University Partnerships

The School Development Program (SDP) began as a partnership between the New Haven Public Schools and the Yale Child Study Center. Over the years school-university partnerships have been a key component of the SDP’s strategic dissemination plan.

Our University partners demonstrate their commitment in a number of ways. In addition to working closely with schools or school districts, in-service teachers, administrators, and other support personnel on identified professional development needs, faculty from partnering universities often work directly with the pre-K-12 students in those schools.

Faculty design and deliver courses and provide professional experiences for their pre-service teachers and aspiring administrators that emphasize child and adolescent development and the other principles outlined in the SDP’s approach to school organization and management. We encourage our partners to disseminate the results of their partnership work with the broader education community including policy makers.

The SDP maintains current university partnerships with four universities that are committed to making child and adolescent development a part of the professional identity of their students, particularly those in education, counseling, social work, and the allied health professions. They are:

Current University Partnerships

Darlington County School District and Coker College, South Carolina

The SDP is part of a public-private partnership formed to implement a comprehensive scholastic excellence program in Hartsville public schools. The PULSE (Partners for Unparalleled Local Scholastic Excellence) Program is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership involving the Darlington County School District, the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, Coker College, and Sonoco.

A key component of the Hartsville PULSE initiative is a pilot implementation of the School Development Program at four Hartsville elementary schools launched at the start of the 2011-12 school year. The focus is on student development and improving academic achievement. The four schools are Southside Early Education Center, Washington Street Elementary School, Thornwell School for the Arts, and West Hartsville Elementary Schools.

Primary funding for the PULSE programs will come from a $5 million grant made over five years from Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies. Sonoco announced the PULSE initiative at a press conference on February 21, 2011 at Thornwell School for the Arts. For more information about PULSE, please click here.

Springfield Public Schools and Drury University Department of Education and Child Development, Missouri

This partnership started in 1996 and has been funded by the university, the school district, and by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Topeka Public Schools and Washburn University, Kansas

The leaders of SDP schools in Topeka share practices through professional development to ensure ongoing implementation of the program.