USC Brings Its Own Brand To Online Offering For Teacher Prep

One of the prominent players in the online teacher-preparation market is the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California (USC). Since 2009, more than 3,600 aspiring teachers have enrolled in their program. The success of their online program can be attributed to a series of fortunate events. One such event was the arrival of Karen Symms Gallagher as the dean of Rossier in 2000. She aimed to elevate USC’s small and marginalized undergraduate teacher education program to the graduate level and expand its reach. However, with only 50 teachers being produced annually, the program was clearly not meeting the local demand for qualified educators.

Gallagher’s path crossed with John Katzman, the founder of a technology company called 2U, who introduced her to the concept of an online Masters of Arts in Teaching degree. This led to a partnership between USC and 2U, with Katzman investing in the development of a customized online platform for Rossier and endowing a faculty position. Rossier’s faculty insisted on a fully interactive platform that could record online interactions for future research purposes.

While this venture was a risk for a research institution like USC, Gallagher believed that their reputation and brand would be pivotal in its success. The online program has not only experienced a steady increase in enrollments but has also shielded Rossier from the decline in traditional teaching programs in California. Moreover, it has brought transparency to the alignment between the program’s teaching goals and what is being taught. This has allowed faculty members to share their teaching strategies and receive valuable feedback. Although some view the rapid expansion of the program as overly corporate, it has also provided faculty with the opportunity to experiment with teaching methods in an online environment.

Overall, USC’s Rossier School of Education has made significant strides in the online teacher-preparation market through its partnership with 2U. The program’s success can be attributed to the combination of USC’s reputable brand, a fully interactive online platform, and the commitment to selecting high-quality candidates.


  • joshwright

    Josh Wright is a 34-year-old educational blogger and school teacher who has been working in the field for over a decade. He has written extensively on a variety of educational topics, and is passionate about helping others achieve their educational goals.

Comments are closed.