History of the Center for Urban Education

Forging a Path for Greater Academic Achievement Among Denver's Children

The roots of today’s Center for Urban Education lie in the Urban Teacher Partnership (UTP), founded in 2004 as part of a comprehensive effort to prepare secondary education teachers to effectively meet the academic needs of urban middle and high school students. Through the UTP, Metro State University of Denver and the Denver Public Schools (DPS) came together to focus the college’s teacher preparation program on better addressing the district’s four core content areas: Math, Science, English and Social Studies.

Concentrated efforts that included placing pre-service teachers in high-needs schools and having them work side-by-side with teachers and students for 180 hours of field experience, prior to their semester-long teaching assignments yielded positive results. External evaluations of the UTP program indicate success in preparing MSU Denver students to meet the unique challenges of the urban, high-needs classroom.

The Creation of CUE

In 2008, Metro State faculty and DPS teachers began a design process for the development of the Center for Urban Education (CUE). Collaborative teams analyzed and dissected the UTP program with the idea of concentrating resources and energy on improving learning outcomes for children in Denver’s highest need schools. When the five-year grant for the UTP ended in September 2010, the pilot program for CUE was launched as an umbrella organization for interconnected work in four important areas:

  • P -16 Zone for Student Achievement

  • Urban Teacher Partnership – Preparing Teachers for Urban Schools

  • Community-based Resources and Support

  • Network Development and Expansion

The P-16 Zone for Student Achievement is a new program that initially will focus on the northwest neighborhood near the Metro State campus where pre-service teachers will work with secondary classrooms as well as early childhood education, elementary education and special education.

Following a completion of the five-year P-16 pilot program, CUE will expand its efforts to develop P-16 Zones in other urban communities through the Denver metropolitan area. In Fall 2011, the CUE will add a selective CUE Fellows program to early childhood education and elementary education.