The mission of the University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program is to prepare aspiring teachers for successful and long-lasting careers in urban schools.
Nationally, schools serving low-income students turn over half of their staff every three years and research has shown that new teachers often leave urban schools because they feel inadequately prepared and supported for the environments they enter. The UChicago Urban Teacher Education Program aims to change this reality through a context-specific approach to teacher preparation that emphasizes pedagogical knowledge as well as social and cultural competence.
Today, more than 90 percent of UChicago Urban Teacher Education Program graduates remain teaching in low-income communities after five years compared with 50 percent of teachers nationwide.
The UChicago Urban Teacher Education Program is a residency program that includes a two-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree followed by post-graduation mentorship and support for alumni in Chicago.
The two-year MAT program includes a full year of foundational and academic coursework paired with community fieldwork, training in trauma-informed teaching practices, and opportunities and space devoted to fostering reflection on and critical conversations about race, class, and unconscious bias. It also includes a full year of residency placements—clinical preparation in two different school settings—coupled with subject-specific coursework. UTEP graduates who accept teaching positions in Chicago also receive post-graduation mentoring through in-classroom coaching, alumni workshops, teacher-leadership training, and other professional development opportunities.