Top School in Sarasota, FL, with a Teaching Degree

Jan 02, 2019

School and Ranking Information

While there are only a few schools with teacher education programs in the Sarasota area, the University of South Florida system has three campuses within a 50-mile radius of the city. These three USF campuses offer a variety of degree levels in teacher education.

Students must complete a state-approved teacher education program and pass the state's certification exam to get a professional certificate from the Florida's department of education. Candidates have the option to obtain a temporary certificate and begin teaching while completing the program. All three schools in this article have programs that are approved by the state. They also each hold accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The following schools are considered the top three based on this state approval and accreditation, as well as their rankings, degree levels and graduation rates:

  • Winner: University of South Florida (Main Campus) is located in Tampa and is the top overall pick because of its nationally ranked graduate education program. The main campus offers bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in teacher education. The main campus of USF awarded the most teacher education degrees in 2012 out of these three schools.
  • 1st Runner-up: University of South Florida - St. Petersburg is 1st runner-up due to its regional ranking. This campus offers bachelor's and master's degrees in teacher education.
  • 2nd Runner-up: University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee secured third place because it is the only non-profit school with teacher education programs actually located in the city of Sarasota. The University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee campus also offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in teacher education.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of South Florida (Main Campus) University of South Florida - St. Petersburg University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee
Rankings 81st among the best graduate education programs in 2013*
170th among the best national universities in 2014*
94th among the best national public schools in 2014*
80th among the best regional universities in the South in 2014*
38th among the best regional public schools in the South in 2014*
Location Tampa, FL (50.4 miles from Sarasota) St. Petersburg, FL (31 miles from Sarasota) Sarasota, FL
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, Public 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $6,334 (undergraduate, in-state),
$16,257 (undergraduate, out-of-state);
$10,415 (graduate, in-state),
$20,603 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$5,716 (undergraduate, in-state),
$14,638 (undergraduate, out-of-state);
$10,188(graduate, in-state),
$20,377 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$5,524 (undergraduate, in-state),
$15,447 (undergraduate, out-of-state);
$10,034 (graduate, in-state),
$20,223 (graduate, out-of-state)**
Education Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; graduate certificates Bachelor's and master's degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees
Education Degrees Awarded Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 1,182** 108** 109**
Most Popular Education Program (2011-2012) Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Teaching (282 awarded)** Bachelor's Degree in Teacher Education for Multiple Levels (56 awarded)** Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Teaching (63 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 57%** 33%** N/A
Noteworthy Classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a top-tier research university Operates many community programs, including education-focused programs, and holds the Carnegie Foundation's community engagement classification State-of-the-art campus that opened at its current location in 2006

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator.

Winner: University of South Florida (Main Campus)

  • Has consistently graduated the largest or second-largest number of teachers in the state in the last decade, according to the university
  • New living-learning community program for education majors as of 2013
  • Education-related institutes include the Institute for School Reform, the Center for Migrant Education and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology

The main campus of USF offers a staggering number of education programs, including 33 different fields of study (many of which may be pursued at both the undergraduate and graduate levels), as well as a dozen graduate certificate programs. Some options at the bachelor's level include degrees in early childhood education, elementary education or exceptional student education. Programs focused on English, science, social science, foreign language and math education are also available to bachelor's-level students. All of these programs prepare students for teacher certification.

Graduate students can choose from Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Education Specialist, Doctor of Education and Ph.D. programs, as well as graduate certificates. Most of these degree formats are designed for students who already hold teacher certification. However, the M.A.T. programs are intended for students who possess a bachelor's degree in a non-education field and want to transition into teaching, and they incorporate initial certification into the curriculum.

Examples of M.A. programs include autism spectrum disorder, community college teaching and specific learning disabilities. M.A.T. programs are offered in most of the same areas as the bachelor's programs. M.Ed. programs include educational leadership and college student affairs, while Ed.S. programs include counselor education, instructional technology and reading. Some doctoral fields of study are workforce and career education, interdisciplinary education and special education. Graduate certificates are offered in several of the above-mentioned fields, as well as human resource development, education research methods and psychological/social foundations.

Runner-Up #1: University of South Florida - St. Petersburg

  • Over 90% of full-time beginning undergraduates received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES
  • Multiple-level teacher education was the school's 4th most popular major in 2011, according to USNWR
  • Students can assist with programs offered by the K-16 Educational Initiatives division, which operates statewide education development programs

The University of South Florida - St. Petersburg offers bachelor's and master's degrees in teacher education. The bachelor's degree in education prepares students for certification in elementary education and special education, in addition to endorsements in ESL and reading. The minor in education is an alternative teacher education program that prepares students to earn a temporary teaching certificate and begin teaching while completing a professional certificate. The program prepares students for a secondary certificate in English, science or social science.

The master's programs that prepare students to earn an initial state certificate are elementary education with an ESL endorsement and special education with an ESL endorsement. The master's programs for those who are already certified to teach include elementary math and science, English education, reading education and literacy for elementary education. The special education master's degree is for students who want to earn an endorsement in a special education subject.

Runner-Up #2: University of South Florida - Sarasota-Manatee

  • Four education-focused clubs available, as well as campus chapters of national teacher organizations
  • Almost 90% of the faculty hold a Ph.D. or the terminal degree in their field, according to the university
  • Student-faculty ratio of 15:1 as of 2012, according to the NCES

The College of Education at USF - Sarasota-Manatee offers two bachelor's degree programs (B.A. and B.S.) in elementary education that lead to initial teacher certification. Aspiring teachers who already hold a bachelor's degree in a different field can pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching in K-6 Teaching to earn initial certification. Specialized certification is also available for experienced teachers through programs in educational leadership K-12, reading K-12 and teaching exceptional students.

Graduate programs at USF - Sarasota-Manatee also include several non-certification options, such as a Master of Arts in English Education or Elementary Education K-6 with a curriculum emphasis. M.Ed. programs are offered in educational leadership, with concentration options in non-public/charter school leadership or curriculum leadership. All programs in the College of Education emphasize real-world experience through student teaching and professional development opportunities.

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