High School Counselors

High School Counselors

Welcome to the ULRN Program

The Bachelor of Arts degree 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 them to teach in elementary schools.  The special education option will lead to an Education Specialist credential, preparing them to teach in special education settings.

Why Advise Your Students Who Want to be Teachers 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 into a developmental sequence, 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, particularly a first-time college student. Student frustration and drop-out 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.

Freshmen and sophomore students are particularly in need of close advisement.  We prepare a written plan and roadmap toward completion of GE requirements for each student in the program, as well as providing individualized advisement as they complete their general education course of study.  

Preparing High School Students to Enter Cal State LA with a Major in Urban Learning

The Major and Credential Options

The major program consists of 60 units of 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:

  • A 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 at Cal State LA.  For assistance, students should call 323-343-6197, e-mail the program at ulrn@calstatela.edu or visit the ULRN office for advisement.

For more information on university application procedures, CSU Mentor provides extensive assistance to high school counselors as well as information and planning tools for high school students.

Program Application

The Urban Learning major is a cohort program that requires a short application from each student entering the major, including a short 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.  First time freshmen should plan to complete this application process in their sophomore year at Cal State LA.

The Urban Learning program admits freshmen every Fall semester.  At present, we will next admit freshmen to the program for Fall, 2018. 

Preparation for Admission

Advisement is key to a successful freshman year at Cal State LA.  Incoming freshmen should visit their high school counselors regularly.  They are also welcome to visit the ULRN office for advisement before they begin their coursework at Cal State LA.  Our advisement team is available to support first time freshmen with general advisement, program planning and course selection.

Entering freshmen should also complete the English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Math (ELM) testing requirements early.  Details and registration are available from the University Testing Center.

Entering freshmen should purchase a schedule of classes and university catalog at the Cal State LA Bookstore as soon as they become available.  The catalog describes current university policies, requirements and more, for which freshmen are accountable.  The schedule of classes includes course offerings as well as deadlines, fee payment procedures, university course requirements and a semester calendar.

Preparing for College-level English and Mathematics

Placement in college English and mathematics are determined by the results of the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) assessments, or comparable SAT/ACT scores.  Students who fall below designated criteria must take one or more developmental courses that will prepare them for college English and mathematics.  Required developmental courses must be completed during the freshman year in order for a student to remain in good standing.  Students may elect to participate in the CSU Early Start Program during the summer after high school graduation and get a head start on developmental coursework.  

Post-Admission Deadlines

Students preparing to transfer will have numerous deadlines to meet.  Counselors can find deadlines and related information on the CSULA Admissions Office Deadlines webpage.  Important deadlines for AY 2017-2018 include:

  • November 30, 2017 (postmark date):  Application Deadline Admission Eligibility. For assistance, call the Admissions Office at (323) 343-3901 or send information by email to checkapp@calstatela.edu
  • May 1, 2018 (postmark date): $100.00 Enrollment Confirmation Deposit
  • June 20, 2017 (postmark date): New Student Orientation Registration
  • July 15, 2018 (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 freshmen ULRN majors or freshmen planning to major in Urban Learning (ULRN) are required to attend a New Student Orientation session.  The New Student Orientation program will be held in June and August, 2017, and will allow students to apply to the ULRN program, declare or 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.  Freshmen will be provided a two-year plan for completing their GE courses and assistance with course selection for their first semester.  Freshmen 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.

First Semester Course Selection

Freshman and sophomores at Cal State LA must complete General Education requirements consisting of five blocks, covering:

  • Basic subjects (written communication, critical thinking and oral communication)(Block A, 9 units)
  • American Institutions (6 units)
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (Block B, 9 units)
  • Arts and Humanities (Block C: 6 units)
  • Social Sciences (Block D, 6 units)
  • Lifelong understanding and Self Development (Block E, 3 units)

Students must also complete:

  • An Introduction to Higher Education course (CCOE 1010, which also meets the Block E requirement)
  • An advanced composition course (ENGL 2010) and the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE) during their first 90 units of coursework
  • Two courses designated as meeting diversity requirements

Freshmen must complete their basic subjects requirements (Block A) and the Introduction to Higher Education course during their first year at Cal State LA. We recommend freshmen enroll in the following courses their first semester at Cal State LA:

  • CCOE 1010:  Introduction to Higher Education in the Charter College of Education (3)
  • ENGL 1010: Accelerated College Writing (3) or a developmental English course
  • MATH 1000: College Mathematics (3), MATH 1020: College Algebra (3), MATH 1090: Statistics (3) or a developmental math course
  • COMM 1100: Oral Communication (3)

Note:  Students wishing a lighter course load should omit COMM 1100.  

Contact Us

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

Melanie Santos, Student Assistant
King Hall D2079

We welcome visits from High School 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 high school student or advisement faculty groups, or at high school career days.


Urban Learning Program