Detroit Public Schools Community District and Davenport University team up on new urban education program to improve student performance

Davenport University announced today that it has teamed up with Detroit Public Schools Community District to offer its staff and faculty a scholarship to pursue certification and master’s degree programs in urban education.

Davenport University’s College of Urban Education programs are specifically designed to help administrators and teachers build skills necessary to address the unique challenges found in the urban classroom. The program offers a combination of academic coursework, in-class observations and coaching to provide real-time feedback on teaching practices.

“The College of Urban Education was created with the goal of changing the way teachers and school leadership are prepared for service in urban school districts, helping them to achieve better results while reducing staff turnover rates,” said Dr. Richard Pappas, President of Davenport University. “We instituted a similar partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools and teachers in the program continually demonstrate progress, verifying that we are achieving our goal of making a meaningful difference in Michigan’s schools.”

Grand Rapids Public Schools’ program, which began in 2015, yielded unprecedented results including a 32% improvement in students’ academic engagement and 35% improvement in students’ demonstration of learning.

Teachers emerging from Davenport’s urban education program:

  • Understand the current context of urban education including challenges and data-driven education strategies that influence student achievement
  • Gain experience in implementing culturally relevant models of instruction that inspire and engage
  • Learn how to work with community stakeholders in countering and mitigating the effects of harmful environmental factors that impact student success

The urban education curriculum includes courses in student development and college career readiness, educational technology, cultural intelligence, school improvement planning, culturally competent classroom management, instructional pedagogy in literacy, math and integrated science, and differentiated instruction in urban schools.

“A key differentiator with our program is the weekly in-class observations for each candidate,” said Dr. Susan Gunn, Dean for the College of Urban Education. “Recent studies show that including coaching as part of classroom observation process is a very effective method to hone teaching practice. It also helps us to continually measure our progress and make the necessary adjustments to achieve results.”

Davenport launched its first urban education certification class with the Detroit Public Schools Community District in April. It is currently accepting students for fall 2019. All district employees interested in taking advantage of this program are encouraged to speak with the admissions team at Davenport University by calling 800.686.6000.


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