Urban Pedagogy (for Teach For America Detroit corps members)

Degree: Master of Arts in Educational Studies

Kristi Holmstrom

After teaching elementary school for 12 years, Holmstrom came to the U of M to study teacher collaboration, instructional coaching, and the relationships between the organization of schools and the development of teaching expertise. She currently teaches courses on instructional leadership and coaching; is Head of Field Instruction for the UM-TFA Interim Certification Program; and is the Faculty Lead for the Urban Pedagogy Program.

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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 $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). 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. 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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