Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program

Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program

As part of an intensive one-year M.Ed. program that leads to licensure, Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars learn how to flourish as K–12 teachers in urban schools through a curriculum that prioritizes critical inquiry, social justice education, and community building.

At a Glance

How many courses?

The number of courses varies by program of study. 

How long will it take?

Full-time students complete the program in one year.

When can I start?

Students must begin the program in the summer semester in order to complete the program in one year. 

Programs of Study

Donovan Scholars select the desired program from the list below which correlates with a state license. You may choose any state to become licensed in and will complete the appropriate assessment(s). For example, a person seeking a teacher license in Massachusetts will complete their educator preparation program (M.Ed.), receive endorsement, and pass the MTELs required for the subject area/grade level.

Early Childhood Education

Learn to teach, challenge, and nurture a diverse range of Pre-K–2 students.

Learn More

Elementary Education

The Elementary Education program is designed for students who wish to teach in grades 1-6.

Learn More

Secondary Education

Students can select one of three secondary education degree programs: Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T), and Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T)

Learn More

Moderate Special Needs

This program prepares teachers to work with PreK-8 and 5-12 students with mild to moderate disabilities.

Learn More

Why the Donovan Program?

Supportive Cohort Experience

Donovan Scholars participate in cohort-centered courses and professional development courses. In addition, scholars in our cohorts are provided opportunities to leverage the dense bonding and diverse bridging relationships that are built into their practicum experiences to grow as teachers and educators. Ultimately, our graduates go on to enjoy rewarding positions in urban education settings around the world.  

Commitment to Diversity

Driven by the philosophy that educator diversity within urban schools should reflect the diverse population of students they serve, the program commits to recruiting aspiring educators of color. Each year the program welcomes a diverse cohort of up to 30 graduate students, many of whom were educated in urban schools themselves, and aspire to give back to their communities in constructive and lifelong ways.

Year-Long Practicum

Donovan Scholars are committed to pre- or full- practicum (student teaching) in our partner urban schools in mini-cohorts with our Donovan alumni. Additionally, the program has the capacity to adapt practicum requirements, if you are working as a teacher or teaching assistant in the local area. 

Inquiry-Based Urban Teacher Education

The Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program builds on specific programs of study and intergrates interactive year-long shared inquiry seminars, classroom-based research, exploration of the relationships beteween theory and practice, and co-construction of critical perspectives about teaching, learning, and schooling.

Alumni Community and Engagement

Strong alumni mentoring and induction opportunities are provided for Donovan Scholars after graduation.


Select school and community partners include:


Boston Public Schools

Epiphany School and Early Learning Center

Campus Without Walls

Somerville High School

Snowden International School

Bridge Boston Charter School

Neighborhood House Charter

Substantial Financial Assistance

All Donovan Scholars receive a minimum of 50% tuition remission. In addition, the Lynch School Graduate Admissions and Urban Outreach Initiatives Offices work with each Donovan Scholar to create a generous financial package that may include additional grants, internships, and scholarships. Including the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, which provides financial support for graduate students from underrepresented groups committed to teaching in urban schools. 

Upon graduation, Donovan Scholars commit to teach in urban schools (Catholic, charter, or public) for at least three years.

In many ways, my work is a continuation of what I started as a Donovan Urban Teaching Scholar at BC. That program prepares educators to teach in urban classrooms in Boston. Over the years, it has been an important pipeline for developing equity-minded and social-justice-minded educators who teach to the whole student. Four of my former students have gone through the program and are now teachers themselves. To be able to see them in classrooms is just a really rewarding thing.
Dr. Charles Grandson IV, Chief Equity and Strategy Officer, Boston Public Schools

Distinguished Donovan Alumni

Michelle Sanchez

Dr. Michelle Sanchez
Principal of Epiphany School

Ashana Hurd

Ashana Hurd
Assistant Dean for Professional Development and Urban Outreach at Boston College

Sam Texeira

Sam Texeira
Teacher at Chicago Public Schools, 2019 Boston Public Schools Educator of the Year

Kevin Dua

Kevin Dua
Teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 2017 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year

Dr. Charles Grandson

Dr. Charles Grandson IV
Chief Equity and Strategy Officer at BPS

Katharine Atkins Pattenson

Katherine Atkins Pattenson
Middle School Teacher at Gardner Pilot Academy

Marcus Penny

Marcus Penny
Computer Science Teacher at San Francisco Unified District

Carmen Pierre Canel

Carmen Pierre Canel
Middle School Principal of Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School

Mwalimu Donker Issa

Mwalimu Donker Issa
Coordinator of Target Programs at BPS




If you have questions about the application, please email If you have questions regarding the receipt of application materials, please email

Application & Deadlines

In order to apply to the Donovan program, applicants must:

  1. Demonstrate a prior commitment to meeting the needs of children and families in urban areas

  2. Submit an application to the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, and be accepted into a M.Ed. of Education program in early childhood, elementary, secondary, or moderate special needs education. (Please check Donovan in the pull-down menu. Indicate your interest in Urban Education and Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars in your personal statement). 

  3. At this time, Donovan Scholars are not able to participate in dual-licensure programs because the amount of required credits exceeds the length of the one-year program.

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants. To view the list of approved waivers, view the Application Fee Waiver criteria below.

Upon graduation, Donovan Scholars commit to teach in urban schools (Catholic, charter or public) for at least 3 years.

Application Fee Waivers


  • Priority Deadline: January 4


To be uploaded to your online application form. 

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, and language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.



Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online application form. 

  1. In 1,000 - 1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.

  2. The intention of your personal statement is to describe your academic and professional goals as well as any experience relevant to the program to which you are applying. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your writing skills as you describe your future plans, expectations, and aspirations. A personal statement is required of applicants to all graduate programs and should be approximately 1,000-1,500 words, double-spaced. 

Letters of Recommendation

  1. Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online application form. 

  2. Two letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice.


Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in lieu of official transcripts for the application review process.

If you are admitted and enroll, our office will need official transcripts prior to course registration.

To expedite application processing times, our office encourages you to send unofficial transcripts electronically to our email address at Please note that unofficial transcripts must include all of the following items:

  • Course titles and grades for each course
  • Year and entry term for each of the courses listed
  • Translated into English by certified translation agent (if not already in English)
    • Original and translated transcripts must be provided

If you are able to secure official transcripts, please note the following:

  • An official postsecondary transcript must be printed on official institutional paper and include at least one of the following: an institutional watermark, the registrar’s signature, or the registrar's seal.
  • Copies and unofficial transcripts sent directly from applicants are not acceptable, the transcript must come directly from the institution.
  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate and/or graduate degree, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.

Official electronic transcripts are accepted when sent directly to from the institution. When requesting electronic transcripts, you must manually type in to ensure it is received by our office. 

Mailed transcript(s) should be sent to the following address:

Lynch Office of Graduate Admissions, Boston College
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467


Given the circumstances of COVID-19, does Donovan still require the GRE as part of the application process?

No, the GRE is not required for Donovan or other Teacher Education programs this academic year.

Will Donovan offer info sessions or webinars? Will they be held in person or virtual?

To be announced. 

Can I meet with anyone to understand more about Donovan as I work through my application?

Of course! Please email us at

Do I have to be admitted to both the Lynch School and Donovan to be in the Donovan program?

Yes, in order to be a part of the Donovan program you must be admitted to both the Lynch School as well as the Donovan Program. However, you can be admitted into the Lynch School and continue your program of study but not as a Donovan.

How many people are typically admitted into Donovan per year?

Typically, around 30 Donovan students are admitted per year.

When is the application due?

The application is due January 6, 2021.

How does the program distribute financial aid?

All Donovan Scholars receive 50% tuition remission. In addition, the Lynch School's Graduate Admissions Office and Urban Outreach Initiatives works with each Donovan Scholar to create a generous financial package that may include additional grants, scholarships and internships. Applicants should complete the FAFSA process.

When does the program start? How long does the program take?

The program begins in June and goes through a calendar year. Thus, Donovan will start in the summer and conclude at the end following summer. Donovan Scholars will still be able to walk in the May graduation.

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