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Special Programs in Education

Field Work

Exploring Science at Vassar Farm: The Department of Education offers a one-semester program in science and environmental education at the Collins Field Station on the Vassar Farm property. Vassar students work with faculty to design and implement lessons for local Poughkeepsie elementary students. Children from second through fifth grade classrooms are invited to spend a morning at the farm in exploration and discovery. Those interested in participating should contact Ms. Capozzoli (lycapozzoli@vassar.edu), director of the program.

Vassar College Urban Education Initiative: The Vassar College Urban Education Initiative (VCUEI) was established in 2003 by Dean of the College and professor of education Christopher Roellke. Located in Vassar’s newly renovated historic observatory, the office oversees the education outreach programs of the College, and serves as a coordinating resource for faculty, students, and administrators who are interested in working in local and regional schools. VCUEI programs include Vassar After School Tutoring (VAST), Vassar English Language Learners Outreach Program (VELLOP), and Exploring College.  Visit the VCUEI web page.

Semester Away Programs

Clifden, Ireland: Internship in Irish primary and secondary schools. Vassar College, in cooperation with University College, Galway, and the schools of Clifden, offers a one-semester internship in Irish schools. Students interested in teacher certification, the theoretical study of education, or the study of cross-cultural education are assigned as interns in primary and secondary schools in Clifden. They are expected also to take a “half-tutorial’’ of study at University College, Galway, in an area such as history, English, psychology, history of art, physical science, geography, or another subject taught in the university. Those interested in applying should consult with their advisor and the Department of Education before submitting a formal application to the Office of International Programs.

Cloud Forest School, Costa Rica: A one-semester internship program that immerses students passionate about education in the Cloud Forest School, an independent K-12 bilingual school located in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Vassar students observe experienced teachers in the classroom, design and implement lessons, study Spanish, and carry out an independent research project. The school promotes child centered, progressive forms of curriculum and instruction that reflect the educational approaches we encourage our students to take here at Vassar College. Spanish language instruction is provided for Vassar students through the University of New Mexico. Those interested in applying should consult with their advisor and the Department of Education before submitting a formal application to the Office of International Programs.

Scholarships

The Vassar Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program aims to increase the number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) majors entering K-12 STEM education in high-need districts, improve the quality of STEM education in those districts, and produce leaders in STEM education.

The program offers scholarships of $20,000 a year for 14 STEM majors during their junior and senior years and to complete their student teaching in the fall following graduation. Students who opt to complete their student teaching requirement the fall after they graduate are also eligible for a stipend to cover living expenses during that semester. Noyce Scholars will be required to teach for two years in a high-need district for every year they receive a scholarship. Interested students should apply in their sophomore or junior year. If you would like to discuss your options and/or ideas, you may contact one of the directors, co-directors, or program mentors listed on the Vassar Noyce Teaching Scholarship program site.

Completed applications will be accepted in April. Selections will be made by the VNTS faculty committee. A short list of candidates will be invited for an on-campus interview. Decisions will be announced by late April/early May.

Internships

January Urban Education Fellowship: Over winter break, Vassar students, together with students from other liberal arts colleges, assist public school teachers in New York City or Boston for two or three weeks. The program aims to open doors for students interested in education, as well as for the younger students with whom they work during the month.

Urban Education Fellows will be assigned to partner schools, where they will spend weekdays working in classrooms with mentor teachers. No previous teaching experience is required. Fellows will spend the majority of their time assisting an experienced classroom teacher. The specific responsibilities will vary, depending on the needs of the classroom teacher. These might include: tutoring individual students, working with small groups of students, teaching a part of the class, commenting on student papers, leading class discussions, preparing materials for the teacher, attending a faculty meeting, observing different teachers in the school, and attending school events. In addition to assisting teachers, the Urban Education Fellows participate in educational seminars and side trips during the January program.

Fellows will be provided with a modest advance for expenses and are eligible to receive field work credit for the experience. Contact the Education Department for more details; applications are due in October.

Noyce Internships in STEM Education: The Noyce Program offers up to 6 summer science education and research internships to freshmen, sophomore, and juniors up to $4,000 each for students considering a career in science education. The internship will support any activity that will strengthen the applicant’s background in science education. This could include research, formal internships, academic coursework in a STEM discipline outside of one’s major, and other types of field work, to name a few. If you would like to discuss your options and/or ideas, you may contact one of the directors, co-directors, or program mentors listed on the Vassar Noyce Teaching Scholarship program site.

Completed applications are accepted in February. Decisions will be announced in early March. Selections will be made by the VNTS faculty committee.

Graduate Fellowship in Education Program - The Dean's Program

The Graduate Fellowship in Education Program makes it possible for selected students who have graduated from Vassar to complete their teacher certification program. Candidates should have completed all of the certification requirements, except for Education 301 and student teaching. In return for this opportunity, the graduate fellows will work with the department in a variety of activities: attendance at various state education meetings, meeting with prospective students interested in education to discuss both the profession and the education program at Vassar, and promoting the teaching profession in the community. Applications for this program are due during the first week of December.