Department of Curriculum and Instruction


The Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education (COE) offers a program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Urban Education. The BA program leads to a State of Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) in Elementary Education (Grades 1–6). The BA program also offers the Advanced Middle Grades Endorsement (Grades 5–8) as an option to add on the initial PEL.

The program is committed to preparing educators who can work effectively in Chicago neighborhood schools where they are needed most. The program also reflects UIC’s conceptual framework: UIC educators are committed to the democratic ideal of developing the full potential of all students. They develop professional knowledge through study and critical analysis, and demonstrate effective practices consistent with their professional knowledge and ideals.

The BA in Urban Education program will effectively develop educators who are informed about how culture, language, and poverty shape and influence the lives of children and youth, and who have a deep understanding of how to use cultural and linguistic diversity as assets in the classroom and other educational settings.

The BA in Urban Education provides the opportunity for students to become teachers for elementary school settings and earn a Grades 1–6, Elementary Education teaching license with the option of adding a middle grade (5–8) endorsement. BA Teacher Candidates (TCs) are expected to develop the following:

  1. a deep understanding of school and community contexts;
  2. a personal investment to underserved schools; and
  3. a commitment to critical self-reflection and inquiry into learning and teaching.

These expectations are largely developed by having TCs conduct their student teaching in schools identified by the college that are urban sites, serve high concentrations of African American and Latino students, and have a significant number of highly respected leaders and teachers. The schools in this partnership with the BA in Urban Education Program also serve as sites for ongoing collaborative research on teaching and learning.

Admissions Requirements

The BA in Urban Education program has adopted the university’s admissions requirements as listed in the Admissions section of the catalog under First Year Applicant and adheres to the campus policy on transfer students.

All freshmen and sophomores will initially be admitted to the BA in Urban Education major in the College of Education and complete the Urban Education Core Curriculum. Students must complete the 58-hour Urban Education Core Curriculum required for admission to the last two years of Elementary Education concentration. All students must maintain a GPA of 2.50/4.00 to remain in good standing during the first two years of the program. Students should complete Core Curriculum course work in four years or fewer. When students complete the Urban Education Core Curriculum, they must apply for candidacy before they can pursue the last two years of professional course work. In addition, all courses required for licensure cannot be taken for the credit/no credit and/or pass/fail option.


Students in good standing may obtain an application for candidacy to the Elementary Education concentration in the semester during which they complete the Urban Education core curriculum requirements. In addition to remaining in good standing, students who wish to become candidates in the Elementary Education concentration must:

  • complete 50 service learning hours working with a diverse group of students in an urban educational setting;
  • receive a passing score on the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (for tests taken on or after February 1, 2012). A minimum ACT composite score of 22 and a minimum of 6 or higher on the Writing portion (for ACT tests taken on or after September 9, 2016) , or a SAT composite score of 1110 or higher (evidence-based reading and writing + and mathematics = 1110 or higher) and a writing language score of 26 or higher may be substituted in place of the TAP (for SAT tests taken on or after March 5, 2016). The tests must have been taken within 10 years of application.
  • maintain both a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50/4.00 and a GPA of 2.50/4.00 across eight courses in core content areas (English, mathematics, science, and social studies) at the time of application. Courses, including courses in the content areas, in which a student receives a grade lower than a C will not be applied to the licensure requirements.

Once a student is accepted for candidacy in the EE concentration, s/he formally becomes a candidate for teacher licensure.

Student Teaching—Senior Year

In order to qualify for entry into student teaching, a Teacher Candidate (TC) must maintain an overall GPA of 2.50/4.00 and a minimum 3.00/4.00 for professional education courses. Courses in which a student receives a grade lower than a C will not be applied to licensure requirements. Required courses cannot be taken for the credit/no credit and/or pass/fail option. Students must also pass the Illinois State Content Test in their area of endorsement prior to student teaching. TCs will student teach in the senior year. The TC should have completed all fieldwork leading to student teaching with satisfactory progress. TCs will conduct all of their student teaching practica in urban sites with which COE has had long-standing partnerships. In these partnerships, program faculty have identified school leaders and teachers who have a deep understanding and commitment to the families and communities that they serve.