Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education

Children in School

Partnership with Clark University

The educational program at UPCS is deliberately planned to help students prepare for college. Students and teachers are on Clark’s campus nearly every day, not only using the labs or the gym but also observing and interacting with Clark students and faculty. UPCS students take mini-seminars with college faculty in grades 7 to 10, and most enroll in college classes for credit during their junior and senior years. As they become more familiar with the campus culture, they begin to see a future for themselves in which college feels within reach. As early as the seventh grade, UPCS students walk through the campus and point out their future dorm rooms. They are “little Clarkies,” with college IDs to seal the deal. Upon graduation, students who meet the admission criteria can attend Clark tuition free for four years, eliminating real and perceived financial barriers to college.

The partnership with Clark University also provides UPCS with valuable teaching and professional development resources through the Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education. The school serves as a clinical training site for the university’s teacher preparation program, with four to six student teachers working alongside UPCS master faculty for the full academic year. Many UPCS staff members started out as student teachers at the school. Several UPCS teachers lead courses in the university’s education program and serve with college faculty on curriculum teams in each discipline to improve instruction through careful analysis of data, student work, and classroom practice.