River City Partners

The River City Partnership began as a conversation between Dean Hill-Clarke of the College of Education at the UofM and Dr. Sharon Griffin - former SCS Chief of Schools and current superintendent of the Achievement School District. Dean Hill-Clarke and Dr. Griffin realized that local schools, particularly Shelby County Schools and the Achievement School District, needed teachers committed to teaching in an urban school environment and that College of Education students wanted and needed more focused training in teaching in urban schools. The River City Partnership began to meet both these needs. As the partnership developed, the Achievement School District joined the initiative and many sponsors pledged their support. Read on to learn more about the College of Education and our partners at Shelby County Schools and the Achievement School District. You can also learn more about our generous sponsors who make all of this possible here>

If you'd like to join our partnership as a Teacher Scholar, you may apply as an undergraduate student> or graduate student>. We're so excited that you're interested in our program and inspiring Memphis through education!

College of Education

College of Education logoThe College of Education at the UofM (COE) is Driven by Excellence. We are committed to scholarship, research, and outreach that values diversity, inclusion, respect, innovation, and service. The COE consists of three departments - Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research (CEPR), Instruction and Curriculum Leadership (ICL), and Leadership. We also house three award-winning research centers - The Center for Rehabilitation and Employment Research, The Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP), and Center for the Study of Higher Education. The River City Partnership incorporates faculty and knowledge from all of our areas but is housed within the ICL Department. You can learn more about what the College of Education has to offer here> or learn more about the ICL Department here>.

Shelby County Schools

Shelby County Schools logoShelby County Schools is Tennessee's largest public school district and is among the 25 largest public school districts in the United States. Formerly comprised of two smaller districts, Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools, SCS serves over 100,000 students in more than 200 schools. SCS is the second largest employer in Shelby County with over 15,000 employees, including 6,600 teachers. SCS's Vision states, "Shelby County Schools is a student-first district where everyone prepares all students to reach their full potential." SCS's Mission shows their commitment to serving the students in the Memphis-area, stating "Every day, Shelby County School students experience high levels of success with challenging content in our classrooms and show consistent growth and achievement each year." Read more about Shelby County Schools on their website.>

Achievement School District

Achievement School DistrictCommitted to excellence, equity, and community, the Achievement School District (ASD) is a statewide school district created to move the bottom 5% of schools in Tennessee to the top 25%. The ASD is made up of 29 campuses in Memphis and Nashville. The ASD demonstrates their dedication to student success in their Vision statement, which reads "All students in Priority Schools are prepared for success in education, career, and citizenship after high school." The ASD Mission statement reads, "We fight for justice for Priority School students by committing to excellence, equity, and community in their schools and lives." The Achievement School District expresses their intended impact in the following statement: "By 2025, we will close the opportunity gaps long persistent in Tennessee's public education." Read more about the Achievement School District on their website.>


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