Urban Community Teacher Education at University of Colorado Denver
Transforming Schools. Connecting Communities.
At CU Denver, the faculty, staff and students are united in the endeavor of bringing innovative learning solutions to urban classrooms. It’s at the heart of our mission.
“Teachers need to be prepared for the increasing diversity of our communities and public schools,” said Cindy Gutierrez, director of teacher education. “The Urban Community Teacher Education program was established to recruit and develop exceptional educators who have a strong desire to influence educational outcomes among children and adolescents from culturally and economically diverse urban backgrounds. We operate the largest graduate teacher preparation program in Colorado, preparing educators to see the big picture and to act as passionate agents of change in our schools.”
Our Urban Teacher Education program offers:
- the opportunity to live the life of a teacher in the urban classrooms of our 27 professional development schools across six metro-area school districts
- rigorous course work with a focus on preparing educators to serve urban, multicultural youth
- a clear substantive thread throughout the curriculum focusing on equity and social justice
- learning experiences that integrate a broad focus on families and communities (Students participate in scholarly research to understand community resources, needs and assets so that they may better serve the pressing and specific needs in schools and communities.)
- convenient hybrid classes with a combination of face-to-face and online learning experiences
- a cohort model where students take one to three classes every four to eight weeks with approximately 24 other students
- full-time and part-time cohorts available for those who wish to earn a license in a year and for those who wish to work part time
- a fully online curriculum for special education endorsement students who desire to take courses this way
- experienced and new nationally recognized faculty.
Our professional development schools are supportive and innovative places of learning and teaching for everyone involved—teacher candidates, experienced teachers, university faculty, administrators and, most notably, preschool–12th-grade students. They are designed around the notion of simultaneous renewal of P–12 schools and teacher preparation that happens through deep levels of collaboration. The University and our urban school partners work together to improve the quality of teacher preparation and, simultaneously, to improve the quality of teaching and learning in urban public schools. The schools and their districts provide job offers to many CU Denver teacher candidates after they graduate.
“Our work in the schools and the community is a practice-oriented, integrated educational experience. We collaborate with current teachers, learning from them as they engage in their day-to-day experiences. And, we become partners in their learning, exposing them to various ways of thinking and reflecting about their work. Together, we make an impact, inspiring positive change in education for urban youth,” said Gutierrez.