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Social Justice in Urban Education Concentration

Mission Statement

Drake University’s Social Justice in Urban Education (SJUE) program seeks to educate culturally responsive teachers and educators to work effectively with all students in urban settings—particularly students of color, working-class students, immigrant students, and students from historically marginalized populations and dispossessed communities. Aligned with the School of Education’s guiding principles of social justice, reflective practice, and collaboration, the concentration seeks to help teachers critically examine urban contexts so that they may develop pedagogical knowledge and tools to help students in these settings succeed.

Program Outcomes

Students graduating from the SJUE program will:

  1. Analyze the historical, political, social, and cultural contexts of the notion of “urban.”
  2. Utilize “difference” as an educational asset in their pedagogical strategies for students of color, working-class students, immigrant students, and other historically marginalized populations.
  3. Utilize research and data for pedagogical improvement.
  4. Engage in collaborative learning.
  5. Engage in continuous self-reflection.
  6. Become culturally responsive educators who work in collaboration with students, parents, teachers, and local communities. 

Program Options

This is a 15-credit hour program. Undergraduate and graduate students can receive their degree in Elementary Education (K-6) or Secondary Education (7-12) with a Social Justice in Urban Education Concentration.

Note: A “Social Justice in Urban Education” concentration designation will appear on your official Drake University transcript.


Required Courses - 6 credit hours

EDUC 164/264:  Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender (3 credit hours) 

EDUC 183/283/HONR 083:  Social Context of Urban Schools (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses - 9 credit hours

EDUC 184/284:  Applications for Teaching in Urban Schools (3 credit hours)

EDUC 186/286/HONR 118:  Youth, Culture, and Society (3 credit hours)

EDUC 162/262/HONR 107:  Urban Education and Immigration (3 credit hours)

EDUC 277:  Urban Trends in Literacy (3 credit hours - graduate students only; undergraduate students can take the course via petition during your senior year) 


Kevin Lam, PhD 
Associate Professor, Urban and Diversity Education
1-800-44-DRAKE (2324) 
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