Urban Scholars Program

Make a Difference in City Schools

Teachers who want to become successful must develop and nurture positive relationships with students, family members, and colleagues. These relationships are particularly crucial to success in urban schools, where many students—and generations of family members before them—have often been labeled as “failures” and feel that they’re not valued.

To accomplish this goal, a group of educators from the School of Education’s Department of Instruction and Learning, Pittsburgh Brashear High School, and Propel Braddock Hills High School developed and launched the Urban Scholars Program. The program prepares preservice teachers to be successful in urban schools by pairing them with skilled mentors who help build positive relationships with students. 

Secondary (grades 7–12) preservice teachers across all core subject areas (English, foreign languages, mathematics, science, and social studies) are involved in the program. In addition to Brashear and Propel, students are matched with mentors at schools like Allderdice, Carrick, King Pre-K–8, Langley K–8, and Propel Andrew Street. The urban scholars’ work includes publishing weekly class newsletters for distribution to parents, in-school and after-school tutoring, coaching, and organizing activities like weekly pizza lunches to recognize and celebrate students’ achievements. 

Learn More

If you are interested in becoming an Urban Scholar, please contact Jason Mendez at jmendez@pitt.edu.