The end goal for most college students is to get a job doing something they love. It sounds pretty great, doesn’t it- getting paid to do something that inspires passion? How about starting that process a little earlier, Katies? The Assistantship Mentoring Program—also known as AMP—is now taking applications for J-term and the 2015 spring semester.
AMP was founded a little over ten years ago, with the purpose of helping students pay for school by working on collaborations with faculty mentors. Students of junior or senior status have the option of applying to be a teaching assistant (TA), research collaborator or program development collaborator. Today, the program is housed in Community Work and Learning (CWL) and run by staff member Lorissa Gottschalk, and two student assistant coordinators, Jennifer Rocha ’15 and Maggie Singerhouse ’17.
“I absolutely love AMP. [During my TA opportunity] It provided me with a unique opportunity to take ownership of my own education, to feel empowered and supported enough to become involved with sharing my knowledge…through my teaching assistantship opportunities,” Rocha, who also assisted AMP in the past, said.
So, how does AMP work? Generally, students have an idea for a project that they would like to work on, a class they would like to TA for or a subject that they would like to research. Then, the student connects with a staff or faculty member who they want to have as a mentor. After those steps, the student proposes their idea and applies to AMP with their mentor. In addition, staff and faculty members often times approach students and offer various opportunities to get involved through research, teaching assistantships and projects that they can apply for in the AMP program.
Students can apply for summer to fall, semester long, J-term or full academic-year projects, each position paying $10.50/hour. At the end of each term, there is a Final Symposium, where all AMP participants and their mentors attend and present their projects and their work to each other.
Not only does working in AMP develop leadership skills, challenge students to broaden their horizons academically and professionally and build strong connections between faculty members and students, it also looks great on a resume.
“[AMP] has been a great experience for me. I have gotten to work outside of my academic disciplines in other areas that really interest me. I’ve met some amazing faculty and staff, especially my mentor, who are always helping me find new ideas to learn and explore,” Alex Kennedy ’15 said. “I’ve also been able to network a lot with more people around campus that I had not met through traditional classes.”
Something about AMP that people may not know is that they recently merged with CWL. For many years, AMP searched for a sustainable model and institutional home within the university. In the spirit of innovation and collaboration—much like the work AMP students do in their assistantships—AMP and CWL partnered. Both programs strive to create meaningful work experiences for students that pair classroom with community learning.
“Lots of university programs offer work for students to do on campus—that’s not new. What makes AMP unique and outstanding is that we ask students, in partnership with mentors, to create the jobs themselves. When students create the jobs, they do more than create meaningful work experiences; they create community,” Gottschalk said.
Visit www.stkate.edu/amp to fill out the application, read more stories about past AMP participants and access resources regarding assistantships and mentoring. AMP is also on Twitter @StKatesAMP. Applications for J-term and spring semester, 2015 are due by Nov. 18.
Maggie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.