Urban Secondary Education Licensure

About this program

Gain a Minnesota teaching license for grades 5-12 in one of four major content areas. Share your passion for learning and make a difference in the lives of urban youth. Empower yourself with the content knowledge, multicultural teaching skills, urban field experiences, and professionalism you need to give urban secondary students a high-quality, equitable education. The Urban Secondary Education licensure program within the School of Urban Education (UED) is designed to meet the needs of urban middle and high schools for teachers who can improve students' educational achievement. The UED prepares prospective secondary teachers who can use their understanding of diverse urban learners and communities along with content knowledge and build on the talents and resiliency of their students for success in school and life.

Our approach to teacher education focuses on preparing diverse, reflective and resilient teachers who are outstanding in their commitment to teaching urban youth and creating equitable educational opportunities. More than any other program in Minnesota, we attract more teacher candidates who are of color, multilingual, low-income or ""first generation"" into teaching careers who can relate to the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse urban youth and their communities.

The UED partners with departments in the College of Liberal Arts and College of Sciences that provide the content area knowledge for teaching in a particular subject area and house the departments that offer the following four majors:

Graduate level options

Students with previous bachelor’s degrees seeking secondary education licensure may complete this program at the graduate level towards a master’s degree. See M.S. Urban Education pages, linked below,  for information about the graduate pathway to secondary education licensure in particular content areas.  

Program accreditation

This program is accredited by the Minnesota Professional Education and Licensing Standards Board (PELSB) to meet the Standards of Effective Practice for Beginning Teachers as part of the requirements for being licensed to teach in a specific subject area.

Student outcomes

Students completing this program will meet the following 10 learning outcomes aligned with the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice for Beginning Teachers:

  • Subject matter: Urban teacher candidates will “understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines taught and be able to create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.”
  • Student learning: Urban teacher candidates will “understand how students learn and develop and must provide learning opportunities that support a student's intellectual, social, and personal development.”
  • Diverse learners: Urban teacher candidates will “understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to students with diverse backgrounds and exceptionalities.”
  • Instructional strategies: Urban teacher candidates will “understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.”
  • Learning environment: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to use an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.”
  • Communication: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to use knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.”
  • Planning instruction: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to plan and manage instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.”
  • Assessment: Urban teacher candidates will “understand and be able to use formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the student.”
  • Reflection and professional development: Urban teacher candidates “will be a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of choices and actions on others, including students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community, and who actively seeks out opportunities for professional growth.”
  • Collaboration, ethics and relationships: Urban teacher candidates will “be able to communicate and interact with parents or guardians, families, school colleagues, and the community to support student learning and well-being

Enrolling in this program

Program eligibility requirements

In addition to declaring and being admitted into a major program (i.e., English for Teaching, Life Sciences Teaching, Mathematics Teaching, Social Studies for Teaching), students need to apply for admission to the Urban Teacher Program to earn grades 5-12 licensure in a particular subject area (i.e., Communication Arts and Literature, Life/General Science, Mathematics or Social Studies).

See admission requirements and criteria for the Urban Teacher Program in the School of Urban Education.

Program requirements

In addition to completing required coursework and additional requirements for a bachelor's degree, the following are among the requirements for program completion and Tier 3 licensure in Minnesota:

• Completion of at least 120 hours of practicum experiences in urban middle school (60 hours) and urban high school (60 hours) classrooms in your licensure subject area.

• Completion of 12 weeks of full-time student teaching.

• Passing all required content and pedagogy exams and performance assessments.

• Background check and licensure application with fee.

Student licensure

See School of Urban Education page for information related to teaching licensure in Minnesota through the Professional Education Standards and Licensing Board (PELSB).

 

Course requirements

32-40 credits in addition to the major requirements for the BS English for Teaching, BS Life Sciences Teaching, BS Mathematics Teaching, or BS Social Studies for Teaching

Prerequisites

Pre-Professional Education (6 credits)

These courses are open to all students and, among other requirements, are needed for admission to the School of Urban Education. To be admitted in the Urban Teacher Program, students need to have a declared content major (i.e., English for Teaching, Life Sciences Teaching, Mathematics Teaching, or Social Studies for Teaching) and meet the requirements and criteria stated in the Guide to Admission in the Urban Teacher Program. Contact the School for more information about program Admission requirements. In addition to the two courses listed below, completion of an approved 4 credit Ethnic Studies (ETHS) course is also required. 

EDU 200 Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

3 credits

This course provides an introduction to urban learners, urban teaching, and urban school systems using case studies and first-person accounts of teaching and learning in an urban environment. Current issues facing urban P-12 students, teachers, schools, districts, and communities will be discussed. Society's responsibility to urban schools will be examined along with the roles that teachers and schools play in increasing student achievement and leading school improvement. Key concepts of the Urban Teacher Program will be introduced including the importance of high expectations, student and teacher resiliency, educational equity, using the community as a resource, and reflection. Various perspectives and dimensions of the achievement gap will be examined, including causes due to discrimination and perspectives on what constitutes high educational achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse youth. Students in this course are expected to explore and express their own…

Full course description for Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

EDU 203 Multicultural Education

3 credits

This course introduces prospective urban teacher candidates to core concepts and approaches of multicultural education including issues related to student, family and community diversity based on race, culture, language, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Issues of oppression, privilege and equity in relation to schools and society are also addressed as students use their life experiences as a multicultural reference point to begin to understand the life experiences of the diverse students who attend urban public schools. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating the multicultural competence required of all successful teachers working with diverse urban youth. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Multicultural Education

Requirements

Professional Education (24 credits)

These courses are open to students who are admitted to the School. Students must complete field experiences in an urban middle school and an urban high school while completing the following Professional Education courses, but prior to doing their student teaching.

EDU 300 Assessment of Learning and Teaching in Urban Grades 5-12

3 credits

This course focuses on assessment as a learning tool to guide the planning, development and implementation of curriculum and instruction. Theories and research related to principles of learning, motivation and multiple intelligences are explored. Practical experience designing short- and long-term learning outcomes and various types of assessment is offered. Topics include standards-based instruction, formative and summative assessment, standardized testing, validity, reliability, bias, rubrics, portfolio-based assessment, performance-based assessment, and communicating with families. State and national standards and performance criteria for the evaluation of teaching are also explored. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Assessment of Learning and Teaching in Urban Grades 5-12

EDU 306 Urban Middle School and High School Methods

4 credits

This course focuses on common methods of differentiating instruction for urban middle school and high school classrooms. Teacher candidates begin learning how to create developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant unit and lesson plans that attend to the various abilities, needs, cultures, experiences, and interests of urban 5-12 students while also meeting district and state standards for learning and making interdisciplinary connections. Foundational understanding of the diverse learning styles and developmental characteristics of young adolescent and adolescent learners forms the basis upon which appropriate plans are developed and methods are employed. The inter-relationships between standards, assessment, curriculum and instruction are examined in promoting high achievement for each urban learner. Teacher candidates gain awareness of current trends in urban middle school and high school education along with the knowledge and skills these trends demand of effective urban…

Full course description for Urban Middle School and High School Methods

EDU 311 Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

0-1 credits

This practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 40 hours practical clinical experience working with diverse youth in an urban middle school or high school. Most of the field experience hours will be determined by field-based assignments required in other Education courses. Included with these experiences, urban teacher candidates practice using diagnostic assessment to guide their instructional planning of at least three lessons for a small group of 1-5 students needing help to improve their reading or mathematics literacy. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for student teaching. Requirements include attendance and participation in periodic seminars to help prospective urban teacher candidates reflect upon their field experiences, and prepare for future clinical field experiences including student teaching. Co-requisites: EDU 306, OR EDU 606, OR EDU 323, OR EDU 481.

Full course description for Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

EDU 310 Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities in Urban 5-12 Classrooms

3 credits

This course is an overview of the role of subject area teachers in assessing, accommodating, and supporting the education of diverse students with disabilities and other special needs in urban grades 5-12 classrooms. The course will address what teachers should know about exceptional learners, including students with disabilities and students with special gifts and talents. The responsibilities of general education teachers in service to students with special needs who are included in the mainstreamed classroom will also be examined, and practice will be provided for developing lesson plans and assessments that meet the needs of students with exceptionalities. Special education law and collaboration with special education staff will be discussed in the context of reviewing current research, issues and best practices for pre- and post-special education service needs of exceptional learners in urban public schools. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities in Urban 5-12 Classrooms

EDU 383 Information Technology for K-12 Education

2 credits

This course is an introduction to the use of information technology (IT) devices and applications to promote teaching and learning in k-12 educational settings for students with and without disabilities. Teacher candidates will learn primary tools and software applications to promote teacher productivity and integration of IT to promote curriculum, instruction, assessment, and family/educator communication. In addition to instruction and productivity for k-12 general education settings, the course will include introduction to accessibility issues and the "digital divide" that impact urban learners and educators. Students in this course will demonstrate their competence using technology by developing an electronic, standards-based portfolio.

Full course description for Information Technology for K-12 Education

EDU 400 Literacy Education in Urban Schools

3 credits

This course examines the many aspects of literacy which arise in urban secondary classrooms. Through course readings, presentations, discussions, and applied written and oral exercises, students explore ways to teach a variety of materials to diverse middle and high school students whose reading and developmental levels vary widely. Students explore techniques of how to encourage learners both to engage with reading and writing and to assume responsibility for literacy learning. Through instructional techniques and integrated learning models which focus on various content areas, the information learned in this course prepares the teachers to assist struggling readers and writers. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Literacy Education in Urban Schools

EDU 415 Managing Learning in Diverse Urban 5-12 Classrooms

3 credits

This course is based on current research on the relationship between classroom management and academic achievement to prepare prospective urban teachers for facilitating student learning in a positive classroom environment. Participants in this course will examine teacher and student classroom behaviors from a cross-cultural perspective to recognize the effects of cultural/linguistic differences in the assessment, interpretation, and planning of the instructional and social environment in a class. Students will gain understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create learning environments that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation. Students will also gain understanding of how factors in students environment outside of school may influence the classroom learning environment. A portion of this course will explore the influence of the use and misuse of drugs, and management strategies for atypical behaviors stemming…

Full course description for Managing Learning in Diverse Urban 5-12 Classrooms

EDU 430 Historical and Cultural Foundations of Urban Education

3 credits

This course explores historical, cultural, and sociological foundations of urban education in the United States. Core concepts include democracy and education, educational equity for all students and historical as well as contemporary relationships between school and society. Emphasis is on issues of power and the educational segregation and attempted deculturalization of historically marginalized groups. Resilience and persistent struggles for equal educational opportunity in the face of oppression are also emphasized from diverse cultural perspectives. Philosophical, legal, cultural and ethical perspectives about education are explored as students develop critical awareness of issues to further develop their own philosophies of urban education. The community is a resource for cross-cultural inquiryand learning about the educational strengths and challenges faced by diverse groups living in urban areas. Students gain understanding of the contributions and lifestyles of various…

Full course description for Historical and Cultural Foundations of Urban Education

EDU 435 Teaching and Assessing English Language Learners

3 credits

This course includes an examination of the process of second language acquisition and strategies for teaching English Language Learners (ELL) subject matter content in urban K-12 classrooms. Prospective teachers will learn how to modify mainstream course materials and instructional strategies so that ELL students can engage in course content while simultaneously developing their English language skills. Course activities and expectations include demonstrating teaching strategies; developing lesson modifications; evaluating textbooks and other materials and resources available in the field; and examining issues in testing students of limited English proficiency for placement, diagnosis, exit, and evaluation. There is a requirement of a 10-hour field experience in urban setting involving classroom participant-observations and working with an ELL student.

Full course description for Teaching and Assessing English Language Learners

EDU 450 Advanced Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

0-1 credits

This advanced pre-student teaching practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 60 hours practical clinical experience in an urban middle school or high school classroom within their subject area of licensure. Requirements include teaching at least 3 lessons in their licensure area to a whole class of students, but most of the clinical field experience hours and active classroom involvement will be determined by field-based assignments required in other Education courses and the cooperating urban school teacher hosting the practicum. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for student teaching. Requirements include attendance and participation in periodic seminars to help prospective urban teacher candidates reflect upon their field experiences, and prepare for student teaching.

Full course description for Advanced Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

Content Methods Courses for Different Licensure Content Areas
Communication Arts and Literature licensure (grades 5-12)

For students pursuing Communication Arts and Literature licensure (grades 5-12), both of the following content methods courses are required.

LAED 445 Teaching Writing and Communications in Urban Grades 5-12

4 credits

In this course, future teachers learn best practices for how to teach urban middle and high school students how to write and make oral presentations. Topics include: sentence and paragraph construction; genres of writing; how audience, purpose and situation guide writing and speeches; assessment and revision; engaging middle and high school writers; assisting English Language Learners; and technological tools for written and speech communications. Teacher candidates learn how to respond constructively to the writing and oral presentations of urban 5-12 learners.

Full course description for Teaching Writing and Communications in Urban Grades 5-12

LAED 450 Teaching Language Arts in Urban Middle and High School

4 credits

In this course, prospective urban teachers learn how to develop, teach and evaluate units and comprehensive teaching plans that implement best practices for middle and high school language arts classes. Students acquire, practice and demonstrate a repertoire of effective techniques and activities for teaching such middle school language arts competencies as vocabulary development; sentence, paragraph and essay construction; and reading skills; and such high school language arts competencies as vocabulary development; creative and technical writing skills; and understanding the characters, plots and messages contained in literary works.

Full course description for Teaching Language Arts in Urban Middle and High School

Life Sciences (grades 9-12) with General Science licensure (grades 5-8)

For students pursuing Life Sciences (grades 9-12) with General Science licensure (grades 5-8), both of the following content methods courses are required.

SCED 445 The Practice of Science

4 credits

This course focuses on the nature and history of science and the implications for the teaching of science in urban middle and high schools. It examines scientific methods, the research processes in science and scientific literature. Students study the historical development of the major themes in science and the learning of those concepts by K-12 students. They also complete a science research project. It is intended for students pursuing science teaching licensure.

Full course description for The Practice of Science

SCED 450 Science Methods for Urban Grades 5-12 Classrooms and Lab

4 credits

This course prepares students to become effective science teachers in urban middle and high schools. It examines learning methods, content standards, and concept development. Participants develop skills at lesson and unit planning, delivering instruction, leading inquiry activities, and assessing learning in all areas of secondary science. It is intended for students pursuing middle school or high school science licensure. It should be taken shortly before student teaching.

Full course description for Science Methods for Urban Grades 5-12 Classrooms and Lab

Mathematics licensure (grades 5-12)

For students pursuing Mathematics licensure (grades 5-12), both of the following content methods courses are required.

MAED 440 Teaching Mathematics to Urban Learners in Grades K-8

4 credits

This course provides students with the knowledge and experience of intermediate and middle school mathematics to be an effective teacher in urban, multicultural classrooms. The content of this math methods course emphasizes the interconnectedness of curriculum, instruction and assessment. The overarching philosophical framework for this course is the social justice perspective of mathematics education particularly for urban students. Field experience in an intermediate or middle school mathematics classroom is required. Prerequisites for Mathematics Teaching majors: EDU 300 Assessment of Learning and Teaching in Urban Grades 5-12 and EDU 306 Urban Middle School and High School Methods and at least 24 credits of Math courses required for the Mathematics Teaching major. Prerequisite for Urban Elementary Education majors: MATH 106 Math for Elementary Teachers AND one of the following: MATH 110 Math for Liberal Arts OR MATH 115 College Algebra OR STAT 201 Statistics I. Corequisite…

Full course description for Teaching Mathematics to Urban Learners in Grades K-8

MAED 450 Teaching Mathematics to Urban Learners in Grades 7-12

4 credits

This course provides students with the knowledge and experience of high school mathematics to be an effective teacher in urban, multicultural classrooms. The content of this math methods course emphasizes the interconnectedness of curriculum, instruction and assessment. The overarching philosophical framework for this course is the social justice perspective of mathematics education particularly for urban students. Field experience in a high school mathematics classroom is required.

Full course description for Teaching Mathematics to Urban Learners in Grades 7-12

Social Studies licensure (grades 5-12)

For students pursuing Social Studies licensure (grades 5-12), the following content methods course is required.

SSED 450 Teaching Social Studies in Urban Grades 5-12

4 credits

This course provides teacher candidates with a variety of approaches to organizing a social studies curriculum in grades 5-12, and multiple instructional methods for effective teaching in the urban, multicultural classroom. Knowledge of the core social studies disciplines (i.e., history, geography, government, and economics) will be applied by planning and discussing units and lessons that include a variety of instructional methods and authentic assessment to enhance student learning. Knowledge of American Indian history, culture, language and government will be applied in order to meet state teaching standards. Opportunities for practice teaching mini lessons will be afforded to enhance skill development as an urban teacher. Differing perspectives will be explored regarding the purpose of social studies education for democratic citizenship in a rapidly changing, increasingly diverse and interdependent, society and world. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course…

Full course description for Teaching Social Studies in Urban Grades 5-12

Student Teaching (8 credits, 12 weeks full-time) 

Choose one. This experience is required for licensure not the major or degree. Teacher Candidates must notify the Field Experience Director two semesters prior to doing their student teaching. They must also submit a student teaching application by September 20 for spring placements and February 20 for fall placements. One of the following student teaching courses is required.