In second grade, every week, Clay Monson ’12 would head from his classroom to the one across the hall to help students with special needs. When he later learned about mainstreaming, he couldn’t shake that experience—one he felt established a hierarchy in education early on and did a disservice to all students.
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The traditional way of teaching middle school students about alliteration might include having them write down the definition. But Ashley Anderson is no traditional teacher.
Teaching for Social Justice in Urban Schools
The Urban Teaching and Leadership (UTL) Program provides a unique opportunity for prospective and experienced educators to have a profound impact on the future of urban education. The goal of the UTL Program is to prepare talented classroom teachers who are committed to social change and who will address the inequalities confronting public education in America’s cities. Through a unique partnership between the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and the Rochester City School District (RCSD), the UTL Program equips urban educators to combine a passion for social justice with innovative teaching practices to improve the quality of education for all youth.
Individuals who are interested in the UTL Program apply to a master’s program in teaching and curriculum, leading to either NYS Initial or Professional Teacher Certification. In addition to their coursework and field requirements for certification, UTL students participate in monthly seminars that focus on critical approaches to teaching in urban settings. Additional experiences, including campus forums and field trips, allow UTL students to gain insight into urban school reform from key stakeholders, and service learning projects with local community organizations enable them to make positive and tangible contributions to the Rochester community. Upon completion of the master’s program, UTL graduates make a two-year commitment to teach in an urban public school during which they continue to receive professional support through monthly UTL seminars.
Admissions and Financial Aid
As part of our deep commitment to preparing socially-conscious urban educators, the Warner School offers up to 10 full tuition scholarships each year to Initial Teacher Certification applicants who meet both of the following criteria: (1) they are seniors at the University of Rochester and (2) they are individuals who are able to increase the diversity of the urban teacher population or increase the number of certified teachers in specializations where there are the highest shortages in the Rochester area. Funding for Initial Teacher Certification applicants who do not meet those criteria is available on a limited basis. RCSD teachers applying to the Professional Teacher Certification program are eligible for substantial financial assistance from the Warner School as well as tuition reimbursement from the RCSD.