Melissa Baker, PhD

Melissa Baker, PhD   

Clinical Assistant Professor, Education
Director and Co-PI for Project MASTERY

Hargray Room 255
One University Boulevard
Bluffton, SC 29909
Office: N/A
Melissa Baker, PhD

I am the Director and Co-PI for a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Project grant, Project MASTERY, and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Education. I received my B.A. in English from Susquehanna University, my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tampa, and Ph.D. in Middle Grades Education from the University of Georgia. During my doctoral program, my primary areas of research focused on family engagement across the transition from elementary to middle school and professional development school partnerships (PDSs).

I believe school-university partnerships (SUPs) and PDSs are integral to supporting teacher recruitment, induction, and retention. Since becoming a part of the USC system, I have worked to advance SUPs to support teacher education, recruitment, induction, and retention where I currently serve as professor-in-residence at a middle school. I also serve as Secretary of the National Association of School-University Partnerships, am Past-Chair of the American Education Research Association’s School-University Partnerships Research SIG and am a founding Board member and Past-President of the Southeastern Association of School-University Partnerships.

I previously served as co-chair for the USC PDS Network Coordinating Council, was Co-PI of a $4.6 million U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership Grant, Carolina Transition to Teaching, which supported career changers to become elementary school teachers in rural South Carolina schools, and was Co-PI of a $50,000 Spencer Foundation Conference Grant: Research Renewal Within and Across Southeastern Professional Development School Partnerships. I also co-developed the Southeastern PDS Research Consortium.

Prior to my position at USC Beaufort, I was Clinical Assistant Professor of Middle Level Education in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. My experience working with rural public schools and belief that we must support teacher recruitment, induction, and retention in rural schools led to my service on the advisory board of the Carolina Teacher Induction Program (CarolinaTIP) and work with the Carolina Collaborative for Alternative Preparation (CarolinaCAP). I also taught middle school English Language Arts and Reading at a rural middle school in the Hillsborough County School District, Florida. 

  • Education
  • Teaching
  • Research & Professional Interests

PhD in Middle Grades Education. University of Georgia

MEd in Curriculum and Instruction. University of Tampa

BA in English. Susquehanna University

  • Coming Soon
  • Teacher Education, Recruitment, Induction, and Retention
  • Teacher Inquiry and Research
  • School-University Partnerships (SUPs) and Professional Development School Partnerships (PDSs)
  • Middle Grades Teacher Education
  • Praxis Preparation