Poverty in Schools: Working with At-Risk Students

Online Course
2 semester hours graduate credit
Instructor: Kay Lehmann
EDUC 640 Summer: June 20 - July 29, 2016

Tuition, Due Dates, and Registration

What You Will Learn

Strategies, critical steps, and how to measure results when transforming high-poverty rural and urban schools with parent involvement, mentoring, data-based intervention, community partnerships, and high expectations. A must for anyone teaching students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. .

Description: Characteristics and issues facing at-risk students because of economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Traits of high-performing high-poverty schools with emphasis on strategies to reduce the achievement gap and build community partnerships.

Who Should Enroll

Designed for elementary, middle school, and high school educators, special education teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators and support staff and those working with incarcerated youth outside of traditional K-12 education.

This course focuses on improving learning outcomes for economically disadvantaged students.

This course is an approved elective in the Master of Science in Education online degree program.

NOTE: You may enroll in this course to meet your goals for professional development, license renewal, or to complete graduate credits and transfer to another university.


E-textbooks will be provided when you login to the course. You may open the e-book to read online from your laptop or desktop. The e-textbook software is compatible with an iPad, Kindle Fire or fully internet-capable device. It is not compatible with a Kindle Reader.

LeBlanc-Esparza, R. and Roulston, W.S. (2012). Breaking the Poverty Barrier: Changing Student Lives with Passion, Perseverance, and Performance. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, Inc. ISBN: 978-1935543145

Jensen, E. (2009). Teaching with Poverty in Mind. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. ISBN: 978-1416608844

If you prefer to read a hard copy of the textbook, instead of reading via your computer or tablet, you may purchase the book from amazon.com or ASCD.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze characteristics and issues facing students living in poverty.

  2. Reflect on the impact of socioeconomic class on student achievement.

  3. Critically analyze the potential differences between the socioeconomic backgrounds of teachers and the students they serve and how these differences can lead to stereotyping and misunderstanding. 

  4. Articulate and apply evidence-based strategies that promote achievement of students of poverty.

  5. Analyze the latest research and practical approaches building partnerships between schools and other non-school supports including families, early childhood education settings, and after school programs.

  6. Evaluate a school's current stage of curriculum transformation and partnerships between schools and non-school supports as compared to high-performing high-poverty schools.

  7. Develop an action plan which incorporates modifications for diverse learners and demonstrates creation of a positive learning climate, elimination of bias within a classroom or school using recognized criteria and application of current research about the needs of students living in poverty.

Alignment with Teaching Standards

Course objectives are aligned with the following:

Wisconsin Teaching Standards (WI DPI): 2, 3, 7

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 1 and 4

No travel to campus is required. Because this class is online and open to you 24/7, you may participate from your home or work computer during hours that are flexible and convenient for your work and family schedule and responsibilities.

The class is highly interactive with a significant discussion component. All discussion postings, projects, and assignments will be submitted via the course discussion board and Dropbox. Activities are conducted according to a schedule with specific due dates each week; there are no required "live" chat sessions. 


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The School of Education reserves the right to cancel classes that do not meet minimum enrollment requirements.

For More Information

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Contact Us: School of Education
Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-232-2693
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Our Students Say...

"The assignments were eye-opening. This course offered a wealth of information to increase my awareness of circumstances surrounding individuals living in poverty."

The strategies were so relevant to my classroom and our community and the work we are doing as educators."


"I wish that all individuals working in human service related fields were required to take this course. The knowledge I gained is invaluable for my profession as well as my personal growth. GREAT COURSE!"

"All information is current, and the materials used showed different viewpoints and perspectives. The instructor was very knowledgeable about the subject matter and encouraged discussions to promote critical thinking."

Contact Us

School of Education
Email: Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-232-2693


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