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Urban Education: Student Teaching in Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s three million residents come from a wide range of ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. With more than 80 cultures represented, the city’s schools reflect this diversity.  The nation’s third largest school system, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) enrolls more than 400,000 students in 675 schools, providing many opportunities for student teachers. CPS offers a range of schools — such as magnet, traditional, technical and career, performance, and military — and more than ten percent of CPS schools are charter schools, with a wide variety of missions and academic emphases.

On the ACM Urban Education Program, students engage in an urban student teaching experience with support and guidance — both inside and outside the classroom — to foster their learning and growth as teachers. First established in the early 1960s, the ACM Urban Education Program has had a long tradition of engagement with Chicago schools and the city’s education community.  Each fall and spring semester, students develop their professional skills as they work alongside mentor teachers in Chicago schools. In the weekly seminar, they connect educational theory to their experiences teaching in the classroom.  The program emphasizes collaborative learning, as students conduct an ongoing and informal discussion with a network of peers who share similar situations in their teaching placements.  Program participants also have extensive opportunities to enjoy the city’s tapestry of cultures and people. Program field trips include neighborhood explorations and excursions to cultural institutions such as the National Museum of Mexican Art, the DuSable Museum of African-American history, the Chicago History Museum, and the People’s Music School.

Students live  with other Chicago Programs participants in furnished, shared apartments in various neighborhoods throughout the city of Chicago.  The seminar class is held at the ACM Chicago Programs office on State Street, in the heart of downtown Chicago. Throughout the semester, student teachers participate in all activities at their placement schools, including faculty and parent meetings, in-service workshops, and school-related community meetings. They fulfill all requirements for the final practicum stage of their teacher certification program, along with the creation of a compelling Professional Portfolio.  ACM student teachers in Chicago are among the best-equipped new professionals entering the field of education, and they join an extensive network of ACM alumni in the city’s public schools and education-related organizations.

For more detailed information, please use the links located on the left-hand side of this page.

Quick Facts

  • Terms: Fall semester & spring semester
  • Language prerequisite: None
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Living arrangements: Apartment
  • Who can apply? Students from any college or university

Application deadlines

Application deadline extended! Please contact the ACM Office for more information.

Fall semester 2014

Final deadline: February 15, 2014

Spring semester 2015

Early deadline: February 15, 2014
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: August 1, 2014

Fall semester 2015

Final deadline: February 15, 2015

Spring semester 2016

Early deadline: February 15, 2015
Do I need to apply early?
The early application date is available for students whose college requires that all off-campus study applications for the entire upcoming academic year must be completed the prior spring semester. If your college does not require a spring decision for programs the following spring, you may apply by either the early or final application deadline.

Final deadline: August 1, 2015

If the deadline has passed and you are interested in applying, contact the ACM Office immediately. Late applications may be accepted on a space-available basis.

Program contacts

Emily Gaul
Assistant Program Manager

11 E. Adams Street, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312.561.5919
egaul@acm.edu

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Publications & Resources

Urban Education program brochure

Urban Education Student Handbook 2013-14

Urban Education: Student Teaching in Chicago

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Janna Nobleza The Chicago Urban Education Program was the best student teaching experience; I was as prepared as I could be for my first year of teaching because of the length of the student teaching program, the support I had throughout the experience from both of my supervisors and my host teacher, and from the camaraderie of living with the other student teachers who were going through the same type of experience I was going through. I have now been teaching for a full seven years in the Chicago Public School system and have had two student teachers from a non-Urban Education school, and have a new appreciation for the program. I would recommend every teacher to go through this program – you will build life-long friendships and great colleagues and contacts. The Urban Education Program opened up a lot of opportunities here in Chicago for me, and was one of the best decisions I made for my career.

—Janna Nobleza, Urban Education, Spring 2004, English teacher at Prosser Career Academy

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