ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Teacher training in the Tampa Bay area suffered a blow when the University of South Florida announced plans to phase out its undergraduate programs in the College of Education.
It's expected this could lead to a shift in how teachers are taught in the area.
Officials at other institutions that offer degrees in education said they are expecting an influx of students.
"We do anticipate a surge in enrollment," said Kimberly Hartman, Dean of the College of Education at St. Petersburg College.
St. Petersburg College offers 4-year Bachelor's degrees within the College of Education.
Hartman said even before USF's announcement, enrollment in SPC's program was strong.
She said right now they have about 750 juniors and seniors enrolled in the College of Education along with about 700 freshmen and sophomores who have expressed interest.
"I think that it is a trend. One of the things is that we are able to offer smaller class sizes, we are able to offer more one on one time with our students and the cost of tuition is lower at the state colleges than the universities so it has been a very solid option for students," she said.
Davis Hall is wrapping up a degree in elementary education at SPC.
He got an early release and just started teaching 3rd grade at Anona Elementary.
He said his coursework at SPC was good preparation.
"Even these first 2 days, I felt so confident being in my own classroom and managing the kids and having them come in and feel comfortable and creating a strong classroom community," Hall said.