Help Others Succeed
Are you passionate about people-centered work that transforms communities? You may want to consider building your future in Education + Human Services.
This career path is for those who want to become future educators, practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and change agents. Together, these professionals strengthen communities, address systemic issues, and support others through direct service, outreach, prevention, and advocacy. They are dedicated to the growth, development, and needs of individuals through work that includes teaching, child development, counseling, psychology, social work, social services, speech-language pathology, human resources, NGOs, and nonprofits.
If this sounds like you or who you want to become, learn how you can move forward to help others.
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Gain Experience: Teaching K-12
For complete information on internships, student jobs, research opportunities, extracurriculars, and more, review our starter tips to Gain Experience in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.
Pursuing a teaching career can be both exciting and meaningful. Find opportunities to work with youth during school hours, after school programs, or summer camps. Whether you tutor, facilitate activities, teach, or mentor students, these are all valuable experiences that help you gain the skills and understanding you need in order to work with the student population that interests you.
Types of Experience
Click below to see some ways to begin gaining experience to prepare for careers in Teaching K-12.
Participating in the Pre-Professional Education Program allows you to volunteer in local K-12 classrooms under the mentorship of credentialed teachers.
Teacher Education Programs (TEPs) typically require between 40-50 hours of pre-professional experience; the exact number depends on the program. UCSB’s TEP requires 40 hours of pre-professional experience, with at least 20 hours completed in a K-12 classroom during a regular school day, while some programs outside of UCSB may only require that you have 40-50 hours experience with youth.
If you are interested in becoming a teacher, gaining experience early can help you fulfill the hours you need, and develop a better understanding of whether teaching in a classroom is right for you.
Participating in campus organizations is a great way to learn about working with students and develop your skills as an educator.
Here are some relevant UCSB campus organizations you can join:
There are also opportunities for you to find student jobs or internships working alongside your peers and young children through on-campus departments and offices.
Here are some departments and local organizations with beneficial opportunities:
The greater Santa Barbara County has many volunteer and part-time opportunities for students interested in working with children and youth. Consider working with an educational nonprofit such as Cal-SOAP (Student Opportunity and Access Program), Girls Inc., Isla Vista Youth Projects, or Santa Barbara County Education Office - Partners in Education.
You can also look into nonprofits that do not focus on education, but have educational programs that you can volunteer with, such as United Way’s Lunch Bunch Program and Transition House’s Evening Enrichment Program.
Consider your academic experiences and ask yourself if there are any topics, themes, or populations that you are particularly interested in. Connect with a faculty member to engage in a research project related to a topic that interests you through the Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) or the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Grant (URCA). Previous UCSB students have researched an array of areas which vary from understanding K-12 literacy for multilingual, multicultural students, to researching STEM education for underrepresented communities.
Sometimes, faculty will share opportunities for students to participate in research, teacher assistant (TA) positions, or course grading at the end of the quarter in their classes. If you have done well academically in a course and have an interest in working with that faculty member, reach out to them and express your interest in working with them. By doing so, you can gain experience in teaching, classroom management, or educational research.
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