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Michigan State University
“We must, for the economic future of the United States, tap into talent that exists in students in all settings of this country.”  Sonya Gunnings-Moton, director of MSU’s Urban Educators Cohort Program

College of Education: Top graduate programs

U.S. News & World Report 2011 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools

  • No. 1: Elementary and secondary education — 16th year in a row
  • No. 1: Rehabilitation counseling
  • No. 2: Curriculum and instruction
  • No. 4: Educational psychology
  • No. 4: Higher education administration
  • No. 9: Administration and supervision

Scores of students in urban school districts nationwide are underprepared. And they’re not alone. Many of their teachers are underprepared for the challenges they will face in urban schools.

That’s why a program in MSU's nationally recognized College of Education is focused on training and mentoring a new generation of educators that is fully prepared to teach and help students succeed in the most demanding school environments.

Elementary and secondary schools are vital to laying the foundation for success in college, which, in turn, is essential to preparing an educated workforce that can compete in the global economy. But urban schools across the country are overcrowded, are underfunded, and suffer from high teacher turnover.

“Not addressing the needs of urban schools affects the quality of life for all of us,” says Sonya Gunnings-Moton, director of MSU's Urban Educators Cohort Program. “We must, for the economic future of the United States, tap into talent that exists in students in all settings of this country.”

Launched in 2006, the program serves as a pipeline, recruiting teaching students at the beginning of their freshman year at MSU to teach in urban settings. Invested from the start, the future educators learn what kinds of challenges they may face in the classroom and take special courses that address topics of diversity, poverty, and social justice.

Service-learning is a significant component of the program, providing MSU students with opportunities to tutor and work in after-school programs with children and youths from urban areas. The program culminates in a yearlong student teaching experience in an urban school in Chicago or Michigan.

“We can’t do what we do best by solely positioning ourselves on campus. We must be where it is that we expect our graduates to serve,” says Gunnings-Moton. “At a time when many may think of opting out, Michigan State University is buying in.”  spartan shield

Watch MSU teaching students in the classroom.  

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