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Urban Teacher Preparation Academy

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Urban Teacher Preparation Academy (UTPA)

UTPA 2014 cohort

Learn More about the Urban Teacher Preparation Academy (PDF)
Download the UTPA Recruitment Flyer Here (PDF)

The Urban Teacher Preparation Academy (UTPA) prepares pre-service teachers to better serve diverse students in high need Oklahoma City urban public schools.  The program places selected upper-level education majors in Oklahoma City Public elementary, middle, and high schools for a semester-long student teaching experience.  This is followed by a two-year induction process that includes monthly specialized professional development opportunities and ongoing mentoring by specially trained OKCPS teachers and administrators.

Program is a Win-Win

“The UTPA allows us to hire teachers who understand the unique needs of teaching in an urban school setting; it is a win-win situation.”

 - Shannon Freeman, OKCPS Director of Recruitment, Deployment, and Retention


Candidates may begin internship in a fall or spring semester. Apply to UTPA one semester, or ideally, two semesters prior to internship. Application deadlines are Oct. 1 and March 1.

Download the UTPA application here (PDF)

UTPA In the News

KOSU’s  The Living Room with Gerri Bonds - September, 2014

How are Oklahoma City inner city schools overcoming great obstacles on their path to success? Guests Dr. Bryan Duke, Assistant Dean and Director of Educator Preparation at the University of Central Oklahoma and Stacy Garcia, a science teacher at Oklahoma City’s Capitol Hill High School, discuss UCO's Urban Teacher Preparation Academy.  Watch the Interview here [note: the interview begins at 14:55.]

"Urban Education Renewal" Oklahoma Gazette magazine, December 2013.  Read the article here.

UCO, OU Striving to Provide More Qualified, Effective Teachers for Urban Schools, The Oklahoman.  Read the article in The Oklahoman here


Photo of Jonathan Johnson teaching in his classroom at Stand Watie Elementary.
UTPA graduate Jonathan Johnson teaches in his classroom at Stand Watie Elementary School in Oklahoma City.

Watch the video featuring Kira Roth, UTPA graduate and 3rd grade teacher

Elizabeth Wilkins

"Oklahoma City Public Schools get things done.  It's great being in a place where the kids need you and they are grateful.  It's great to be in a place where you know you belong."

Elizabeth Wilkins

"Oklahoma City schools are not run-down.  It's a good place to work and you'll always find a kid you can identify with."

Kira Roth

"I love my kids so much and to know I am making a difference in their lives is rewarding."

Brooke Lee