Urban Catholic Teacher Corps Shapes Confident and Thoughtful Teachers at Saint Cols

Saint Columbkille Partnership School is proud to partner with Boston College’s Urban Catholic Teacher Corps (UCTC) program. Founded in 1997, UCTC is a two-year urban teaching practicum as part of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development that actively engages in the ministry of teaching in the schools of the Archdiocese of Boston.

While completing a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction at BC, UCTC members commit to a two-year teaching practicum in Boston’s Catholic schools serving urban students. This rigorous teacher preparation program provides teaching support, intentional community living, and individual faith formation opportunities.

Saint Columbkille faculty includes four current UCTC participants and three alumnae. Lucy Harmon (Grade 6), Casey Flanigan (Grade 5), Monica Langfeld (Grade 4) and Erin Flanagan (Grade 3) are currently part of the program. Vincenza Bartholomew (Academic Interventionist), Michelle Janowski (Instructional Coach) and Rachel Rumely (Assistant Head of School).

More from Saint Cols’ current and former UCTC participants:

“Being a UCTC member provided me with the tools and supports I needed to feel confident in my teaching abilities as an early career teacher. Having instructional coaches and mentors to help me in my first two years of teaching was so incredible, as I was able to get advice from veteran teachers when I was having challenges in the classroom. Living in community with other teachers provided me with some of my closest friends and I will always value the relationships I formed with my cohort members. Having roommates who were also teachers in Catholic schools was helpful to get lesson ideas from, advice on how to handle a situation at school, or even just to hear a funny story from teaching. Living in a faith-based community helped me grow spiritually through the weekly spirituality nights and helped me to form a deeper connection with my community members. Being in UCTC helped shape me into the teacher I am today and I love that I still have a community to get support from even 3 years out of the program!”
- Vincenza Bartholomew

“I am finishing up my first year of UCTC and looking back on this year, I realize how much participating in UCTC has positively impacted my teaching. Living with 24 other teachers allows me to continuously learn new strategies and ideas, pushing me to think about things from a critical lens. UCTC also allowed me to strengthen my faith, which I have also applied in the classroom as a Catholic educator! UCTC has challenged me in many different areas of my life, and at the end of my time at UCTC, I think that I will be changed as an educator and as a person. UCTC pushes you to see the intersectionality of your life's different areas and how they impact each other, which I believe is a powerful thing that will benefit me in the long term.”
- Erin Flanagan

“What drew me to UCTC was the mission to holistically form educators at Boston College through rigorous coursework in a faith-based context. Since joining UCTC, I have learned to truly listen to my students, honor who they are and what their lived experiences have been, and examine my privilege. I have taken the reflections on my biases and analyzed how they may have an impact on my teaching. I've also grown so much in a spiritual sense, thanks to the intentional community pillar of the program. The people I live with have challenged me to further enhance my relationship with God and to see Him in all things. I value the friendships I've made with my community members over the past few years with all my heart. I am truly thankful for this experience and will take everything I've learned with me for years to come!”
- Lucy Harmon

"I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I was drawn to UCTC because it was an opportunity for me to not only grow in my own faith, but to share my faith with my students. I thought after my two years of service in UCTC that I would begin teaching in public schools, since I grew up in the public school system. However, I fell so much in love with the Saint Columbkille family that I have been here for 13 years now! Participating in UCTC meant that I had 12 other teachers living at home with me. That was 12 teachers that I could bounce ideas off of, seek advice from, and learn from every day. Living in a large community also comes with its challenges, so I learned a lot about myself and grew tremendously during my two years in the program. I was a part of the 12th cohort of UCTC, and the six of us live all over the country now. It has been 11 years since we graduated from the program, yet we are still very much in touch! When we can't visit each other in person, we use Google Hangout and Zoom to see each other and catch up. These are friends that will be in my life forever."
- Shelly Janowski