Graduate Certificate in Urban Education

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Graduate Certificate in Urban Education Overview

New Jersey licensed teachers have an opportunity to study issues of urban education in greater depth through the Graduate Certificate in Urban Education program at Bloomfield College.

Urban education is teaching and learning in urban contexts that serve students who have been historically disenfranchised and traditionally marginalized by systems of inequality based primarily on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, social class, language, and disability. Urban schools are always in need of teachers who are committed and knowledgeable. These are the teachers who strive to make a difference in the lives of their students and seek meaningful and research- based measures to accomplish these goals. This program has been developed to help them attain these goals for their students.

What you'll study

Developing and expanding upon graduate students' critical understanding and analysis of urban education in this country.

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Admission requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree with 60 or more credits in the liberal arts or sciences with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher (official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended must be provided)
  • A New Jersey State-approved teaching license
  • A list of any current New Jersey teacher certification(s), including certification in special education
  • Two professional letters of recommendation from supervisors, teachers and/or co- workers.
  • A personal statement describing your philosophy of education and reasons for applying to this graduate program at Bloomfield College (250 – 500 words)
  • Your professional resume/curriculum vitae
  • In some cases, an interview may be required
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Fast Facts

Through current research and statistics regarding urban education, it is apparent that teachers currently in or entering into urban education need greater preparation. The Graduate Certificate in Urban Education will develop and expand graduate students critical understanding and analysis of urban education in this country.

  • Research indicates that high-needs urban schools employ 40% novice teachers..1
  • Many teachers who enter the field take a number of years before they fully understand the context of urban schools. These teachers feel inadequate and often create high-turnover thereby, creating high-needs schools.2


  1. Gonzalez, G., & Jenlink, P. M. (2002, Spring/Summer). The challenges of urban education: A conversation with Gerardo Gonzalez, university dean of the school of education at Indiana University. Teacher Education and Practice, 15(1/2), 105-117. Retrieved from
  2. Gomes, G. (2017). Teacher preparation: Perceptions of preparedness for high-needs urban schools a qualitative study. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from
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Contact Information

Karen Fasanella
Dr. Karen Fasanella
Associate Professor, Division Chair, Education Coordinator, Education Accreditation Coordinator
Year Joined: 2016
  • B.A., M.A.,
    New Jersey City University;
  • Ed.D.,
    Seton Hall University.
Phone: 973-748-9000 ext. 1106
Office: Jarvie Hall, Room 208

Karen P. Fasanella, Ed.D.

Dr. Fasanella received an Ed.D. from Seton Hall University in Educational Administration and Supervision. She received her Principal/Supervisor Licenses after participating in an Educational Administration and Supervision Licensure program at Saint Peter's University. In addition, Dr. Fasanella holds an M.A. in Literacy Education/Literacy Specialist and a B.A. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New Jersey City University. In addition to licenses as Principal and Supervisor, Dr. Fasanella has been awarded licenses in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and as a Reading Specialist.

Dr. Fasanella has served as an educator and administrator in the PreK-12 setting in both public and private schools. She has also served in higher education as an adjunct professor for over 15 years. As an adjunct, Dr. Fasanella has served Manhattan College, William Paterson University, Caldwell University, and Saint Peter's University teaching pre-teaching candidates to Doctoral Candidates, serving also as Doctoral Dissertation Mentor. She most recently served as Associate Dean for Academic Success and Associate Professor at Felician University.

As principal, Dr. Fasanella created a Professional Teaching Portfolio for evaluation purposes. For her efforts, Dr. Fasanella was awarded the Today's Catholic Teacher Innovations in Education Award. Dr. Fasanella was also named Distinguished National Principal by the United States Department of Education. In addition, the National Catholic Education Association awarded Dr. Fasanella the Distinguished Principal Award.

Subject(s): Elementary/Early Childhood Education, MA in Early Childhood Education, MA in Special Education, MA in Teaching, Secondary Education, Special Education and Elementary/Early Childhood Education/Special Education and Elementary/Early Childhood Education, Urban Education Specialist
Academic Committee(s): Assessment (Chair)
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To earn a graduate certificate in urban education from Bloomfield College, students must possess an initial teaching certificate and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate course of study. Graduate students are required to complete 4 CUs (16 credits) of specified coursework. Courses include: Foundations of Urban Education, Critical Perspectives in Urban Education, Urban Education and Diverse Exceptional Learners, and Culturally Responsive Classroom Management.

Foundations of Urban Education 1CU (4 credits):
Foundations of Urban Education is designed to develop and expand graduate students’ critical understanding and analysis of the issues and problems that impact urban education. The topics outlined in this course will provide a framework of the historical and contemporary facets of urban education.

Critical Perspectives in Urban Education 1 CU (4 credits):
Critical Perspectives in Education offers perspectives on urban education as a critical field of inquiry. The readings, assignments, and activities are designed to explore the significance of inequality in urban cities and the public schools within them. Graduate students will develop a complex understanding of the major issues in urban education including: economic inequality; the social ecology of urban areas; school segregation; racial, ethnic, and class minorities; opportunity gaps; and education reform.

Urban Education and Diverse Exceptional Learners 1CU (4 credits):
Urban Education and Diverse Exceptional Learners is designed to celebrate the diversity of learners in the urban setting. Graduate students will develop research- based teaching methods and instructional strategies that will address the needs of all learners in the urban school.

Culturally Responsive Classroom Management 1 CU (4 credits):
Culturally Responsive Classroom Management is designed to help graduate students create and maintain caring, respectful classroom communities in which learners feel safe, valued, cared about, respected, and empowered in urban contexts. The course addresses the challenges and opportunities in creating community in the increasingly diverse classroom.

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