Urban Education Policy

The Education Department at Brown offers a master's level program leading to an A.M. in Urban Education Policy. The twelve-month UEP program dedicated to the study of policy analysis, planning, and development in urban public education. The tightly focused academic curriculum, integrated with a nine-month internship, is designed to impart a set of core skills and competencies that are necessary for successful careers in urban education policy. The UEP program also provides a solid foundation for those anticipating advanced study in areas related to urban education policy.

Why Brown?

The UEP program is designed primarily for recent college graduates and early-career individuals who seek a professional degree in the area of urban education policy or training that would prepare them for advanced study in this area. The program is particularly suited for those who seek a highly focused one-year graduate program that recognizes the dual role of theory/research and practice in developing and implementing sound education policies. The intent is to provide targeted, high-quality, master's level training to the next generation of individuals who will be leaders in the urban education policy arena.

The program will provide graduates with the kinds of skills that are in demand in a variety of related professions. These positions require a mastery of educational concepts relating to balancing the parallel needs of data-based decision making and accountability in public schools. These markets offer growing job opportunities in a variety of settings for people who can link research skills, policy analysis and education practice.

A non-exhaustive list of emerging job opportunities would include:

  • In response to a new era marked by increased complexity and accountability, along with a growing recognition that student outcomes are inextricably linked to policy decisions, large urban school districts have developed or expanded departments dedicated to district policy and planning. These departments regularly seek and employ early career individuals with the skills and capacities targeted by the UEP program.
  • Education policy makers at all governmental levels are increasingly asking for data-supported analyses that can inform the policy decision process. As a result, independent research organizations—non-profit and for-profit—and governmental research units indicate an increasing need for individuals who both understand the world of education and have the skills and training to design, conduct, and/or interpret research.
  • Large consulting companies are entering the education market and regularly employ people who both understand the complexity of the education sector and have the skills to analyze schools and school systems for the purpose of making policy recommendations that would lead to better schools and student outcomes.
  • Local foundations, community development centers and reform support organizations are employing individuals who understand policy issues and can serve as intermediaries between the education sector and the community.

Two factors should be highlighted in answering the question of “Is this program right for you?” The first is that this one-year program is rigorous and intensive. To develop the requisite target skills and knowledge base in twelve months requires both focus on the part of the program and dedication on the part of the student. However, while the pace will be fast and much will be asked of the UEP student, the program will feature small classes, low student to faculty ratios, and extensive mentoring as ways to help the UEP student be successful.

Second, this program is designed for those who are most interested in urban K-12 education issues. While the core skills imparted by the program are certainly transferable across policy settings, the urban, K-12 focus of the program is infused throughout the program and is evident in program elements such as course development and internship opportunities.

Thus, if you are interested in a master's level program that…

  • will immerse you in the world of urban education policy for an intense twelve months,
  • will provide you with a rigorous and structured set of academic courses taught by a renowned faculty,
  • will feature the realities of the world of education practice as a part of your training, and
  • will allow you to graduate with a master's degree from Brown and with a set of core skills that are essential for anyone whose interests lie in education policy formulation and analysis…

...the UEP program is for you.

For further information, including perspectives from our faculty, alumni and current students, please check our Blog.

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