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Urban Teachers Launches New Academic Partnership with American University

Aspiring educators will begin equity-focused coursework in 2022

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Urban Teachers, an innovative, nationally recognized teacher development and certification program, is pleased to announce that it has expanded its relationship with American University’s School of Education. As academic and strategic partners, American University and Urban Teachers will facilitate a curriculum that delivers state-of-the-art teacher preparation — instilling knowledge and coaching aspiring teachers to transform communities through rigorous, engaging, and culturally respectful education. The Urban Teachers 2022 cohort will be the first to matriculate under the new partnership and receive a Master of Arts in Teaching, conferred by American University.

A shared commitment to preparing teachers through an equity-based, anti-racist pedagogy is a cornerstone of this new partnership.

“A partnership with American University School of Education is a natural fit for us,” said Peter Shulman, Urban Teachers CEO. “The School of Education’s commitment to rigorous scholarship, equitable and inclusive learning environments, and advancing social justice, align directly to the Urban Teachers vision that all children are taught by committed, well-prepared, culturally competent teachers.”

Urban Teachers was founded in 2009 by educators who observed that far too many teachers arrive in urban classrooms unprepared to create sustainable careers and substantial impact on their school community. 

The Urban Teachers/American University partnership will not only provide a grounding in high-quality instruction, but also focus on teaching with an understanding of and appreciation for a child’s community and culture. Professors selected for their student-centered approach to learning and experience in urban public education will deliver graduate courses including “Race, Culture, and Equity in Urban Education” and “Trauma Informed Teaching Practices.”

“Children come to school with a variety of lived experiences. Nevertheless, every student, regardless of cultural, racial, economic, and linguistic background, deserves access to qualified, well-prepared teachers,” said Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Dean of American University’s School of Education. “We are excited to partner with Urban Teachers to further meet our vision of preparing a new generation of diverse teachers and improving the academic and life outcomes of all students.”

Participants in the rigorous four-year Urban Teachers program are prepared to become career teachers who accelerate student achievement and disrupt systems of racial and socioeconomic inequity in urban school systems. 

“Developing and supporting the next generation of teachers is fundamental to the future success of students and communities,” said Sylvia M. Burwell, American University President. “By educating teachers with cultural competence, compassion, and mentoring, we are preparing these changemakers to create dynamic and equitable learning opportunities. American University is proud to join Urban Teachers in this endeavor to offer our student-teachers the highest quality training.”

Urban Teachers and American University’s School of Education are thrilled to combine their expertise to give the strongest start possible to aspiring career teachers who seek to effect change and make a positive impact in the lives of publicly educated students across the United States.