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What are students saying?

Sonia Fortin, ULA for Educators program graduate (May 2022) and current employee of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

Education worker unions are at the forefront of the labor movement, pushing for rights that all workers deserve. Across the country, unionized education workers are taking principaled positions on issues that matter to entire communities, and they're fighting, and winning.  Now is the time to develop the next generation of labor activists in education. We want you to be one.

The ULA for Educators - ULA(Ed) - program makes our partial residency Master’s degree in Labor Studies possible for people who work on a school-year schedule. Anyone with a Bachelor's degree who works in pre-K through higher education is welcome to apply to this track.

The ULA(Ed) program is the only graduate program of its kind.  We tailor the structure and the courses to give educators a deep understanding of Labor History with a direct focus on the education sector.

Course Content

Over the course of the program, students will study all of the following topics and more:

  • public sector labor law
  • public policy
  • organizing
  • strategic research
  • collective bargaining
  • economic and historical context of public education unions

Our intersectional approach to labor solidarity is central to the curriculum. At the Labor Center we believe that the struggle for economic justice is inseparable from the fight for racial and gender equity.

The Experience

Students in ULA(Ed) attend three 10-day intensive sessions in July in residence at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and two 10-week remote courses (February-April) in the spring semester. 

The July residential component provides access to all of the resources of the UMass Amherst campus, and is essential for educators to experience the powerful sense of community of in-person collaboration. Labor activists from around the United States and the world come together to share the lessons of their local struggles and leave with lifelong friends and a renewed sense of purpose. Final papers for July sessions are due in December.

The Spring semester remote courses are built to fit your schedule. Students deeply interrogate labor and social justice issues specific to education. Courses run February through mid-April, and typically meet synchronously online at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time once each week as well as having weekly asynchronous work. Final papers for Spring semester courses are due in May.

Big Picture

Complete your degreee in

  • Three July residencies (6 courses)
  • Two or three remote semesters (2 courses and capstone paper)

Applications are due 

  • April 1st for July '24 admission 
  • October 7th for January '25 admission (online semester)

Applications are accepted on a continuing basis depending on space in the incoming class.

For more information, please visit the ULA "Classic" pages or contact us.

"My first semester in the ULA grad program for Teacher activists was wonderful! My first two courses, Labor Research and Labor History, were both engaging and relevant to my organizing in my local, Lynn Teachers Union 1037. Nellie and Clare did a wonderful job taking care of the logistics of living on campus for the residency so we could give full attention to our studies while connecting with incredible labor leaders from across the country. This teacher can't wait to go back to school!"

- Phil O'Connor, July 2022 ULA(Ed) Cohort