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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 (, 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 Program

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.


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.

The Judith R. Birsh '57 Internship

This winter internship provides two Vassar students with the opportunity to complete a two‐week residency at the Kildonan School in Amenia, NY or the Garvey School in the Bronx.

Kildonan is a co‐educational day and boarding school for youth grades 2‐12 with dyslexia and/or language‐based learning differences. One‐to‐one tutoring using the Orton‐Gillingham approach is provided to each Kildonan student. Vassar students will have the opportunity to explore the many different programs and activities Kildonan offers to its students.  

The Garvey School is a private, co-educational (Nursery - Grade 6) school in the Northeast Bronx, which utilizes both traditional and progressive teaching strategies.  The Garvey School prides itself on its ability to provide a nurturing and supportive environment where students are encouraged to take intellectual risks.  This community is home to many high performing and special needs youths who are underserved.  

The Vassar students who receive this internship will have the opportunity to work side‐by‐side with faculty and participate fully in the life of these schools.  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.

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.