Preparing Chicago's elementary school leaders

The Urban Education program with Elementary Education Concentration develops students to become licensed teachers who use their own diverse cultural, linguistic and economic backgrounds to improve urban schools and empower children and youth.

Urban Education students, as teacher candidates, benefit from working with some of the best education faculty in the world. They gain real-world experience through partnerships with carefully selected mentor teachers in Chicago communities and schools. Students spend their fieldwork-based semesters cultivating unique skill sets for success, working in schools with diverse student populations that are typically under-resourced.

The Elementary Education Concentration prepares students to become licensed teachers for grades 1-6, with the option to add a Middle Grades Endorsement (grades 5-8) across the major content areas (English/Language Arts, Math, Social Sciences, Science). In addition, students can pursue the endorsements in English as a Second Language and/or Bilingual Education. Graduates are job-ready because they are prepared to meet these areas of need.

The extensive in-school immersion, with nearly 1000 hours of fieldwork experiences, is an essential component of the program and prepares teachers to lead in classrooms from day one. Students begin their in-school work junior year.

The Path to Licensure: Teacher Candidacy Fieldwork

Junior Year (Fall) Junior Year (Spring) Senior Year (Fall) Senior Year (Spring)
Fieldwork hours 120 hours 120 hours 180 hours 450 hours
Location Community schools with diverse student populations that are typically under-resourced. Community schools with diverse student populations that are typically under-resourced. CPS school with mentor teacher. CPS school with same mentor teacher.
Activities Observe classes, develop lesson plans, teach lessons, working in pairs with carefully-selected mentor teachers. Observe classes, develop lesson plans, teach lessons, working in pairs with carefully-selected mentor teachers. Pre-student teaching practicum, working one-on-one with a specially trained mentor teacher, often a graduate of the BA program. Full semester of student teaching with the same mentor teacher from previous semester.

Urban Education Program Contacts

Alumni Profiles: Israel Hernandez and Carmen Washington

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