USC University of Southern California

Building Capacity and Welcoming Practices In Military-Connected Schools

Partners at Learning (PAL)

Partners at Learning (PAL) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is an undergraduate service-learning program in which students earn course credit and training while tutoring and mentoring under-served students in pre-K through 12th grade. In partnership with USC, UCSD will provide the PAL participants with a course on military culture so they can better understand the challenges military students are facing. Then they will be placed in schools to provide academic tutoring.

The successful PAL program has been in existence for many years but this is the first time it will focus on military-connected public schools. UCSD will work with USC and the districts to place between 75 and 100 undergraduate students in the consortium school districts. Not only will this new initiative give our MSW interns access to another resource to support students, but we believe it will also serve as a model for service-learning programs for undergraduate students. We believe that local universities could train up to 2,000 undergraduate students who can tutor and mentor students in military-connected schools. This could be a national model where every university adopts military-connected schools and offers service-learning opportunities.