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This is the largest area of need for Peace Corps countries. Education Volunteers team-teach or directly teach English, health, literacy, math, and science. Education Volunteers strengthen local capacity by training and mentoring teachers in primary and secondary schools, teacher training colleges, and universities. Volunteers work with teachers to improve participatory teaching methodologies, inclusion practices, classroom management, authentic assessments, parental involvement, and gender equality in the classroom. They also create after-school programs, clubs, and camps for boys and girls to promote HIV/AIDS prevention and life skills.
Required Academic Coursework:
You are required to complete 15 credits of coursework in one or more of the following areas related to Education:
- Human Cognition
- Developmental Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Teaching or Group Facilitation Methods
All education positions require at least a bachelor's degree and a minimum GPA of 2.5.
English Teachers will need additional coursework in the following areas to be competitive applicants to the Peace Corps:
- Linguistics or TEFL
- Foreign Language
Science and Math Teachers will need additional coursework in the following areas to be competitive candidates to the Peace Corps:
- Computer Engineering/Science/Studies
Required Enhancement Activities:
You are required to complete 200 hours of internship, study abroad, employment, or volunteer experience in one (or more) of these relevant areas.
- Adult Tutoring
- Camp Counseling
- Civics Education
- Classroom or Small Group Teaching
- Community Organizing
- Computer Literacy
- Curriculum/Lesson Development
- Drama or Musical Activities
- English, TEFL, Literacy, or Foreign Language Tutoring
- Environmental Education
- Health Education
- Middle or High School Tutoring
- Youth Group Counseling
- Youth Mentorship
Opportunities and Resources Specific to Volunteering in Education:
- Learn more about how to qualify for the different types of Peace Corps Education Volunteer assignments including primary, secondary and university-level teaching: http://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/learn/whatvol/edu_youth/assignments/
- UWT Volunteer Services actively recruits tutors to serve with the AVID program within our school system. For more information, visit: http://findanhour.wordpress.com/about-us/organizations-index/achievement-via-individual-determination-avid/
- Metropolitan Development Council: http://mdc-tacoma.org/how-to-engage/volunteer
- Tacoma Community House: https://www.tacomacommunityhouse.org/Page.aspx?nid=244
- The Tacoma Rescue Mission Child & Youth Programs: https://www.rescue-mission.org/youth-program#GetInvolved
- English language tutor opportunities on VolunteerMatch.com : http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?k=esl&v=false&categories=15&categories=15&s=1&o=&l=Tacoma+WA+USA&r=&categories=15#k=esl&v=false&categories=15&categories=15&s=1&o=&l=Tacoma+WA+USA&r=&categories=15
- Find your own tutoring or mentorship opportunities at Find an Hour. Results are sorted by grade level: http://findanhour.wordpress.com/find-your-hour/
Michelle Harper Kowalczyk, or "M" of the That's My J&M! blog, is the founder of UW Tacoma's Peace Corps Prep Program and former Associate Director of Student Involvement. Together "M" and her husband Joe Harper Kowalczyk, or "J", are now serving as Peace Corps Volunteers in South Africa. Share their journey:Blog content and photo courtesy of Michelle and Joe Harper Kowalczyk.
Video courtesy of the U.S. Peace Corps.