The mission of the University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program is to prepare urban public school teachers of the highest caliber - professionals who engage in teaching as a highly intellectual career, and who are classroom-based, instructional leaders and agents for educational equity in their schools and the broader community.
Toward this vision, we have created a program that is situated both academically and experientially in the complexities of the Chicago Public Schools. We explicitly focus on developing all domains of teaching - content knowledge, pedagogy, and dispositions—and expect our students to excel in the profession by adhering to our core teaching practices and values.
The Urban Teacher Education Program is a key component in the work of the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute to develop human capital for urban schools. The University’s Graham School of General Studies awards Chicago UTEP graduates the Master of Arts in Teaching.
Chicago UTEP integrates rigorous academic coursework with ongoing teaching experiences that broaden in scope as candidates progress through the program. It is a two-year (24-month) master’s degree program that has two certification pathways: Chicago UTEP Elementary, which leads to teaching certification for grades K–9; and Chicago UTEP Secondary, which leads to teaching certification for either mathematics or biology in grades 6–12. Chicago UTEP offers primary- and middle-grade endorsements in all subject areas.
The experience of working directly with students and teachers in urban public schools begins in the first quarter of Chicago UTEP, as part of the four-quarter Foundations of Education sequence (academic year, plus a summer). The sequence is designed as a unique set of hands-on, academic, affective, and reflective experiences that guide candidates in understanding the complex environment of their future profession. At the end of the Foundations year, candidates must apply and be accepted into the internship phase of the program.
Since 1913, the University of Chicago has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The Illinois State Board of Education has provided accreditation for this program.