Building a Better Teacher

Donna Jones, a recent graduate of UAB's Urban Teacher Enhancement Program, at Birmingham's Robinson Elementary School

In some Birmingham-area school districts, up to a quarter of new teachers leave within the first three years, frustrated by crowded classrooms, inadequate funding, and other challenges. The problem is echoed in urban areas throughout Alabama, but UAB’s Center for Urban Education has developed an innovative solution: the Urban Teacher Enhancement Program (UTEP). The initiative, which is unique in Alabama and one of the few in the United States, actively recruits education students, second-career seekers, and school paraprofessionals with the traits proven to succeed in urban schools. In addition to UAB’s core teacher-training curriculum, UTEP students learn classroom-tested strategies in courses team-taught by School of Education professors and master teachers working in urban school districts. After graduation, mentors from those schools continue to help young teachers thrive in their chosen career.

See why UTEP is getting great grades from students and educators in this multimedia feature from UAB Magazine.