USC Rossier School of Education

Office for Professional Learning

Since its founding in 1918 the USC Rossier School of Education has helped educators understand and respond to the challenges of the times. But the increasingly complex demands on public education in the 21 century require new approaches to professional development. This is why USC Rossier’s Office of Professional Development is now the Office of Professional Learning.

The distinction – development vs. learning — is important. It signals a mindset shift, a reimagining of professional development that promotes sustained learning over the quick fix and prioritizes educators’ voices and agency as they enhance their ability to teach and lead in a changing world.


“USC Rossier is committed to equipping today’s educators as fully and effectively as we can to meet the historic new demands of their profession,” whether addressing math and reading instruction, educational leadership or skills such as mindfulness,

-Pedro Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of USC Rossier.

Rossier’s embrace of professional learning is driven in part by the shortcomings of many conventional professional development programs – the “drive-by” workshops and “sit and get” sessions designed without educators’ input or alignment with school goals. Research shows that conventional approaches to “PD” rarely result in positive changes in classroom practices or student achievement. It’s no wonder that participants often dread the programs and leave feeling their time was ill-spent.

To better help educators address today’s challenges, USC Rossier is reframing the mission of professional learning. We agree with Learning Forward about the importance of educators’ active engagement in their own continuous learning through programs based on evidence about what is most needed and effective. We want to close the “knowing-doing gap” by drawing on the insights and experiences of both researchers and practitioners.


“We’re signaling that we’re all in a learning mode in education,”

USC Rossier Associate Dean Darline P. Robles says.

Click here for more information about the 2024 Breakthrough Leadership Institute hosted by USC Rossier’s Office for Professional Learning.