Initial Certification

ULC’s Initial Teacher Certification Program is an innovative teacher preparation program offered jointly by ULC and Mount Mary University to recruit and prepare highly qualified candidates to become certified teachers in critical-need areas. It is an on-the-job, accelerated program specifically designed for individuals with a four-year college degree and a commitment to children and learning. Successful candidates gain teaching proficiency through a combination of graduate level courses, performance-based assessments, and the guidance of a highly qualified mentor.

program fast facts


The enrollment period: November – April
Pathway Orientation: May


The enrollment period: April – November
Pathway Orientation: December

Initial Certification candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution or higher education.

ULC has a cohort that begins in the Fall (May) and again in the Spring (January).

Our interns are assigned a mentor who visits the intern’s classroom on a regular basis to set goals, observe and provide feedback on the intern’s knowledge, dispositions, and instructional and classroom practices.

The program is tuition-based and costs approximately $17,100. Tuition costs can change from one year to the next.

Our interns are hired as an employee of a school to serve as the teacher-of-record. Interns earn the equivalent of a beginning teachers’ salary in the school or district they are working in.

Many of our interns receive financial aid to support them in covering the cost of tuition.

Our offers certifications in special education, regular education, and high school content areas (mathematics and science).

Our interns earn graduate credits that may be applied to a master’s degree.


What are the admission requirements of the program?
  1. Must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education
  2. Must be eligible for a license with stipulations
  3. Completed application process (see application requirements)
  4. Evidence of Basic Skills
  5. Satisfactory Criminal Background Check
  6. Admission Interview
  7. Math or science major or the equivalent of a major for individuals interested in obtaining a math or science certification.

How do I apply?

The following items need to be completed and submitted as part of the applications process:

  1. Application form
  2. $65 non-refundable application fee
  3. 2 official degree-bearing undergraduate transcripts (not “issued to student”) from the college/university that granted your degree
  4. 1 official transcript from each college/university attended in addition to the institution that granted your degree (e.g. transfer credits, post-Baccalaureate coursework, graduate-level coursework, Master’s coursework)
  5. 3 professional letters of recommendation dated within the last year and manually signed by the author

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for each cohort changes. It is early May for the Fall Cohort and Early December for the Fall Cohort.

Do I need teaching experience to participate in the program?

No! Many of our interns are career changers who have a passion for teaching and have never worked in a school setting before.

How long does the program take?

The initial licensure program is a 16-month program. Over the course of the program interns will work full time as teachers-of-record while also attending classes, seminars, and workshops.

Will I earn a degree through this program?

No; however, interns complete the program with 18 graduate credits that can be applied to an optional second-year master’s degree program and complete five additional graduate courses at Mount Mary University to obtain a Masters of Arts in Education (M.A.) degree. The optional Masters’s program is available to candidates who have received their initial teaching license through ULC. For more information about the Mount Mary University Master’s degree program, contact Deb Dosemagen, Ph.D. at .

What courses are required and when are they offered?

All interns take six courses (Classroom Management, Special Education, Reading Teaching Methods/Reading in the Content Area, Math Teaching Methods/Content Methods, Assessment, and Instructional Strategies) and engage in support workshops throughout the 16 month program. Courses are held at Mount Mary University on Tuesday evenings 5-9pm during the Fall and Spring semester. During the Summer semester courses are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Can I use the courses I have previously taken in lieu of some of the courses required in your program?

Due to the fact that the Initial Certification Program is an accelerated program candidates cannot exempt courses.

Are Interns expected to teach?

Yes. ULC interns are expected to fulfill the responsibilities of “teacher of record.” This means that interns are responsible for planning lessons, teaching lessons, assessing student learning, communicating with families and colleagues, reflecting on their teaching practice, working with mentors and assessors to develop plans for continuous growth, and developing a performance assessment portfolio.

I would like to teach high school math or science. Do I need to hold a degree in math or science?

In order to qualify to apply to the program to earn a certification in high school math or science, an individual must have a math or science major or the equivalent of a major. Individuals who have taken extensive math or science college-level coursework who want to see if they qualify for the equivalent of a major are strongly encouraged to submit unofficial transcripts to ULC for evaluation prior to applying for the program.

I’m interested in teaching high school English or Social Studies. Is Urban Learning Collaborative the right program for me?

Currently, Urban Learning Collaborative does not offer English and Social Studies certifications. However, ULC could assist you in finding a teaching placement where you would be able to teach English or Social Studies at the middle school level, which does not require an English and/or Social Studies certification.

Should I quit my current job once I’m accepted in the Initial Teacher Certification Program?

Acceptance into the program does not necessarily guarantee an immediate teaching placement. We advise accepted applicants to wait to terminate employment until they have received word of a teaching placement and start date.

Can I still work other jobs once I start the program?

Due to the rigorous workload and coursework required of interns, ULC strongly discourages interns from holding other jobs.

My undergraduate GPA is below a 2.5. Is there anything I can do?

Please contact ULC’s Education Services Department, at 414-342-1569 or email at to discuss your unique circumstance and options that may be available to you.

I’m interested in participating in the Urban Learning Collaborative Initial Teacher Certification program. How do I get started?

Complete the online Application and one of our Education Services team members will contact you with the next steps. If you would like to learn more about our program see our (fast facts above) and or call our Education Services Department at 414-342-1569 to speak with one of our coordinators.

Should I wait until I have all my application documents completed and together before I send them in?

Although it is helpful to have all your documents submitted with your application as it expedites the process, it is not necessary. ULC will begin processing your application once the completed application form and application fee are received.

Once I submit all my application materials, what happens next?

Once your application materials are submitted, ULC will review your application documents and contact you to schedule an in-take interview(s). Based on your application file and interview(s), ULC staff will inform you of its decision to accept you as a ULC Intern.

Whom should I contact if I have questions about the program or I’m experiencing difficulty completing the application process?

Please contact the Education Services team at 414-342-1569 or with any comments, questions or concerns regarding the pathways offered by Urban Learning Collaborative.

What basic skills am I expected to show evidence of?

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires all Wisconsin educator preparation programs to determine that their candidates have sufficient basic skills in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. During the in-take process, ULC will provide you with information regarding the basic skills requirement.

How do I know if I need to demonstrate English proficiency?

You need to demonstrate English proficiency if you: Are an individual whose first language is one other than English and received your degree from a college/university outside of the United States OR Are an individual whose first language is one other than English and received your degree from a college/university in the United States where instruction was delivered primarily in a language other than English