Penn GSE

Urban Teaching Apprenticeship


Building relationships with community partners is essential to developing a meaningful urban teacher education program. At Penn GSE, we believe that teaching is context-specific. Beyond knowing the students in the classroom, it is critical to know the community in order to develop a rich understanding of the context in which schooling takes place. 

Summer Sites in Philadelphia

One of the hallmarks of UTAP is the summer start, which includes a 20+ hour field placement in a community-based summer site located in the Philadelphia neighborhood where the student will be apprenticing in the fall. This summer placement provides opportunities for apprentices to develop a legitimate entry into the community, getting to know both children and their families in informal settings.

A core project that apprentices undertake during the summer program is the process of community asset mapping. Working alongside students, families, and communities allows our apprentices to experience the rich personal and cultural resources that reside in communities. With this asset orientation, apprentices see how these important resources might inform instruction and learning.

Summer sites provide the opportunity for pre-field observation hours required for Pennsylvania certification as well as summer coursework. These summer placements are intended to offer the developmental context for teaching. In turn, the students provide 20+ hours of service to the community partner, both entering into and giving back to the community.



Summer Site

South Philadelphia

Migrant Education

Center City

Philadelphia Free Library

West Philadelphia

White Rock Church Community Summer Enrichment Program