Umoja Seminar

The Umoja Seminar Model builds the capacity of schools and staff to improve postsecondary outcomes for students by 1) ensuring that all students have access to the essential tools and knowledge in order to graduate with high quality postsecondary options and 2) equipping the school staff and community (e.g. Seminar teacher, counselor, and other key stakeholders) with the knowledge, skills and systems to build and sustain a culture of postsecondary success. 

Umoja’s curriculum, created by experienced teachers, is research-based, and contains more than 500 scoped and sequenced lessons essential to academic, personal, and postsecondary success.  Designed as a four-year, daily, credit bearing class, the Umoja Seminar curriculum aligns with the Illinois Social and Emotional Learning standards, National ASCA Standards, and the Common Core. The course is supported by on-the-ground Umoja partnership and a through our fellowship program, Umoja’s Fellowship for Educational Excellence and Leadership (UFEEL), which brings Seminar teachers across all Umoja partner schools together on a quarterly basis for additional training, information sharing, and peer learning.


Umoja Seminar is most effective when offered to students in each year of their high school journey. Some schools also adopt a banded approach, consistent with the Common Core. The following maps were designed through Understanding by Design® principles and provides a quick view of each of 5 annual units:


Umoja Seminar contains over 500 lessons and curricular tools; the following samples offer a cross-section of the variety of topics covered and modalities used: