The Urban Prep Fellows Program brings exceptional recent college graduates to serve full-time in a unique role as in-school mentors, tutors, and advocates for students at Urban Prep Academies. UP Fellows teach, but not in the traditional sense; rather than controlling a classroom and multiple classes of students, Urban Prep Fellows focus on the total academic achievement of just twenty-five students.
These groups of twenty-five students are named "Prides" after Urban Prep's mascot, the Lion. The Fellows' primary goal is to build bonds with their Pride members that create opportunities for intellectual, social, and personal growth. We believe that these relationships are essential in meeting each student's individual needs for academic and social-emotional development.
The program’s innovative instructional approach has Fellows leading six ‘Tutorials’ – small 45-minute lessons with approximately four students – each day. This unique approach helps to radically improve the amount of personal attention that students receive, which in turn rapidly increases student engagement and success in school.
Fellows build deep relationships with students by supplementing their tutorials with after school tutoring, chatting in the hallways and lunchroom, and individual conferences about everything from music and movies to behavior and grades. Fellows also work to weave a network of support for the student through conversations with parents, coaches, other mentors, and teachers who can utilize their own relationships with students to promote their maturation and academic performance.
Our teachers and staff report that one of the most difficult aspects of their jobs is to understand the issues and challenges that face each of their students. UP Fellows close this crucial gap by taking a 360° view of each student's life, circumstances, and interests. Fellows then share this knowledge to coordinate opportunities, programs and enrichment activities between the student, his teachers, the school community, and outside resources.
Pride Tutorials deliver a unique humanities-based life skills curriculum designed around Urban Prep’s Eight Core Values. The course explores themes relevant to young urban men, such as violence, poverty, and manhood, as well as social, organizational, and study skills. Fellows collaborate with one-another and veteran Urban Prep teachers to build lesson plans which tie social issues with the development of foundational academic skills in reading, writing, and public speaking.
The program enables Fellows to develop the skills to connect, communicate, and lead across a broad array of scenarios and relationships involving students and urban public education. This arrangement connects what is best about the new teacher: his or her dedication, passion, and desire to make a difference in students' lives, with what is most urgently needed in our schools: knowledge and guidance of each student's social, emotional, and intellectual development.
Fellows are provided with housing, a monthly living stipend, full health and dental benefits, and an unlimited public transit pass.
To learn more, check out this article about the Fellows Program in the Wall Street Journal, download our brochure found below, connect on Facebook and Twitter, or contact our Program Director, Jake Wertz via email.