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The History of UTEP from 1990 - Present

The Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP) is a school-university partnership for professional teacher preparation and development.  Collaborating institutions include the School City of East Chicago, East Chicago Federation of Teachers, Gary Community School Corporation, Gary Teachers’ Union, the School City of Hammond, Hammond Teachers’ Federation, and Indiana University Northwest.

UTEP is governed by a Policy Board that consists of the Chancellor of Indiana University Northwest, the Dean of Education, the Dean of Arts and Science, University Professors, the Superintendents of the partnership districts, the Unions of the partnership districts, the Director of UTEP, the District Coordinator and building Coordinators.

The program has two options:  Option I focuses on undergraduate education, and Option II prepares limited license teachers, substitutes, and second career people with non-education bachelor’s degrees for teaching certification.  It is the mission of UTEP to improve the quality of urban education through the preparation of teachers to create a cooperative and supportive environment in which university and classroom faculty work as partners in urban professional development schools (PDS).

Since the inception of UTEP, there were PDC’s (Professional Development Centers) in 1990.  The first such site was Lincoln Elementary School, in East Chicago. The program then expanded to include, Eggers Middle School of Hammond and Horace Mann High School, of Gary in 1990-1991.  In 1993-1994, new sites were formed at Franklin Elementary in Gary and East Chicago’s Central High School.  Eggers Middle School continued to be Hammond’s site, but in 1996 the elementary site was moved to Drew School in Gary. Currently, we have PDS (Professional Development Schools) sites at Central High School, Caldwell Elementary School, Clark Middle/High School in Hammond, and Ernie Pyle in Gary. The Bernard Watson Academy for boys, formerly Charles Drew Elementary School, continues to serve as an associate site, in combination with the girl’s academy, Frankie Woods McCullough and Block and Westside Middle Schools in East Chicago. In addition, overflow sites have been used at Morton High School, and Scott Middle Schools of Hammond, and Tolleston Middle School of Gary. Other sites, such as the Gary Career Center have been used by limited licensed teachers as they completed their field and student teaching requirements.

UTEP is recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as a fully accredited alternative route to certification.  The recent commitment of the partnerships to four (4) sites as regular PDS s is indicative of the growing need to increase the supply of urban teachers.  Therefore, UTEP is committed to use the latest researched methods to prepare “star” teachers for the 21st Century.

Other ways in which the districts continue to support UTEP is through the Career Ladder Incentive Programs.  Gary’s CLIP program began in 1996-1997, through the efforts of the Gary Teachers Union, Sandra Irons and Marvin Setzer, Title One Director, Henry Turner, former Director of UTEP, Dr. Charlotte Reed, former Superintendent of Gary, Dr. Hawkins, former Dean, Dr. Rosario, Dr. Pamela Sandoval, and other interested parties, the G-CLIP Program (Gary Career Incentive Program) was brought before the School Board and institutionalized as a viable program.  The first response was for more than 300 applicants to the program. However, only nineteen (19) persons qualified as the first cohort.

From 1997 through 2005 there have been seventy (70) Gary School employees who have taken advantage of the program, in which monies have been provided to help offset the cost of course work and books.  The district has provided over $100,000 to support these employees.

Although they no longer are in existence the Hammond Career Ladder Incentive Program and the East Chicago Career Ladder Incentive Program were both implemented as part of UTEP. We are committed to securing funding so that both programs can be reestablished.

Currently, UTEP has enrolled over 300 students into its certification program since 1990.  The school districts of East Chicago, Gary, and Hammond have benefited from the graduates of this program, by hiring over 200 students. A majority of whom still continue to work for the districts.

In the last ten years UTEP has:

  • Retained over $300,000 in Lily funds through a no-cost extension
  • Increased the staff more than 200% by creating two positions, School Liaison and Bilingual Coordinator
  • Acquired senior aides to supplement the staff at no cost to the program
  • Institutionalized UTEP into the School of Education
  • Acquired permanent Program status from the State
  • Increased enrollment
  • Created a Masters Option that incorporated all Option II classes
  • Infused Invitational and Multicultural Education into the program
  • Created a website
  • Redesigned classes
  • Developed a professional development workshop and luncheon
  • Developed a link with the Holmes Partnership
  • Arranged for Professional Development Training through New York University’s Urban Institute
  • Connected UTEP to the Professional Development Schools Network at Columbia University
  • Acquired a grant to increase the number of urban National Board Certified teachers in Northwest Indiana from NBPTS
  • Facilitated more than 10 urban teachers through the NBPTS process and had one of the PDS teachers receive her certification
  • Linked UTEP with the Northwest Indiana Regional Education Service Center
  • Exposed students, PDS staff and SOE faculty to the International Alliance for Invitational Education and Phi Delta Kappa
  • Co-wrote and Directed a Title II grant that was funded for over one million dollars, one of 27 in the nation
  • Developed Dispositions for urban teachers that are integrated into the assessment of student performance throughout the program
  • Secured  external evaluation and validation of UTEP through a nationally known program evaluator
  • Encouraged urban schools to go for the Inviting School Award and had one of the PDSs receive the award (Central High School)
  • Established the Brown Urban Scholarship for a deserving UTEP student

UTEP, with the support of all its partners, is expanding to accommodate program changes in the school of Education and the impending teacher shortages in the Districts.  The PDS will continue to be an essential part of that growth and development as we strive to prepare quality teachers for urban schools and provide them with updated research in urban education that is a key component in keeping our program strong.