Penn GSE Receives $8.6 M in 2018 to Prepare Teachers of the Future

January 14, 2019

School Has Received Over $23 M in Funding Since 2015, Aimed at Cutting-Edge K-12 Education and Research

The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) has received $8.6 M in 2018 to support its teacher education programs, including grants for student scholarships and the development of innovative coursework and fieldwork for the School’s Urban Teacher Apprenticeship Program (UTAP).

“At a time when other universities are backing away from their commitment to teacher education, Penn GSE is proud to be building and innovating around this crucial component of its mission,” says Dean Pam Grossman. Dean Grossman, considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on teacher quality, has raised over $23 M for cutting-edge K-12 education and research since she joined Penn GSE in 2015. All of the School’s teacher education programs have been revitalized and re-conceptualized under Grossman’s leadership.

UTAP’s ten-month program culminates in a master’s degree and teaching certification. Students prepare for careers as elementary, middle, or high school educators through a combination of coursework, a year-long apprenticeship in a Philadelphia public or charter school (twice the amount of the average teacher education program), and professional mentoring. Grants for scholarships empower Penn GSE, a top-ranked education school, to recruit a talented and diverse pool of prospective STEM and humanities teachers. Grants for program support enable UTAP to remain at the forefront of a movement to prepare teachers to engage students in active learning that is deeply rooted in subject-area knowledge.

“At a time when other universities are backing away from their commitment to teacher education, Penn GSE is proud to be building and innovating around this crucial component of its mission.”

In recent years, educational research has moved towards teaching practices that make learning an active endeavor, also known as student-centered and project-based learning. Prospective teachers learn research-based practices to guide students to use their subject area knowledge to collaborate with peers and solve problems through a continuous cycle of creating, receiving feedback, and revising. Grant funding enables Penn GSE to incorporate these techniques into UTAP and share best practices with the nation.

“We are thrilled to see such strong momentum for Penn GSE’s efforts to continue shaping the future of teacher education and offer opportunity and access to the finest students regardless of their financial situations,” says Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman. “Teacher education programs have a critical role to play in diversifying the teaching workforce and in preparing educators for the classrooms of the future, which will rely increasingly on forms of content rich active learning.”

The support for UTAP complements Penn GSE’s new Project-Based Learning Certificate Program, which launched in the summer of 2018. Designed for experienced teachers, the thirteen-month certificate program is providing professional development in person and virtually to an inaugural class of forty-one teachers and five educational leaders. The participants represent public and independent K–12 schools in seven states and the District of Columbia.

Both UTAP and the certificate program are part of the Collaboratory for Teacher Education at Penn GSE, which houses three distinctive master’s programs in teacher education and serves as a hub for learning and research in the field.

The support for UTAP is part of Penn GSE’s Extraordinary Impact Campaign.