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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

More program contacts »

Publications & Resources

Urban Education program brochure

Urban Education Student Handbook 2013-14

Urban Education: Student Teaching in Chicago

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Katie Hopkins My time with the ACM Urban Ed program changed my life. I was your typical suburban girl that only thought I wanted to teach in a upper-class white community suburban district. After being with my students for 15 minutes on the first day of school, I knew my life had changed forever. Having the experiences that Urban Ed offered me opened my eyes to the "bigger picture" of education, and what I had to offer. Not only did my cooperating teacher coach me to be the best that I could be, she also ended up being one of my best friends, and I teach with her now. I also have made lifelong friends with the other students that were in the Urban Ed program with me, and keep in close contact with our advisors. Thank you Urban Education for changing my life!

—Katie Hopkins, Chicago Urban Education, Fall 2005, Preschool teacher at Peirce School of International Studies

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