Senior Fellow Terry K. Peterson of the College’s School of Education, Health, and Human Performance was honored in Dallas at the Beyond School Hours: National Education Conference, which began on March 9, 2016.

Peterson was one of two people to be named a “Champion of Children” for his “outstanding commitment to helping our nation’s most vulnerable children and families achieve brighter futures through quality education.”

Terry K. Peterson was honored as a "Champion of Children."

Terry K. Peterson was honored as a “Champion of Children” at the Beyond School Hours conference in Dallas in March 2016.

Peterson earned the national award because of his work in designing education reforms for at-risk children across the nation, in South Carolina, and in a number of developing countries.

“With a long and distinguished career in education, numerous contributions through groundbreaking research and publications, and influential roles within education, business, community and government networks, Dr. Peterson is truly a Champion of Children,” conference officials said of Peterson during an awards ceremony.

Peterson has worked tirelessly for nearly four decades to improve education systems across the country and world. Among his accomplishments:

  • Serving as chief counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Education from 1993 to 2001.  In this position and afterward, Peterson helped shepherd the growth of  the 21st Century Community Learning Center from 10 sites in low-income neighborhoods in 1994 to today’s total of 12,000 sites that serve almost 2 million struggling children and youth, including nearly 150 sites in South Carolina.
  • Serving as the architect of the nationally recognized Education Improvement Act in South Carolina and, more recently, serving on the S.C. House Education Policy Review and Reform Task Force through an appointment by S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas.
  • Assisting educators in Brazil and Mongolia, introducing them to American technical colleges and arts education practices.
  • Promoting the arts during normal school hours and in afterschool programs. For this work, Peterson was awarded South Carolina’s prestigious Verner Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education in 2015.

Most recently, Peterson has helped launch the College of Charleston’s Afterschool and Summer Learning Resource Center to explore ways to improve afterschool programming support and funding. The Afterschool and Summer Learning Resource Center will be housed within the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance’s Center for Partnerships to Improve Education. Peterson will serve as a thought leader for the resource center and will work in concert with the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education to launch a consulting initiative with more than 10 faculty, staff, and partners with relevant expertise. These areas of expertise align or intersect with the afterschool and summer learning field and include arts integration, sport-based youth development, STEM, culturally relevant teaching, social emotional learning, and youth identity and sense of belonging.

RELATED: A Q&A with esteemed educator and Senior Fellow Terry Peterson.

Also during the conference in Dallas, presentations were made by the College’s Fran Welch, dean of the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, and Courtney Howard, director of the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education.