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In this learning community experience, you will receive all the benefits of the nation's top-ranked teacher preparation program, with a distinctly urban focus.
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Teacher Preparation Program


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.

What Urban Educators Do

Members of the close-knit program spend their freshman and sophomore years at MSU together visiting real classrooms and taking specialized courses together. They receive all the benefits of the nation's top-ranked teacher preparation program, with a distinctly urban focus.

Urban educators:

  • Appreciate sociocultural issues
  • Understand structures of power, privilege & poverty
  • Embrace cross-cultural differences
  • Create inclusive learning environments
  • Connect with families & communities

Are you prepared for the challenge?

Our students in the
Urban Educators Cohort Program
get experience teaching in urban areas like Lansing, Grand Rapids, Detroit and Chicago.

Upcoming Events

Critical Race English Education Teach-In

This event will include slam poetry, racial storytelling, a panel discussion with community members, and yoga and meditative exercises.

April 5, 2018 from 5:30-8:00 PM

Erickson Hall, Room 252


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.

Specialized classes

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.

Exciting field experiences

UECP students spend time in real classrooms from their first semester at MSU through the end of their 5th-year internship. Students interact with educators in Detroit, Chicago, Lansing, Grand Rapids and other urban areas.

Some of the 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
  • Being personally recommended by the dean for jobs in urban districts

Program Requirements

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.

  • Freshman Year
    • Semester One
      • *TE 250: Human Diversity, Power, and Opportunity in Social Institutions (3 cr)
    • Semester Two
      • *TE 150: Reflections on Learning (3cr)
  • Sophomore Year
    • 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)
    *MUST enroll in designated UECP sections.
  • Freshman - Senior Year
    • Urban education engagment experience requirement
      • PART A: all students must participate in a combination of at least four (4) Urban Education Speakers Series and/or Equity Outreach Initiatives events through the College of Education.
      • PART B: all students must participate in at least one of the following options:

        1. The Urban Immersion Fellowship Program

        2. *The University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) OR A Participatory Research Project with UECP Faculty

        3. *At least 30 hours of service working with children, youth, and/or urban communities through the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagment

        *If you choose option 2 or 3 you must submit an essay that includes:

        a. A brief overview of the activity

        b. A reflection of what was learned personally and professionally

        c. How this experience will impact you as a future urban educator

  • Internship Year
    • 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
    • Elementary
      • TE 301 - Literacy, Learners, and Learning in Context - Elementary (3 credits)
      • TE 403 - Teaching of Science to Diverse Learners - Elementary (3 Credits)
      • TE 404 - Teaching of Social Studies to Diverse Learners - Elementary (3 Credits)
      • TE 405 - Teaching of Language and Literacy to Diverse Learners - Elementary (3 Credits)
      • TE 406 - Teaching of Mathematics to Diverse Learners - Elementary (3 Credits)
      • 5TH Year Internship - TE 501, TE 801 & TE 802 (Fall); TE 502, TE 803 & TE 804 (Spring) (24 credits)
    • Secondary
      • TE 302 - Learners and Learning in Context - Secondary (4 credits)
      • TE 407 - Teaching Subject Matter to Diverse Learners - Secondary (5 credits)
      • TE 408 Crafting Teaching Practice-Secondary (6 credits)
      • 5TH Year Internship - TE 501, TE 801 & TE 802 (Fall); TE 502, TE 803 & TE 804 (Spring) (24 credits)

Application Procedure

  1. Obtain admission to Michigan State University and indicate an intention to complete a teacher certificate in elementary or secondary education on the application. Visit the MSU Office of Admissions to apply now.
  2. Submit a supplemental application to the Urban Educators Cohort Program that includes an essay regarding your interest in teaching in an urban setting as well as a description of the experiences/qualities that make you a strong candidate for the program.
    • Demographic background, grade point average, SAT I or ACT scores, high school and work activities, and written communication skills will also be considered in the selection process.
    • Students admitted to the Urban Educators Cohort Program must confirm their acceptance and participate in all required program activities to maintain cohort membership.

Early Admission to the College of Education

Students who participate in all cohort activities during their freshman and sophomore years and who meet the college’s minimum admissions standards (2.75 overall GPA, passing scores on MTTC Basic Skills Test, completion of 56 credits by the beginning of junior year, etc.) will automatically be admitted to the Teacher Preparation Program with an abbreviated application.

Meet our Students

Bernard C.
"Public schools are becoming really diverse now and this program gives you an opportunity to see students from many different perspectives before you start teaching on your own… I feel really prepared."
Destiny E.
"I personally believe that UECP shouldn’t be a choice. It needs to be a requirement... As I look back, UECP has given me much more than I could have ever asked for."
Emily S.
"I was able to connect on a personal level with students in the classroom and I had a lot of background from my classes to understand what kind of resources are available to them… For me it really confirmed that this is what I want to do."
Mike S.
"The UECP is a demanding program which prepares you for the most challenging of educational settings. It is precisely the challenge I came to this university to find, a program that is not only invested in my education, but one that pushes me to be the best teacher I can be. " Return To Top


As a member of the Urban Educators Cohort Program, you will receive priority consideration for selected College of Education scholarships after your junior year as well as for summer teaching internships in urban environments.

The College of Education also offers some scholarships specifically for students in UECP.

  • Urban Educators Cohort Program Scholarship
    Available to select applicants entering the program as freshmen, with funding renewable for up to four years.
  • College of Education Urban Educator Scholarship
    Funded by the College of Education Alumni Association, this scholarship is designed for a rising sophomore in the Urban Educators Cohort Program (or the Global Educators Cohort Program). Candidates must have financial need, a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a recommendation from an instructor or faculty member.

Additional scholarships are designed for students who plan to teach in urban settings and/or students who are graduates of urban school districts.


Have Questions?

So have others. Check out the UECP Frequently Asked Questions to see if someone else has had the same questions that you do.

Program Director

Sonya Gunnings-Moton, Ph.D.
Erickson Hall
620 Farm Lane
Room 518D Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517-432-5093







Urban Educators Cohort Program
College of Education
620 Farm Lane Room 134 Erickson Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: 517 353-9680
Fax: 517 432-2718