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Important Update:

The UCO campus is closed Wed. Nov. 25-27 for Thanksgiving. Central will transition from in-person instruction to virtual instruction after Thanksgiving Break until the end of the semester, Nov. 30-Dec. 23. All members of the campus community are encouraged to continue COVID-19 protocols when away from campus. For more information, view the university's coronavirus webpage

Urban Teachers Preparation Academy

The Urban Teacher Preparation Academy (UTPA) is one of the nation’s premier teacher preparation programs for candidates driven to make a difference in the lives of Oklahoma City Public Schools’ students.

This unique partnership with Oklahoma City Public Schools and the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools has recruited and trained approximately 100 certified teacher candidates since 2009. Upon successful completion of the UTPA, UCO will recommend candidates to the district for employment. OKCPS is committed to the UTPA and highly recruits these teacher candidates.

Urban Teachers Preparation Academy

at UCO

Listen to past UTPA participants share their experiences about the program!

Our Mission

The mission of the UTPA is to recruit, welcome, encourage and sustain a network of comprehensively trained teacher advocates who believe in equity for all learners and who serve the diverse communities of OKCPS.

Outcomes for Academy Members

  1. Enhance the preparation of pre-service teachers to better serve the diverse needs of students in high need schools in urban environments
  2. Provide a richer, expanded set of clinical experiences for pre-service teachers
  3. Provide induction support for new teachers in their first three years of employment with OKCPS

Benefits to Academy Members

  • 16 week student teaching experience in a specially selected OKCPS classroom
  • Professional development and mentoring
  • Three years of ongoing support during early career work
  • Tuition waiver and scholarship opportunities
  • Financial stipends from the OKCPS Foundation for each active semester in the program


Applications are due October 1 or March 1 of each academic year.  Candidates are encouraged to apply the fall prior to their student teaching semester.

UTPA Application    Frequently Asked Questions




Qualifications for Applicants

  • Good academic standing and excellent attendance in classes
  • Undergraduate teacher education majors 
  • Have only four semesters remaining (including summer) in completing degree sequence after acceptance
  • Must be admitted to the teacher education program