By Stefani Juarez, UCSB Career Services Peer
For anyone interested in the education field, the following organizations offer a variety of paid and unpaid positions in the classroom. The experience itself is priceless.
City Year is an organization that partners prospective corps members with local participating schools where participants commit to a year of mentoring and tutoring young people. City Year strives to reduce the dropout rates by placing mentors and tutors in the classroom where participants gain valuable experiences and knowledge. This is a paid, full time commitment that lasts an academic year. Corps members get exposure to team building, shadowing teachers in a classroom setting, and scholarship opportunities. Mariani points out that valuable qualities to have are commitment, ability to work in a team, and resilience. City Year’s application is on their website. Recruitment starts in July, and it is recommended that students apply during the fall of their senior year. An additional benefit to being a corps member is that their federal student loans are put on hold during the year of participation. City Year alumni have gone on to many different careers, including MBA programs, law school, the non-profit sector, the fields of medicine and public health, as well as the more obvious fields of teaching and counseling.
Through their pre-professional program, UCSB Gevirtz Graduate School of Education offers students the opportunity to volunteer in local schools under the supervision of teachers. This is a great opportunity to figure out what subject area and grade level one wants to focus on if heading toward earning a teaching credential. Participants enjoy the benefit of obtaining volunteer hours that can count towards the application requirements of many credential programs. Everyone who is interested will be accepted into the program as long as they pass a screening which includes fingerprinting and TB test. The program is very flexible as it gives participants the chance to select their hours as long as they are committed, professional, and willing to learn. One can participate in the pre-professional program either as a student, or after graduation. Blackwell emphasizes that participating in the pre-professional program gives students an opportunity to become well known within the staff of the UCSB Teacher Education Program, which may give them an advantage in being admitted. In order to participate, contact Katie Blackwell.
Partners in Education connects volunteer participants with local K-12 classrooms. Through tutoring, shadowing teachers, and being around students, volunteers gain experience while being exposed to possible subject areas and age groups they are interested in. To apply, use the application on the Partners in Education website. The remainder of the application process includes a phone interview, fingerprinting, and a TB test, the costs for which are covered by Partners in Education. Volunteers are required to complete at least 10 hours a quarter. The program offers participants the ability to make a difference in the community while defining their route in the education field.
Cal-SOAP offers paid tutoring opportunities for college students who demonstrate financial aid. These tutors provide services for low income students, grades 7-12 across California. Participants are asked to commit to an academic year for 8-10 hours a week, and when accepted, enjoy the benefit of gaining experience in a classroom setting. In order to apply for the program, students must provide a transcript, a financial award letter, participate in an interview, and pass a background check. Cal-SOAP is a great way to get involved in the education industry and directly help students in the classroom.