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Preparing Chicago's Best Teachers

The Urban Education program with Elementary Education Concentration develops students to become exceptional licensed teachers. Through their studies and field experience, Urban Education students help children and youth in urban schools achieve their greatest potential.

During the final two years of their studies, in a period called Candidacy, Urban Education students refine their skills with field experience and hands-on opportunities to learn about the diverse communities of Chicago, observe experienced educators, receive mentorship from top teachers, develop lesson plans, and eventually lead their own classrooms.

Endorsements: Grade Levels and Content Areas Heading link

As part of the program, graduates of BA Urban Education earn:

  • The Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL)
  • The Elementary Education Endorsement (for teaching Grades 1-6)
  • Subsequent endorsement in Early Childhood Education (for students beginning Fall 2023)

Through additional coursework, Urban Education students have the option to add one or more of the following endorsements:

Another essential component of the program is the extensive in-school immersion, with nearly 1000 hours of fieldwork experience that prepares teachers to lead in classrooms from day one. Students begin this in-school work at the beginning of their junior year.

Fieldwork for BA Urban Education students Heading link

As part of the path to Illinois licensure, students complete fieldwork hours under faculty direction as part of their coursework activities. This is what it looks like for each semester of candidacy:
Junior Year (Fall) Junior Year (Spring) Senior Year (Fall) Senior Year (Spring)
Fieldwork requirements 120 hours 120 hours 180 hours 15 weeks (equivalent roughly to 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 in multiple classrooms, develop lesson plans, collaborate with peers and mentors, teach lessons, work actively in pairs to support all classroom instruction. 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.

Overall: 120 credits
Core requirements: 60
Elementary Education Course Requirements:  60

Students get a professional educators license, elementary endorsement and a subsequent endorsement in early childhood education

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