Program Overview Questions

What is the Urban Teacher Education Program?
The Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP) is a 30 credit course sequence that prepares students for certification in the state of New Jersey. The UTEP is open to matriculating Rutgers and NJIT students. In order to apply to the UTEP, students must first meet the entry requirements outlined in the program requirements & guidelines. These requirements are usually met within the first two years of undergraduate study.  You can review basic guidelines in our UTEP Brochure. 

We want to assist and support you in every step of your journey to becoming an exemplary urban educator. If you have any questions about the Urban Teacher Education Program, please contact the Program Coordinator.

UTEP Brochure

What certifications can I receive through the Urban Teacher Education Program at Rutgers-Newark?
The Urban Teacher Education Program prepares candidates for middle and secondary school subject matter teacher certifications: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Foreign Languages and the Sciences. We do not prepare candidates for P-3, Elementary, bilingual, ESL, or special education certifications.  Visit our Areas of Certification page. 

Questions about the UTEP Guidelines

What course(s) do I take first?
First, work on the entry requirements. Then you can take the “foundations” courses. Social Foundations of Urban Education (21:300:292 or 26:300:500) is the pre-requisite to all of the other courses in the program.   Take Social Foundations along with one of the other foundation courses - either Adolescent Psychology and the Urban Experience (21:300:295 / 26:300:501) or 21st Century Urban Educator (21:300:298 / 26:300:502) depending on which one is offered that semester. While enrolled in Social Foundations, you apply to the program by the application deadline.  See our program brochure for more information about our curriculum.

Do courses have to be taken in any specific order?
Yes, UTEP has four clusters of courses to prepare its teacher candidates.  Cluster I courses, the Foundational courses, inform teacher candidates of the foundations of education in the United States, an understanding of the urban environment as well as development of the adolescent.  Cluster II courses, the Developmental courses, provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to develop educational skills sets in technology and educational research and assessment. Cluster III courses, the Curriculum and Pedagogy courses, provide teacher candidates with an understanding of curriculum design and bridges content knowledge with pedagogical practices.  Cluster IV, or the Clinical Courses, provides teacher candidates with the opportunity to hone in their educational skill sets in actual classroom settings in Newark, NJ.

The final steps of Cluster IV - Clinical Courses include Clinical I: Practicum and Clinical II: Student Teaching both of which require intense field work in Newark Public Schools. In order to register for Student Teaching you need to submit an Application to Student Teaching, have successfully passed the Praxis exam, and have achieved a 3.0 in your major content area. You may not take any other courses while you are enrolled in student teaching. We recommend that you plan your program out early and in order to do that you will need to meet with the Program Coordinator.

Are all 30 credits in the teacher education program required?
Yes. In order to be recommended for certification from the Rutgers-Newark Department of Urban Education all 30 credits in the Urban Teacher Education Program must be completed with a B or better.

When do you begin your work in the schools and community?
Your initial foundation coursework will require work in schools and community organizations, and many of your UTEP courses will require you to go out into the field and observe different classrooms – anticipate at least 20 hours per course.  The bulk of your field experience will take place during the final steps of the program during Clinical I and Clinical II.

Where will I be placed for my Clinical I and Clinical II experiences?
All of the program’s clinical placements are done in the Newark Public Schools.

Policies & Procedures

How do I obtain a special permission number to register for a course?
To obtain a special permission number for the clinical courses (Clinical I: Practicum &/or Clinical II: Student Teaching), you will need to contact the Program Coordinator.

When is the best time to take the Praxis, and which one do I take?
We recommend that you begin preparing for the Praxis during your Cluster III courses and that you take the test the summer before Clinical I: Practicum. YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO CLUSTER IV COURSES UNTIL YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY PASSED THE PRAXIS. See the ETS web site for a listing of which Praxis II exam(s) is required for which licenses in New Jersey. Please contact the UTEP Program Coordinator for all questions or concerns regarding the Praxis exam.

Do you have questions about a grade or a grading policy?
If the question is about a grade or grading policy in the Urban Teacher Education Program, review the Rutgers–Newark Current Catalog for Academic Policies & Procedures regarding Student Grades.   

Then contact the instructor for the specific course.  If the matter is unresolved with the instructor, contact the Program Coordinator. 

Do you have a problem in a particular course?

  • See the professor
  • See the Program Coordinator
  • See the Director of Teacher Education
  • See the Chair of the Department of Urban Education, Prof. Arthur Powell
  • If appropriate, file a student grievance report (available for download by clicking on the link below or in the department) with the teacher education office, Bradley Hall - Room 151, and follow the outlined procedures.


After Graduation

Am I certified to teach only in urban districts or is my certification valid throughout New Jersey?
Your certification is valid in any district throughout New Jersey.

Does the Urban Teacher Education Program help me find a job?
The teacher education program offers assistance in obtaining a teaching job, upon completing the program. We are able to help in several ways. The student teaching seminar is in part used as an opportunity to prepare for job searching and interviewing, including two meetings with the head of the university’s career counseling office. Because we are committed to the city of Newark and its schools, we have a direct contact at the Newark Board of Education who will review our graduates’ resumes. We notify you of local career fairs in teaching through blast emails and on the "Opportunities" page of our Blackboard Community web site. All members of the Urban Teacher Education Program’s teaching faculty are available to write job reference letters.

What happens after I graduate?
When you become alumnae/i of our program, the Rutgers–Newark Urban Teacher Education Program still wants to be part of your professional growth as a teacher. You will hear from us by email with interesting education-related news, and we will invite you into our classes to mentor upcoming new teachers. We will send you potential job opportunities by email as they become available so it is very important that we have the most up-to-date contact information for you. We will also post them on the"Announcements" and/or "Opportunities" page of our Blackboard Organization. You can stay visit the Blackboard Community as a guest at any time. We hope that you will continue to see us as partners in imagining and working towards improved urban educational experiences in the state of New Jersey.

Does the Department of Urban Education offer any graduate programs?
In collaboration with the Federated History Department of Rutgers University–Newark and New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Department of Urban Education offers an MAT in History. This graduate program affords you an opportunity to take graduate history courses and obtain your teacher certification at the same time.
◦For more information on the Graduate School-Newark visit the prospective student web site at  For specific information on the MAT program, visit the History Department's Graduate website or contact Ms. Christina Strasburger, the Department Administrator.

What is the process for obtaining Program Verification for a new certification (or out of state) if I am a UTEP alumna/e?

  • Mail or fax a copy of the Program Verification form with a copy of your official Rutgers Newark transcripts to the Program Coordinator's attention.  
  • Be sure to include your contact information so that we may contact you with any questions or concerns. We also need to know where to send the form back to you. If you are mailing the forms, a self addressed stamped envelope is greatly appreciated.
  • You may request official copies of your Rutgers–Newark transcripts through the Student Online Services link of the Registrar's web site.