University School Teacher Education Partnership (USTEP)


This committee works towards improving, strengthening, and re-conceptualizing the numerous collaborative efforts that already exist between the university and area school systems. UNC Asheville has had a long-term commitment to serve our region. This partnership continues to provide an unprecedented opportunity for systemic change that will improve the manner in which partners collectively engage in initial preparation, induction, and continuing professional development of teachers in North Carolina. More specifically, it is a collaborative group involving Department of Education and UNC Asheville Arts and Sciences faculty, public school personnel, and students and alumni that undertake projects to improve teacher education by serving Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and coordinate partnership activities. It is divided into three subcommittees: Initial Preparation, Induction, and Professional Development.

  • The Initial Preparation subcommittee works to define and prepare our student teachers for public schools. This is an opportunity to make current programs relevant and re-envision processes for the 21st century.
  • The Induction subcommittee supports Beginning Teachers (those with less than three years of classroom experience) to migrate from their initial license to a continuing license.  It also provides ongoing mentorship and focused development involving class management, technology, and planning.
  • The Professional Development subcommittee focuses on allocating resources to create opportunities for educators to stay fresh and new with current educational trends and to explore their own emerging needs in the classroom.

USTEP Mission

Every child in the public school has a right to teachers who are knowledgeable, skillful, and caring. In order to ensure the development of such teachers it is important that the university and public schools form partnerships and jointly plan and deliver initial preparation, induction, and continuing professional development programs.

Grant Opportunity

The UNC Asheville Department of Education offers Professional Development Grants to support area educators so that they can continue to engage in ongoing learning opportunities that enhance and build on their instructional knowledge.

USTEP Small Grant Proposal form

USTEP Guidelines

  • Early, frequent and focused field experiences in public schools for pre-service teachers.
  • Professional development opportunities collaboratively planned and implemented by and for pre-K through university educators.
  • Increased communication at all levels.
  • Collaborative research opportunities.
  • Collaboration in curriculum planning and program development.

Annual USTEP Goals

  • Recruit & retain quality teachers.
  • Improve graduation rate/improve levels of achievement.
  • Globalize the curriculum in response to meet 21st century SBE goals.

USTEC:  University School Teacher Education Council

The University School Teacher Education Council is an advisory board and standing committee comprised of Department of Education faculty, UNC Asheville Arts & Sciences Faculty, Public School Personnel from Local Educational Agencies, students, and alumni.  USTEC serves in an advisory capacity to the Education Department for the following purposes:

  • Provide coordination and articulation between the academic departments, the Education Department, and the LEAs in following the state’s guidelines for the preparation of teachers within UNC Asheville’s liberal arts model for teacher certification;
  • Develop the goals, objectives, and strategic plan for guiding the work of USTEC;
  • Make recommendations to the Education Department Chairperson based on reports from the 3 Subcommittees: Initial Preparation of Teachers, Induction (initially licensed teachers), and Professional Development. Each subcommittee chair will serve as a member of the USTEC University Standing Committee; and
  • Oversee USTEP activity and encourage all members of USTEC to participate in the work of one of the three USTEP subcommittees.


UNC Asheville USTEP/USTEC Contacts