The primary focus and theme of the UCEA Center for Urban School Leadership is preparing future leaders and supporting current leaders to meet the unique challenges of urban communities and to leverage their distinctive opportunities.

The ongoing demographic changes in urban schools demand new leadership approaches. Urban schools are characterized by shifting neighborhood demographics, increasing student diversity, and widespread disparities across and within districts. There is a wide spectrum of “urbanness,” including (1) population, location, and geography; (2) enrollment; (3) demographic composition of students; (4) resources in schools; (5) disparities and educational inequality; and (6) social and economic contexts. Many of the urban educational demands are shaped by ongoing social and cultural issues of addressing needs of African American students, Latinx students, and high-poverty students.

The Center examines the many issues involving urban school leadership, and it strives to increase knowledge and understanding to improve the overall preparation and professional development of school leaders.