Urban Educators Cohort Program
Students attending the nation's urban schools deserve teachers who will remain committed to the job no matter how school budgets and reform efforts fumble. They need teachers who know how to cultivate the resources and potential others may fail to notice—so that all learners have the best chances to succeed. Those teachers are starting their preparation through the Urban Educators Cohort Program at Michigan State University.
Read the full message from the director ›
UECP Learning Community
What is UECP?
The Urban Educators Cohort Program helps students gain the knowledge and skills they will need to teach in communities where resources and services are most limited. Through focused courses and guided teaching experiences during students' first two years at Michigan State University, UECP is the foundation for preparing educators uniquely qualified to teach in urban school districts – and to meet the needs of all learners.
Who are UECP students?
Incoming freshmen at Michigan State University interested in learning more about urban education at the elementary or secondary level.
Students from any background, especially those interested in high-need teaching areas such as math, science, special education or English as a second language.
Message from Director
Welcome to the Urban Educators Cohort Program website!
Students attending the nation's urban schools deserve teachers who have the knowledge, skills and dispositions to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges present in these leaning environments. They need teachers who know how to cultivate the resources and potential others may fail to notice—so that all learners have the best chances to succeed. Those teachers are starting their preparation through the Urban Educators Cohort Program (UECP) at Michigan State University. UECP gives future educators the tools to understand the history and effects of social, cultural and economic issues that play out in urban schools, and to effectively meet the needs of all learners.
As a member of UECP, you will become part of a close-knit program along with peers who spend their freshman and sophomore years at MSU together visiting real classrooms and taking specialized courses together. You will receive instruction from renowned faculty in Urban Education and all the benefits of the nation's top-ranked teacher preparation program, with a distinctly urban focus.
Through program participation, you will:
- Examine the role of sociocultural issues in teaching and learning
- Understand structures of power, privilege & poverty
- Embrace cross-cultural differences
- Create inclusive learning environments
- Connect with families & communities
UECP students spend time in real schools and classrooms early in their preparation at MSU, through the end of their 5th-year internship. Special opportunities for UECP students include:
- Educational tours in Chicago and Detroit
- Special invitations to tutor, attend seminars and participate in undergraduate research
- Mentoring from successful urban teachers and administrators
- The (paid) Urban Immersion Fellowship in Detroit each summer
- Priority consideration for the 5th year internship in Chicago
- Special consideration for College of Education Undergraduate Scholarships
- Official transcript acknowledgment of UECP Program Completion
Please explore our website to learn more. We look forward to you joining our unique and exciting program!
Sonya Gunnings-Moton, Ph.D.
Cohort members move through freshman and sophomore years as a cohesive group, taking special sections of teacher education courses together. The classes are specifically designed to help students understand social, cultural and financial issues associated with urban schools. Students move into the formal teacher preparation program at MSU during their junior year. See the Program Requirements for more information.
Below is an outline of the UECP program requirements. Students must enroll in UECP designated sections for all courses. Descriptions can be found on the MSU Course Description website.
Information about the teacher preparation program can be found on the Department of Teacher Education's Teacher Preparation website.
- Semester One
- *TE 250: Human Diversity, Power, and Opportunity in Social Institutions (3 cr)
- Semester Two
- *TE 150: Reflections on Learning (3cr)
- Semester One
- *CEP 240: Diverse Learners in Multicultural Perspectives (3 cr)
- Semester Two
- *TE 291A: Special Issues in Urban Education (includes intensive service learning placement) (2 cr)
Freshman - Senior Year
- Urban education engagement experience requirement
- PART A: all students must participate in at least four (4) of the Urban Education Speakers Series offered through the College of Education and/or approved Talks, Seminars, Presentations, etc. offered throughout the MSU Community and beyond.
- PART B: all students must participate in at least one of the following options:
- The Urban Immersion Fellowship Program
- The University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) OR an approved independent outreach/research project with a College of Education faculty member.
- *At least 30 hours of service working with children, youth, and/or urban communities through the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
- If you choose option 3 you must submit a brief essay that includes:
- A brief overview of the activity
- A reflection of what was learned personally and professionally
- How this experience will impact you as a future urban educator
- Complete approved urban internship placement
Other Program Requirements
- Optional (but encouraged):
- Extra/Co-curricular urban learning opportunities
- General education courses focused on issues of poverty, social justice and diversity
Required Professional Education Courses taken after admission to the certification program
Apply to MSU
When to Apply
Senior Year of High School - on Obtain admission to Michigan State University and indicate your intention to complete a teacher certificate in elementary or secondary education. Information on financial aid for students can be found on the Office of Financial Aid homepage.
Apply to the Urban Educators Cohort Program
When to Apply
After Acceptance to MSU
Submit a supplemental application to the Urban Educators Cohort Program.
2-4 Weeks After Submitting a Completed Application Student essay, grade point average, SAT or ACT scores, high school work and work activities, and written communication skills will be considered in the selection process.
The application review committee reviews applications on a rolling basis.
Applicants can expect to hear from the application review committee within 2-4 weeks of submission of an application.
The Urban Educators Cohort Program is a specialized program within the teacher preparation program at Michigan State University. UECP students must therefore complete the same requirements as any Teacher Education student at Michigan State University. UECP simply provides added special emphasis in urban education themes.
When you complete UECP you will graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in Teacher Education and you will be eligible for teacher certification both in Michigan and, often with little or no extra requirements, in many other U.S. States.
For details on the teacher preparation program at Michigan State University, including program requirements, visit the teacher preparation program website.
Have Questions? Check out the UECP Frequently Asked Questions to see if someone else has had the same questions that you do.
Sonya Gunnings-Moton, Ph.D.
Michigan State University
620 Farm Lane, Room 517B
East Lansing, MI 48824