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Urban Secondary Education Postbac Certificate Program



The post-baccalaureate program is a non-traditional teacher preparation program.  It designed for individuals who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university but wish to obtain the necessary training to become a New Jersey certified teacher.  In order to obtain a standard certificate, all novice teachers must complete the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP) where they will be evaluated, supported, mentored, and supervised by their district while working under provisional certificates. After completion of the PTP, a teacher may be recommended for a standard certificate. The RU-N Urban Education Certificate program will partially satisfy the PTP component of teacher preparation. The remaining requirements are completed by the hiring school district.

Our program prepares candidates who have received a certificate of eligibility (CE) to successfully engage with the challenges many students experience in urban school settings. The program designed to provide candidates with K-12 CE teacher certification in a content area, such as mathematics, science, English, world languages, and social studies and provide the pedagogical knowledge and support they need during the novice teaching years. During the program, candidates will complete 50 hours of pre-professional experience, which occurs prior to the candidate’s full time professional teaching experience.

The following information is required to gain admission to the Urban Education Teacher Certification Program:

  • transcripts verifying a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) from the New Jersey Department of Education (or other state educational governing body)
  • Employment verification


Our Urban Education Alternate Route Teaching Certification Programs include eight core courses. These courses have an asset-based, justice-orientated approach to language acquisition and pedagogy. Each course, along with a brief description is described below.


This course examines the relationship between schools and society. Through an exploration of the scholarly field of social foundations (history, philosophy, and sociology of education) students explore the dynamic interaction between dominant ideology, political economy, and changes in American public schooling since its inception.  Special attention is given to the ideal relationship between democracy and urban schooling.

This course examines human development from birth to elementary school age to physiological maturation (18 to 19 years). The course provides students with an understanding of psychological theories of human development and learning. The primary focus is on the urban child, urban adolescent, and the urban experience, specifically experiences in urban education.  Teacher candidates examine the relationship between development and learning theories. This course discusses the behaviors and attitudes of urban children and adolescents and the interaction with academic achievement.  Furthermore, understanding moves from theory to practice by examining the differences in the way students receive information and how teachers can transmit information successfully. This course assists teacher candidates to better understand the opportunities and challenges they will face in an urban school.

This course situates the specific challenges schools experience in urban education by focusing on marginalized students including: ELLs, Special Education students, and Gifted students. Through an asset-based lens, this course explores the role literacy plays in urban educational experiences of dually exceptional learners.

This course is designed to prepare students to use appropriate assessments to inform instruction and differentiate content, process, and/or products for learners in urban classrooms. Through a justice lens that seeks to affirm and support learners, this course teaches students to align instruction to assessments while using data to track learner progress and modify teaching strategies.

This course specifically addresses teaching methodologies in content areas and the methods and materials that best suit the needs of the students. Students will finish this course by teaching a lesson that reflects student centered, engaging, content driven, and social justice-based pedagogy. This course examines the following questions. How do we implement teaching methods that are critical, social justice oriented, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive in a content-specific classroom? How do we ensure that we differentiate our teaching methods to reach every student in the classroom? How do we implement student-centered education in the urban academic classroom and assess their work fairly and equitably?

In this course, students will design a series of lesson plans using both pedagogical and content-based knowledge and be able to effectively justify the pedagogical (e.g., instructional practices, assessment strategies) and content-based decisions. This course will teach students to analyze the cognitive demands of tasks/activities and differentiate tasks/activities to meet the needs of various learners (e.g., special education, gifted and talented, English language learners, various reading levels). Students will reflect on the instructional experience and evidence of learning to inform future instruction.

This course focuses on a holistic approach to developing a sociocultural critical consciousness in teacher candidates. In order to understand how teachers’ identities influence the lens through which they teach, this course is designed to interrogate how race, class, gender, and power impact learners in urban school settings. In this course, teacher candidates will interrogate how to engage their certification content-areas to create affirming, equitable, and socially just learning experiences for their students.

This is a research course. In this course, teacher candidates will interrogate their own teaching planning and teaching practices by critically analyzing their role in students’ success. Students will be introduced to the methods of teacher inquiry and engage in critically reflexive practices to address a self-identified growth area in their planning and teaching for students in urban schools.