AASCU Innovations Exchange
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Teacher Preparation for Urban Settings

Culture Walks—Changing Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions of Urban Communities University of Nebraska at Omaha Project Description: Culture Walks connect a large, public teacher preparation program with urban community and PK-12 partners to provide an experience intended to dispel urban school stereotypes commonly held by pre-service teachers. Funded by a small local grant and scheduled immediately prior to a 40 hour practicum in an urban school, Culture Walks annually bring over 250 pre-service teachers and program faculty members into urban neighborhoods. After listening to community leaders, meeting with school personnel, visiting local business and service agencies, and eating lunch catered by a neighborhood restaurant, pre-service teachers have an increased capacity to understand the urban education landscape. Read more >>

Meeting Unique Needs of an Urban School District through a University-School Partnership University of Nebraska at Omaha Project Description: The partnership is a grant-funded effort by the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) and Omaha Public Schools (OPS) to provide a Master’s in Reading degree tailored to OPS’s instructional framework with the goal of meeting students’ unique needs in the urban school environment. A blend of UNO faculty and OPS staff deliver the instruction to the teachers. This “theory into practice” collaborative project implements evidence-based strategies proven to increase PK-12 student literacy performance across content areas, as well as to expand the pool of knowledgeable literacy leaders to support students and other OPS teachers in their daily work. Read more >>