Opportunities for Involvement
In the College of Education, you can find various ways to get involved. Many activities and student organizations provide experience directly related to education and the helping professions. Student organizations, in particular, provide preprofessional development programs, volunteer leadership activities, and fun social activities. Here are just a few such activities:
LifeLink PSU is a unique program in which college-age special education students from the State College Area School District attend classes on Penn State’s University Park Campus. If you are interested in rehabilitation and human services or special education, volunteering with LifeLink is a great way to gain experience working with this population, as well as make lifelong friends with the students you work with.
Every year, the college community comes together for Cycle-Thon. This bike ride and 5K run/walk through the State College community raises money for the Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (SCOPE), a program that introduces high school students to education careers through an on-campus summer experience. Enjoy the festive atmosphere with your friends and professors while touring State College and the University Park campus—all for a good cause.
Online Tutoring Program
Volunteer to tutor elementary students at Isaac Sheppard School in inner-city Philadelphia through our online tutoring program. You can make a real difference in the life of a child through weekly chats online. This is a great way to gain early experience working with elementary-age children while learning about the issues facing children in urban schools.
Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (SPSEA)
If you plan to become a teacher, you will want to join SPSEA. This very active organization hosts a number of activities that will give you more experience working with young people. Through SPSEA, you can write to a pen pal in elementary school, volunteer with the local library reading days, and help support THON, Penn State’s annual student-run dance marathon to benefit children with cancer and their families. SPSEA offers biweekly professional development seminars and provides future teachers with valuable liability insurance as they participate in field experiences.
Each year, many students are a part of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON. The largest student-run philanthropy in the world, THON is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer, Since 1977, THON has raised more than $89 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Students can participate through SPSEA or through another organization on campus.
Rehabilitation and Human Services Student Organization
Students participate in social and educational opportunities that promote professional identity and pride; mentorship and involvement among faculty, alumni, staff, and students; networking opportunities to explore employment and graduate programs; and service-learning.