Solving the challenges of environmental injustice . . . a learning community dedicated to personal and community empowerment, college and career-readiness, and equity and access to and for our students, families and staff.
— Mission Statement of the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers

The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers recognizes that overcoming our planet’s environmental challenges is the biggest task facing the world today. We understand that as our economy becomes more green, many of the future’s most promising careers will focus on solving the challenges of environmental injustice, and in ensuring equitable access to quality living and resources for all citizens. Our students will only be able to activate this mission if they are equipped with collaborative problem-solving and reasoning skills, empathy and awareness of how to interrupt injustice, and the knowledge of green industries and environmental issues. Therefore, we are committed to being a learning community dedicated to personal and community empowerment, college and career-readiness, and equity and access to and for our students, families and staff.

Why Green Careers?

UAGC is rated one of the highest-quality learning environments

in New York City (NYC DOE Quality Review 2016). Not only do we boast

a rigorous academic environment, we also work to prepare all our students

for work in an ever-changing world.

It is our goal at The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers to expose students to the complicated environmental problems our world is facing and prepare them for a variety of professions that are now tackling these problems head-on.

Our CTE program is the focal point of this goal. A strong and effective CTE program gives our students a broad introduction to both the important issues and solutions, as well as potential pathways to either deeper study in college or entry into a career. This IS accomplished in several ways, including:

Access to off-site learning experiences

Professional certifications


Hard skills

Soft skills

Effective research techniques

Our students use this native species plant and vegetable
garden as a living laboratory to learn about horticulture, 
sustainable landscaping, wildlife habitat maintenance, 
storm-water retention, and urban agriculture.

Stop by our summer urban farm sale!

UAGC Garden

84th & Amsterdam



How does your mind work?

Ancient Sumerian classroom

Ancient Sumerian classroom

Ubiquitous classroom systems that still exist today

Ubiquitous classroom systems that still exist today

For millennia, humanity has believed that knowledge can only move from the people who know to the people who don't. Paulo Freire, in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, talks about how this idea silences those whose voices most need to be heard.

Learning Cultures®, the revolutionary teaching method developed by NYU professor Cynthia McCallister, turns this idea on its head. We believe that knowledge isn't pushed from one person to another, but rather it is created by people engaging in conversation, in discourse.

. . . ideas for the future are implemented in Learning Cultures . . . the most important thing to learn is how to learn itself.
— Christina Erneling, influential author and Professor of Psychology at Lund University
Contemporary theories, including those of Edmund Gordon, David Olson, Joshua Aronson, Christina Erneling, M. Bahktin, John Frow, Carol Dweck, Deci & Ryan, Tomasello, and Searle support the power of our discursive, innovative approach to education.

Contemporary theories, including those of Edmund Gordon, David Olson, Joshua Aronson, Christina Erneling, M. Bahktin, John Frow, Carol Dweck, Deci & Ryan, Tomasello, and Searle support the power of our discursive, innovative approach to education.

Giving ownership is one of the biggest things . . . if it’s not a choice they’re making, they don’t get much out of it . . . in sports, as in school, through cooperation, “there’s always a victory to have.”
— Ahmad Mickens, Revolution Training

Our core values, intention, collaboration, and responsibility, reflect our belief that students - actually all people - are most successful when they have ownership and choice over their environment.

In our one-of-a-kind writing program, Genre Practice®, every project begins, and ends, with the student's own purposes. This intentionality extends to all curriculum. Our students explore the world on their own terms, and find their own voice.

Since implementing Learning Cultures®, we have experienced tremendous growth, moving from an F rating to a Well-Developed School while graduation rates and regents pass rates have steadily increased. While, at the same time, suspension rates have dramatically decreased. The community at UAGC - teachers, students, and parents - have worked hard to see these increases, and it is only through constant collaboration that such success has been achieved.

Growth at the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers

All of this work is anchored in the principle of equity. New York City states that "the right to a free public school education is a basic 'student right' guaranteed to all children." On that foundation, we maintain a policy of open enrollment and do not reject students from UAGC based on past performance, which is the policy of many New York City public schools. Instead, we work to support all students who wish to attend our school.

Every student:

meets regularly with an advisor to set Academic Achievement goals

Has mandated monthly conferences with every teacher, in every class

IS guaranteed the opportunity to work with a variety of students*


*Classes are heterogeneously mixed - we firmly believe that all students should have the opportunity to learn from each other. For example, a reading group in a given class might have 9th-12th graders, students with disabilities, and English language learners working together in collaboration. We believe the tracking of students by age or ability undermines democracy. This represents the most democratic approach to education, and responds to the sad statistic that only 4.4% of students in segregated, self-contained classes graduate.

Want to be part of something exciting? A program that challenges and delivers? Take a look at what we offer our students. In the 21st century, learning will look a lot less like that Sumerian classroom. We believe in educating doers and thinkers. Whether you are a future student, an innovative educator, a parent who wants the most for their child, or a part of our society who cares about the future of education, come and see what we are about.

Learning . . . should be a balance between freedom and control, since real freedom comes from the ability to bring one’s own mental abilities under control.
— Dr. Edmund Gordon, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Yale and Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia

Check out the Learning Cultures® YouTube channel, explore our site, or come and visit us. We're excited about what's happening at UAGC, and we think you will be, too.

As a Career and Technical Education (CTE) school, meaningful partnerships with private, nonprofit, and educational organizations are especially integral to helping UAGC fulfill its mission. Our partner organizations provide students with essential knowledge about green careers and industries, environmental issues, and professional relationships.

Read about oUr most recent conference hosted at NYU by ISN

If you want to learn how to think freely, collaborate effectively to solve complex and novel challenges, read and write with passion, and develop the skills and knowledge to become a leader, then come be a part of the UAGC community!

At 8:45am, students arrive to the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, excited for many reasons:

  • Intense college-readiness from a dynamic, interactive culture of learning

  • Passion for solving the challenges posed by social and environmental injustice

  • Preparation to think critically, collaborate, thrive and succeed in a changing world

  • A safe, vibrant neighborhood of museums, parks and restaurants 

Check out our brochure HERE

“Children are cognitively engaged with high level, acTIve parTIcipaTIon; they hold each other accountable to and for learning.”

Daisy Concepcion, NYC Director of School Quality


Be a part of something EXCITING  At this critical moment for American democracy!

the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers resolutely affirms our commitment to the rights and dignity of every student, every family, every human being. 

We are a part of the Urban Assembly community of nearly 9,000 students and adults representing the glorious diversity that makes our city – and our country – a beacon to the world. Nearly half of our students are first- or second-generation immigrants. More than 37 languages are spoken in UA families’ homes. Each of these families contributes to and deserves America’s very best.

we will seek every opportunity to ensure that all of our young people continue to receive an outstanding public education - and that they have the chance to grow into adulthood in a country that lives by our founding and enduring values.