Urban Pedagogy (for Teach For America Detroit corps members)

Degree: Master of Arts in Educational Studies

Percy Bates

Percy Bates teaches an exceptionalities course in the master’s degree program for TFA corps members. Since 1965, he has been a faculty member and has served as an assistant dean, chairperson of the Special Education Program, and division director for Curriculum, Teaching, and Psychological Studies. He has worked with dozens of school districts, assisting them with assessing educational programs as well as dealing with equity, gender, and desegregation issues that teachers and administrators encounter on a day-to-day basis. For 22 years, ending in June 2012, he was the U-M faculty athletics representative; Bates continues to be active with the National Black Coaches Association.

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The Master of Arts in Educational Studies: Urban Pedagogy program builds upon the School of Education’s Teach For America (TFA) Interim Certification Program and the existing Master of Arts in Educational Studies program. It is a 30-credit program for TFA-Detroit corps members who are enrolled in the two-year Interim Certification Program and who are interested in studying issues and practices pertinent to teaching and learning in urban contexts. It is appropriate for those who want to deepen their understanding of teaching and learning during their time in the TFA-Detroit corps and for those who imagine remaining in the profession beyond two years whether as a teacher, school leader, or policymaker.

As is the case with the existing Educational Studies MA Teaching & Learning thread on which this program is built, the Urban Pedagogy thread focuses on instructional “doing,” including learning about classroom practices, the development of classroom materials, and ways in which teaching occurs in classrooms. Students will gain the knowledge necessary to examine theory and research with a critical eye towards improving teaching and learning for all students.

Classes are cohorted and occur in the evenings or on Saturdays at the Ann Arbor campus or at the University of Michigan Detroit Center to accommodate corps members’ regular work schedules in Detroit-area schools. They are also scheduled so as not to conflict with required certification program courses, which are a legislated mandate for those teaching under an interim certification.  Additionally, coursework done in the interim certification program is counted as credit in this master's degree plan, making it possible to complete both within the two years in the corps.

A generous scholarship award of up to $17,000 is available for non-resident students. This award is in addition to an $8000 credit of the certification program fees which is granted to all TFA corps members in the master's program. The total cost of the two-year certification program is $9700 (payable with an AmeriCorps award, if corps member is an award recipient). Assuming a scholarship award of $17,000, the estimated total cost of the master's degree program after the scholarship and credit is applied is approximately $30,000 for non-residents and $20,000 for residents. (Note: The amount of the non-resident scholarship is dependent on the number of corps members who apply and enroll in the master's program. Applicants can expect to receive their specific scholarship amount soon after they receive their offer of admission.) Students may also be eligible for additional financial aid and are encouraged to complete a FAFSA when applying to the program.

Sample Course Sequence

Term (subject to change) Courses (subject to change)
Fall of Year One


Winter of Year One

EDUC 649 Foundational Perspectives on Educational Reform (3 credits)

Cognate: Any non-EDUC graduate course (1 credit)

Spring of Year One

EDUC 606 Developmental and Psychological Perspectives on Education (3 credits)

Fall of Year Two

EDUC 490 Topics in Professional Education: Exceptionalities (3 credits)

EDUC 552 Instructional Leadership in Schools (3 credits)

Winter of Year Two

EDUC 695 Research and Educational Practice (3 credits)

EDUC elective (3 credits)

Spring of Year Two

EDUC 490 Credit for seminar course (3 credits)

EDUC 638 Credit for field instruction and satisfactory field ratings (3 credits)

EDUC 655 Credit for certification program portfolio (3 credits)

Cognate: Any non-EDUC graduate course (3 credits)


Students that are interested in course requirements can view the Course Planning Sheet.

Program Faculty

Program Support

Program Ambassadors

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Teach for America Interim Certification Program
University of Michigan
School of Education
610 E. University Avenue
Room 3112
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Telephone: 734.764.9712
Email: TFACertProgram@umich.edu

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