College of Education & Professional Studies

Educational Foundation

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Office: Winther Hall Information Desk window (main floor lobby)
Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday
Phone: (262) 472-1101

Urban Education

Welcome to the UW-Whitewater site for Urban Education!  Here you will learn about how urban education is defined, information about our program and how it can help you build a meaningful career!  We look forward to helping you become an advocate for and develop programming that meet the needs of all students and challenge them to achieve their potential within an urban environment.   

UWW student reading test scores

The University of Wisconsin - Whitewater's Urban Education module is developed to engage and prepare students who seek to work with youth in urban and or diverse settings. Using the city as a lab, the module explores the historical, cultural, social, geographic, and economic contexts of education and the paradoxes of ensuring equal education for all. The objectives that will be met through this module include the development of knowledge, skill, and disposition to work across various differences, including race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, nationality, language, and ability level. 

This program is open to students across the university; students who have an interest in working with youth or in educational settings would particularly benefit from the module

Students exploring cave experience

UW-Whitewater's Urban Education module is developed to prepare students, in all areas of education, who seek to work in urban school settings, to become culturally competent educators. 


To complete the certificate, students must:

  • Take two Educational Foundations courses (EDFOUND 341 and EDFOUND 342)
  • Take two additional urban education-related courses of your choosing
  • Complete a 50-hour field placement in an urban school environment (in conjunction with EDFOUND 342)
  • Demonstrate engagement with core knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the module

Students who successfully complete the Module will receive a transcript designation URBAN EDUCATION MODULE   

Click here for a program brochure

To enroll in the Urban Education Module please complete the registration form, here.

You will be sent a welcome letter with information about advising. Please allow two weeks for processing. 

For more information contact:
Dr. Laura Porterfield
262. 472.5425

Wisconsin Teaching Standards

The following are Wisconsin teaching standards by which every educator is expected to abide and meet through the curriculum of UW-Whitewater's Urban Education module.

Standard #1: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and the structure of the discipline he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for pupils.

Standard #3: The teacher understands how pupils differ in their approaches to learning and the barriers that impede learning and can adapt instruction to meet the diverse needs of pupils including those with disabilities and exceptionalities.

Standard #9: The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on pupils, parents, professionals in the learning community and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.

For more information on the standards by which educators are expected to perform, please go to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website by clicking here.


The objectives that will be met through this module include the development of knowledge, skill and disposition. After completing the Urban Education Module, students will be able to:1. Identify social, economic and political characteristics, patterns and functions of the urban center.2. Identify current and on-going issues common in urban areas.3. Demonstrate knowledge of issues both historical and contemporary relating to at least one urban racial/ethnic group.4. Demonstrate an understanding of educational principles related to teaching in diverse urban classrooms.5. Demonstrate an ability to relate to diverse learners.

Urban Education encompasses the education of students in school systems that typically operate in metropolitan areas.  These areas are often faced with higher rates of poverty, diversity and sometimes crime.  Generally, schools in urban settings are larger and lack the resources and support to competently and appropriate educate every student and the diverse backgrounds they represent. 

Throughout the nation, urban centers are hiring record number of teachers in all areas of licensure. Whitewater students who wish to teach in Urban areas need coursework and field work directly related to the urban setting. The intent of the Urban Educational Module is to enhance the preparation of students who wish to teach in urban centers.

Although UW-Whitewater's Urban Education module will prepare you to work in urban settings including major metropolitan areas (like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison), the coursework and activities are applicable in smaller contexts where work with diverse youth, families, and communities is involved.