The Urban Cohort Program

With Urban Cohort, you won't just serve the community, you'll be a part of it.

“Forget no child left behind. We want every single child to thrive,” says Dr. Tammy Schwartz, director, Urban Cohort. Idealistic? Yes. Unrealistic? Not at all, says Dr. Schwartz, who grew up on welfare and food stamps in one of Cincinnati’s toughest neighborhoods. She knows first hand how teachers can make a difference in a student’s life.

The Urban Cohort is:


Exposure to urban perspectives via textbooks and lectures is not effective. Miami’s program emphasizes face-to-face interactions and collaboration with community members. Students don’t just serve the community, they become part of it. 

Supportive of student needs

Miami students often come from middle-class backgrounds. They are bright, socially conscious, and eager to make a difference, but many lack experience and confidence. So Miami’s program provides opportunities such as tutoring in urban schools and urban immersions (students spend a weekend in an inner city neighborhood working with community leaders on volunteer projects before they begin student teaching. Once students begin student teaching an interdisciplinary team of community, university, and school-based individuals provides mentoring.


Teaching is a situated practice, and the goal is to produce a new kind of teacher who is both teacher scholar and urban scholar. Students work and live in neighborhoods such as Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine area. They student teach in schools such as Cincinnati’s Rothenberg Elementary or Chicago’s Michele Clark High School. And community members are not just guest speakers, but co-collaborators.


Urban Cohort collaborates with other university programs that share similar goals. Our main partners are the Office of Community Engagement and Service and the Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine. These offices provide assistance and support that are essential to our success.

Program Timeline

Year One

Weekend Urban Immersion (see details below)
Socio-Cultural Studies in Education-U
25 hours of community engagement in community-based agencies
Critically reading/participating in “texts”
Apply for Urban Cohort

Year Two

Urban Cohort Seminars
Assigned public school student mentor
Urban field placements

Year Three

Urban Cohort Seminars
Assigned Community Mentor
Cincinnati Summer Immersion (see details below)

Year Four

Urban Cohort Seminars
Assigned Teacher Mentor
Urban Ed Senior Capstone
Residential Student Teaching Option (see details below)

Weekend Urban Immersion


Community Journey
Venice on Vine
Coalition for the Homeless


Cincinnati Summer Immersion

  • Three weeks in internship house
  • ½ days in community agencies
  • ½ days in schools interning with community school resource personnel
  • Course on the American city

Residential Student Teaching

  • Live and teach in Over-the-Rhine
  • Service Learning Class

The Urban Cohort is proud to be collaborating with the Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine as well as the following on-campus organizations: Office of Community Engagement, the Social Action Center, and the Honors and Scholars Advisory Board to further advance this program and provide this opportunity to all Miami University students.