College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design and local school districts are launching the program.

Given their background in the arts, educators say Suncoast students will reap the benefits of these artists-turned-teachers.

Through the new program, students who complete an undergrad degree or take arts courses at Ringling or SCF can then enroll at USF Sarasota-Manatee's College of Education earning their bachelor's or master's degree to teach within two years.

Upon completing their degree, students will be certified as public school teachers for elementary positions in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

School officials say with the new common core curriculum being implemented in public schools across the state, teachers will have more flexibility to be creative with their teaching style.

By incorporating the arts into all subjects, students stay interested and focused. “We have learned through research that children learn best when you engage them in a lot of different ways. Any way you can communicate the curriculum in a different way really helps them connect, learn and remember,” says Dr. Tricia Hunsader, Center of Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching.

Right now, USF Sarasota-Manatee is seeking students who've taken classes in the arts, receiving either an associates or bachelor's degree who are interested in teaching.