Community College Counselors

Community College Counselors

Welcome to the ULRN Program

      The Bachelor of Arts in Urban Learning is an integrated program that combines courses in teacher preparation with major courses emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach to understanding urban learning as a social phenomenon. Major coursework is supported by a depth area in the social sciences that emphasizes the study of diversity in an urban context.

Students in the Urban Learning major will elect either an option in elementary education or special education.  The elementary education option will lead to the Multiple Subject credential, preparing students to teach in elementary schools.  The special education option will lead to an Education Specialist credential, preparing students to teach in special education settings.

Why Advise Your Students to Major in Urban Learning?

Cal State LA offers students multiple routes to the teaching credential, but only one major allows them to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and a teaching credential entirely within the Charter College of Education: the Urban Learning Program.  Unlike other majors that “attach” a credential to a subject area course of study, the Urban Learning major was designed to integrate major, depth and pedagogy coursework, to support students as teachers in training, and to develop learners as urban teachers from their first day in the major. 

Urban Learning prepares students to teach in one of America’s most challenging environment: the urban school.  The advantages and challenges of an urban school require a range of teacher knowledge and skills prepare them to provide rich, culturally sensitive instruction.  The Urban Learning Program curriculum emphasizes both content knowledge and the context of education in a way pedagogy courses alone cannot.  Major and depth coursework are designed to develop students’ understanding of urban schools, communities and families, providing a foundation on which to build their instructional skills, unlike majors that emphasize content knowledge alone.

Negotiating a degree program that blends a content major in one college and a teaching credential program in another can be a challenging experience for any student. Student frustration results from the hunt for information, inconsistent or contradictory advisement, delays in meeting deadlines, enrollment in inappropriate courses and more.  Unlike traditional teacher preparation majors that are all located in other colleges in the university, the Urban Learning major is a “one-stop” major housed in the Charter College of Education.  Advisement and major coursework take place in the CCOE, and procedures for entering the credential program are embedded in the major program, reducing student frustration and assuring students make timely progress toward their degree and credential.

Preparing Transferring Community College Students to Major in Urban Learning

The Major and Credential Options

The major program consists of 60 units of lower division general education preparation, 135 units in the major, and electives appropriate to the student’s credential option.  Students may earn one of two credentials in the program:

  • Multiple Subject credential, preparing the student to teach children grades K-6 in self-contained classrooms.  Students may also add a subject matter authorization to their credential, allowing them to teach subject matter curriculum for grades 7-9.
  • An Education Specialist credential, preparing the student to teach children with disabilities ranging from birth to grade 12, depending upon the disability option they select.  The student may select from among four options:  Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities, Moderate-to-Severe Disabilities, Physical and Health Impairments, and Visual Impairment and Blindness. 

Declaring the Major

Students wishing to major in Urban Learning should use the major code ULRN on the university application.  Students need not designate or decide upon a credential option at the time of application, and will receive advisement regarding credential options during the program application and orientation process.  Students are encouraged to contact the ULRN office for advisement and assistance with transfer procedures as soon as they decide upon Urban Learning as a major.

Students who have already declared another major and want to change to ULRN should contact the ULRN office to change their major and apply to the program.  For assistance, students should call 323-343-6197, e-mail the program at or visit the ULRN office for advisement.

For more information university application procedures, CSU Mentor provides extensive assistance to community college counselors.

Note:  Cal State Los Angeles is converting from a quarter-based academic calendar to a semester-based academic calendar, to begin Fall 2016.  Consequently, we will are closed for Fall, 2015 applications, and will not be accepting application for Winter and Spring 2016.  Counselors are encouraged to check Cal State LA Open Quarters for up-to-date information on application periods for academic year 2016-2017.

Program Application

The Urban Learning major is a cohort-based program that requires a short application from each student entering the major, including a writing sample.  This will allow us to assess students’ aptitude and dispositions toward teaching.  Students must complete this process before they can be assigned to a cohort and begin coursework. 

The Urban Learning Program admits students for every semester the university admits students.  At present, we will next admit students to the program for Fall, 2017.  Students who have already been admitted to Cal State LA but declared another major can easily change their major to Urban Learning.

In addition to meeting all Cal State LA transfer requirements, students planning to major in Urban Learning should meet the following requirements:

  • Be GE or IGETC certified
  • Earn a minimum 2.67 overall grade point average (3.0 is desirable)
  • Attempt all sections of the CBEST (CBEST passed preferred)
  • Attempt the CSET Multiple Subject examination once they have passed CBEST
  • Complete program application procedures detailed below

Transfer students should visit the ULRN office to apply.  Information for students regarding the application procedure, as well as information about preparation to transfer is available on our ULRN Program Admission page.

General Education Certification and Recommended Coursework

All new transfer students majoring in Urban Learning will be placed in an integrated program option.  This option requires students complete 180 units, including 135 units in the major.  Students planning to transfer to Cal State LA as an Urban Learning major should follow their community college GE or IGETC certification patterns and complete the Cal State LA American Institutions requirement.  Counselors should use the CSU-GE Breadth or IGETC, and the CSU American Institutions course lists on the CSU ASSIST website for advisement on course selection and articulation. Students in the ULRN directed electives option are not required to complete the 112 unit common core course sequence for blended majors described under Major Prep.

To assure students majoring in Urban Learning begin the program with the best preparation, counselors are encouraged to advise students to take courses equivalent to the following as part of their program:

  • ENGL 2010 (a course in advanced composition and critical thinking).
  • COMM 1100 (required for admission to the credential program).
  • MATH 1100 (a prerequisite to the credential program).  This course will not satisfy a GE requirement in most cases.
  • A course in cultural anthropology, cultural geography or ethnic studies as part of their social sciences coursework (GE Block D or IGETC Area 4).
  • A course in basic child growth an development equivalent to CHDV 1400.
  • One semester of foreign language (Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Armenian are most desirable), one semester of foreign language for heritage speakers or first-language speakers of a language other than English or one semester of Sign Language for students planning to teach children with autism or other severe disabilities.

Please see the description of the program in the Cal State LA catalog or on ASSIST for further information.

Basic Skills and NCLB Testing Requirements

Students in the Urban Learning Major must pass three assessments over the course of their major program, two of which should be taken while at the community college.  The third assessment requirement, the RICA (Reading Instructional Skills Assessment) will be met while at Cal State LA.


Students must pass the California Basic Educational Skills (CBEST) to be admitted to the Charter College of Education and pass the State of California Basic Skills requirement.  You are strongly encouraged to pass this assessment before transferring to Cal State LA.  Failure to pass the CBEST early in your program can significantly delay student progress toward their degree.  CBEST can be attempted as soon as student complete the "golden four" requirements: composition, college math, critical thinking and public speaking.  For more information about CBEST preparation, test dates, fees and registration, see:


The Urban Learning Program requires all students to pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (Multiple Subjects) prior to graduation.  Students who do not pass this test may be required to take additional coursework to prepare them to meet the requirement.  The CSET consists of three sections:

  • Subtest I: Reading, Language, and Literature; History and Social Science
  • Subtest II: Science and Mathematics
  • Subtest III: Physical Education and Human Development; Visual and Performing Arts

Community College students planning to transfer to Cal State LA and major in Urban Learning are strongly encouraged to begin taking the CSET as soon as they finish the coursework that corresponds with each section, and to have passed the test before they enter Cal State LA.  Failure to pass this test early can delay students’ entry into directed teaching and graduation.  For more information about CBEST Multiple Subjects preparation, test dates, fees and registration, see:

Post-Admission Deadlines

Students preparing to transfer will have numerous deadlines to meet.  Counselors can find deadlines and related information on the Cal State LA Admissions Office Deadlines webpage.  Important deadlines for AY 2010-2011 include:

  • February 26, 2015 (postmark date): Self-Reported Data for Admission Eligibility. For assistance, call the Admissions Office at (323) 343-3901 or send information by email to
  • May 1, 2015 (postmark date): $100.00 Enrollment Confirmation Deposit
  • July 8, 2015 (postmark date): New Student Orientation Registration
  • July 15, 2015 (postmark date): Official, complete transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

Students will be required to meet CSU eligibility and all deadlines in order to enroll for Fall 2015. Missing one of the deadlines will jeopardize a transfer student’s ability to enroll for Fall 2015. There are no exceptions to CSU eligibility requirements and deadlines and enrollment may not be deferred to Winter 2016.

New Student Orientation

All transferring ULRN majors or transfer students who plan to change their major to Urban Learning (ULRN) should plan to attend a New Student Orientation session.  The New Student Orientation program will be held in July and August, 2010, and will allow students to apply to the ULRN program, change their major, meet with an advisor, register, and much more.  Representatives from all major university offices, including Financial Aid, the Registrar and One-Card (student ID) will be available to assist students. 

The ULRN program and the Charter College of Education will have a table at every session.  Students will be provided permits allowing them to register for all first-semester ULRN courses in the Charter College of Education.  Students will be notified of the dates for orientation in June and should plan to attend one of the sessions that include the Charter College of Education.

Contact Us

For more information, contact us at:
Margaret D. Clark, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Urban Learning Program
King Hall D2079

Katrina Adams, Student Assistant
King Hall D2079

We welcome visits from Community College Counselors. To schedule a visit to Cal State LA to learn about the ULRN program, please give us a call or send us an e-mail.  We are also available to make presentations about the program to community student or advisement faculty groups, or at community college career days.


Urban Learning Program