FAQ – Urban Teacher Academy

What makes Central Campus courses different from courses in my home school?

The Urban Teacher Academy is the only program of its kind in the Des Moines Public Schools. It is designed to encourage students of diverse backgrounds to explore and prepare to pursue careers in education.

What will I do in courses at Central Campus?

In the Urban Teacher Academy, we study the characteristics of effective teachers, effective schools, and the teaching profession. Students work in real classrooms across the district and get hands-on experience with master teachers and their students.

What are the course requirements for enrollment?

There are no required course prerequisites for the Urban Teacher Academy. It is recommended that students have successful experience in language arts and social studies courses, especially composition and psychology. Students must have a good record of citizenship and a desire to work with young people. A 2.5 grade point average is required, along with an application, 2 recommendations, and an orientation.

How many blocks do I need to schedule for this program?

Urban Teacher Academy is a required two-block program every other day, with the option of 4 blocks in the second semester of the second year of the program.

What careers will this program prepare me for?

Successful completion of the Urban Teacher Academy gives students a detailed knowledge of options and opportunities in the field of education, but also in other careers working with young people like social work or counseling.

What type of credit can I earn?

Each semester, students earn 1.0 Elective high school credit. College credit is awarded through Des Moines Area Community College. Students can earn three or more community college credits each semester.

What certifications will I earn?

Mandatory Reporter

Are field trips and study tours available?

The Urban Teacher Academy visits several public schools and universities during the course of the year.

Are there internships or jobs available through this program?

All students complete extensive practicum and internship experiences.

What student organizations/competitions are available through this program?

Students in the Urban Teacher Academy are eligible to take part in a wide variety of teaching-related activities through Educators Rising, a high school organization connected with the national education honor societies Pi Lambda Theta and Phi Delta Kappa. Through this affiliation, students may receive honors and awards and are able to participate in a number of different competitive events related to education.