Urban Teacher Fellows Program

Breakthrough Houston and Rice are looking for new Rice graduates who are interested in teaching high-achieving, motivated middle school students from underserved families in the Greater Houston area.

Rice Education has teamed with Breakthrough Houston to create a unique, accelerated teaching option for Rice graduating seniors. The Urban Teachers Fellowship Program combines coursework, highly structured field experience, and first-year teaching experience with a salary. This 13-month path offers rigorous training for aspiring classroom teachers. 


The first one-year cohort begins in April 2019, offering 180 course hours and 240 clock hours of field experience via the Breakthrough Houston summer program. Pre-service teachers take content tests in spring or early summer 2019. Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities tests are conducted in the summer after satisfactory tutorials through Certify Teachers.

Courses are designed to offer authentic teaching and learning, both practice and analysis. Pre-service and first-year teachers can apply their learning directly back to their classrooms. The summer courses and field work and the first-year teaching of courses provide candidates with high-quality portfolios of their experience – all under the supportive assessment of experienced teachers. Preservice teachers will take PACT tests in spring or early summer 2019. PPR tests will be taken in summer. The completion of satisfactory tutorials through Certify Teachers is required before testing.

April-August 2019: EDUC 521 Curriculum Development (Course). Pre-service teachers develop six-week lesson plans for summer teaching. Course stresses academic language, inclusion of students’ culture and personal/community lives, and pedagogical content knowledge. Experienced teachers provide in-depth assessments on lesson delivery and student work.

June-July 2019: EDUC 570 Field-Based Studies (Field Work). Provides the Breakthrough Houston field-based summer experience. Pre-service teachers’ edTPA portfolio defense provides quality proof of the candidates’ summer work through lesson planning and delivery, as well as formative and summative assessment of student work. Pre-service teachers will submit edTPA pilot portfolios with local evaluation of the candidates’ summer work quality through lesson planning and delivery, as well as formative and summative assessment of student work. August 2019-June 2020.  The program includes a one-year supervised teaching internship.  The internship is a paid position with a cooperating Houston area secondary public or TEA approved private school. The Education Program will approve the standard certificate after a successful internship experience.

Fall 2019: EDUC 561-566 Theory and Methods (Course). Integrates modules from three courses to teach interns how to successfully plan and instruct, facilitating continual learning for both first year-teachers and their students. Taught in an integrated approach that emphasizes pedagogical content knowledge while adding literacy strategies. Develops an understanding of how to analyze and use student assessment data.

Spring 2020: EDUC 501 Educational Psychology (Course). Reinforces earlier routines and procedures, emphasizing elements that underlie the culture of the classroom. Focuses on differentiation instruction with analysis of special-needs students, new language learning, and socio-emotional developmental changes. Reinforces the importance of teacher-student relationship within classroom learning dynamics. Continued local evaluation of the success of this new initiative will come with a second round of the edTPA Portfolio pilot with work during the first-year teaching and with evidence from lesson plans, lesson delivery, and assessment of student work. The tenets of edTPA will be in play throughout this program. Pedagogical content knowledge will guide lesson planning, delivery, and assessment. The use of academic language, and the inclusion of students’ personal lives, culture, and community lives will work together to bring life and engagement into the classroom.  

Application Deadlines

Priority Deadline: Feb. 21, 2019

Final Deadline: March 7, 2019

Applicants must complete applications for:

1. Education Program

Download Application

Download Recommendation Form

2. Breakthrough Houston

Apply to Breakthrough Houston

Rice University is committed to keeping the costs of the Teacher Certification program as low as possible to attract the most qualified people to teach in Houston-area public schools. Incentives include significantly reduced tuition for all admitted students, financial aid and program tuition aid. The tuition for students entering in the 2018-19 academic year is $2,850 per course.


Urban Teacher Fellows 
The Urban Teacher Fellows plan to enter the classroom with pedagogical skills that help create a culture of learning by engaging diverse learners in inquiry-based learning. They want to develop literacy and assessment skills that meet the need of the students they will teach. These Teaching Fellows see their potential to become instructional leaders.

  • Breakthrough Houston will offer the tuition cost for EDUC 570
  • The Education Department will reduce tuition to 50 percent of the normal tuition rate for each additional course 

The Education Program welcomes students transferring from accredited institutions of higher education.

Information for Military Veteran Applicants

You may find information about veteran benefits, credit transfers, and application process here.

Information for Transfer Applicants

Six credit hours may transfer from another Institution of Higher Education (IHE) that specifically correlate with the Rice University Education (EDUC) courses. The transferring courses must demonstrate an alignment to the Teaching Standards in 19 TAC, Chapter 149.  

A candidate transferring from another IHE as an undergraduate student must complete at least 24 credit hours of a 30 credit hour coursework program in the Rice University Education Department.   The Department does not offer an undergraduate degree in Education; therefore, candidates must major in the area they want to teach.  To be admitted to the program, candidates must have completed 12 credit hours in their content area, 15 credit hours for math and science.

Graduate students transferring from another IHE must complete at least 30 credit hours of a 36-hour coursework program and must have 24 credit hours in the content area or 12 credit hours in the content area, 15 for math and science, and passing scores on the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT).

Candidates transferring into the Rice University Education Department from an alternative certification program must complete 36 credit hours of a 36 credit hour coursework program.  Clock hours from an Alternative Certification Program are not accepted for a graduate degree at Rice University.

If a transfer candidate has a bachelor’s degree and has 12 hours of content in a teaching certificate that the program offers or 15 hours of math or science content, then a passing score on the PACT is required prior to admission into the Rice University Education Department.

If a candidate has taken and passed the content and Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility exams those scores are transferable.  Field-based experience from another educational preparation program is not transferable for the required Education Department’s field-based experience work in the semester or the year prior to the clinical practicum or internship year.

Urban Teacher Fellows Program Information Sessions for Rice Seniors