The Pre-Professional Education Program provides individuals who are considering a career in education with the opportunity to volunteer in a local K-12 classroom under the mentorship of a credentialed teacher. It gives those who are undecided about a career in education a chance to see if classroom life is really for them. For those who are committed to a career in education, it provides valuable classroom experience in preparation for entrance into a university credential program. Pre-professional experience is required for entrance into most credential programs, including the UCSB Teacher Education Program.

There are many ways to participate in the Pre-Professional Education Program. UCSB students can earn pre-professional hours in conjunction with a course (such as ED 121, ED 122, ED 128, ED 130, or ED 131), or they can simply volunteer to gain experience. Non-UCSB students who are interested in gaining classroom experience can also request a classroom placement. 

UCSB credential applicants must have at least 40 pre-professional hours on file before starting the TEP program. These hours can include volunteering at any K-12 school, substitute teaching, or working as an instructional aide (in Santa Barbara or elsewhere). Applicants can participate in UCSB’s Pre-Professional Education Program if they choose, or they can complete their hours on their own. Please see our Credential Applicants page for more information.

If you would like more information about the Pre-Professional Education Program, or if you would like to be placed in a classroom, please contact Pre-Professional Education Program Coordinator Katie Blackwell at