BLUE Contract/MSE at DMPS

Helping Teachers Advance Their OWN Education

“In the United States, teachers need just four years of college to become licensed teachers. The work of teachers, especially in an urban environment such as Des Moines, is complex, challenging, and demanding. A four-year degree simply is not sufficient to adequately prepare teachers for the success that we want for them and our students. The BLUE contract is designed to provide new teachers with support they need to develop into the best teachers in the country and to meet the needs of a diverse student population, many of whom live in poverty and whose first language is not English.”

  • Dr. Thomas Ahart, Superintendent

Classroom of teachers.

Working with Drake University, Des Moines Public Schools offers options for educators to earn their Masters or Specialist degrees.

The vision for Des Moines Public Schools is to become the model for urban education in the United States. The vision applies not only to how we educate students but to every aspect of our work, including support for our teachers.

That is exemplified thanks to our partnership with Drake University. Together, DMPS and Drake developed a Masters of Science in Education degree in Culturally Responsive Leadership. This degree is specifically designed for educators in urban school environments, such as Des Moines, to support both your students and your work in the classroom.

The MSE in Culturally Responsive Leadership is available in one of two ways. First, new teachers who join DMPS on our BLUE contract are eligible to earn the degree – free of charge – through the additional professional development and training they will receive. Second, veteran teachers may also earn the degree through Drake at a greatly reduced tuition rate.

Finally, for school leaders and administrator who have already have a Masters degree, DMPS and Drake have partnered to help you earn your Specialist degree, also at a greatly reduced tuition.

Please click the links in the menu to the right for additional information.

The ability of DMPS to realize our vision of becoming the model for urban education rests in our success in the classroom. The opportunity for teachers to advance their own education will help that vision become a reality.