Penn GSE

Urban Teaching Apprenticeship


Partner Schools

The Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program partners with a wide range of schools in Philadelphia. Once admitted to the program, apprentices complete a student teaching placement preference survey. Program coordinators use the information from this survey and the apprentice’s application to make an appropriate placement that will maximize the apprentice’s opportunities to grow as a teacher. You can read more about a few special partner schools below.

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Kensington Health Sciences Academy

The Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program began partnering with KHSA in 2016 with the support of the Penn Futures initiative, which brings Penn interns from Penn GSE, Penn School of Social Policy and Practice, and Penn Nursing to learn together at one school site. KHSA is a neighborhood school serving youth in grades 9-12. KHSA prepares students for post-secondary studies and careers by offering a core of rigorous academic courses, integrated with career and technical education programs of study which include Health Related Technology (HRT), dental assisting, and pharmacy technician. KHSA is also part of the Philadelphia Mayor’s office network of community schools. 

Penn Alexander K-8 School

The Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School, or PAS as it is locally known, is the product of a partnership between the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and the University of Pennsylvania. The goal was to build a model university-assisted K-8 public school for West Philadelphia children. The partnership with Penn has allowed the school to keep class size low. Many groups at Penn, particularly the Graduate School of Education and the School of Social Policy and Practice, support PAS in its commitment to providing high-quality public education to neighborhood children through a child-centered, research-based program. Penn Alexander opens its teacher professional development to teachers from neighboring schools, sharing its special opportunities with others.

Science Leadership Academy @ 22nd Street

Science Leadership Academy is a project-based learning-focused high school developed in 2006 in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) and the Franklin Institute science museum. SLA’s founding principal has led the creation of the Innovation Network, established by the SDP in 2015. The district’s goal for this network of schools is to break new ground in urban education and improve student achievement through innovation, advancement of project-based learning, self-directed goal-setting, and skill building for students’ lives beyond school as central to effective learning.

Southwark K-8 School

The Southwark School is a neighborhood school located in South Philadelphia, the area in which immigrant populations traditionally settle. The school student population reflects the rich diversity of current families, and frequently accommodates new waves of immigration. Currently almost half of the students are considered English Language Learners with home languages including Spanish, Nepali, Mandarin, Burmese, and Vietnamese. The school provides supportive classroom environments for ELL students, and is supported by a number of neighborhood and broader ranging partner organizations. Southwark was recently named as one of the mayor’s “Community Schools,” which will allow it to become a neighborhood hub, providing services beyond the academic needs of the children it serves.