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Partnership Schools Program

Thurgood Marshall College, in partnership with CREATE, has established two partnership schools: The Preuss School and Gompers Preparatory Academy (GPA).

These two charter schools serve students in grades 6 to 12 and work with historically under-served communities to support their youth throughout high school, and in seeking an education that prepares them to be college-ready. One of the key aspects of the partnership between UCSD and these two schools is the presence of UCSD students as volunteers at each campus.

Program Overview

  • One-quarter commitment of 4 hours/week for a classroom tutor or 10 hours/week for a non-classroom internship
  • Offered every quarter with the exception of summer
  • Open to all UCSD students
  • Opportunity to enroll in TMC 198 in conjunction with internship or volunteer position to gain course credit through a critical analysis of educational methodology
  • All applicants are accepted, provided they submit their application on time and complete all necessary steps

Why volunteer at the Marshall Partnership Schools?

  • Through volunteer service inside and outside the classroom, UCSD students contribute as positive role models and mentors, and represent the “face of college” to first-generation college-bound youth.
  • UCSD students have inspired and motivated countless middle and high school students to pursue their college and career dreams.
  • The partnership is mutually beneficial and volunteer experiences can be structured to support the interest of the participant.
  • Former UCSD volunteers have taken advantage of this opportunity via course credit for their work and have used these experiences to bolster applications to a variety of graduate programs across all disciplines, all while gaining excellent professional experience.

Application Deadline: Friday of Week 1

Please contact Coordinator Angela Fang at partnershipschools@ucsd.edu if you have any questions.

TMC 198

Students who are interested in gaining course credit for their volunteering are eligible to enroll in TMC 198. TMC 198 students complete 5-6 hours per week of service as either classroom or non-classroom interns. Classes are conducted as small seminars in which students discuss their experiences at site, critically analyze relevant topics in research and media, and learn from experts in the field through guest presentations and workshops in best practices.

TMC 198 Overview

  • 4 units for weekly lectures and 5-6 hours/week (50 hours per quarter) volunteer hours
  • Fulfills Upper Division Disciplinary Breadth requirement for Marshall College and the Practicum requirement for Sixth College
  • Weekly evening seminar

How to Enroll in TMC 198

  1. Apply for a volunteer or internship position using the school-specific application links (see top of page)
  2. Print and fill out a Fall 2014 TMC 198 Form [PDF]
  3. Bring the form to the Marshall Administration Building (Map)
  4. Turn completed form into the Registrar’s Office (Map)
  5. Enroll online using WebReg

If you are interested in enrolling for TMC 198, please email Angela Fang at partnershipschools@ucsd.edu

"Upon taking this course, I have gained much more knowledge and insight about the politics and socioeconomic boundaries within the school system. This class has inspired me to become more involved with our future generations because it has helped me see the impact I have when aiding students and teachers. Because of tutoring at Preuss, it reminded me of all the support I had primarily in high school and the effects of all the teachers, family, and friends had on me as I prepared myself for college; so I would hope to be that for someone else in the future. Therefore, I decided to look what more I could do in terms of my own education in order to continue to further my involvement in grade schools. Upon researching types of classes or minors that are available to me, I have settled to pursue a minor in Public Service with a focus in Education as it requires a year-long internship at an academic site overseen by the Academic Internship Program’s (AIP) criteria. I have decided to apply for grad schools next year and I want to reflect my experiences from AIP into my applications in addition to the experiences I had from TMC 198."

2014 Student 

Open Internship Opportunities

Students who have 10 hours per week to dedicate to volunteering are eligible to apply to non-classroom internship positions. These internships offer students the opportunity to explore a particular aspect of education, to work alongside dedicated staff, and to develop integral skills for working with students.  The internships vary per school site and quarter and are subject to change.

Gompers Preparatory Academy

  • Family Support Center: (2 to 3 interns needed)
    Through the Family Support Center, GPA seeks to create an environment where all students can feel comfortable and empowered to focus on their education. Possible internships include helping the nurse in the Health and Wellness Office, or can assist counselors, who focus on issues such as academic issues, anger management, grief counseling, etc.
  • Dean’s Office: (2 to 3 interns needed)
    The Dean’s Office internship provides an opportunity for interns to be involved with all facets of student behavior. Interns assist with personal consultations with students, assess and analyze student behavior, develop effective strategies for rewards and consequences, and ultimately help students and families work toward positive outcomes. Interns will also be in charge of eagle points and their associated rewards, which are awarded by grade level. Interns must maintain complete confidentiality.
  • Special Education: (1 to 2 interns needed)
    Interns will work within the Integrated Living Skills classroom to develop relationships with the students and support the Special Education teacher. This internship also provides the opportunity of working with the school psychologist, who regularly meets with the Special Education students and their families to stay actively involved in their learning.
  • Classroom Special Projects: (As many as are interested)
    Special projects are initiated by students who are particularly passionate about exploring and researching a specific topic. Teachers and staff are more than happy to facilitate a research project on campus. For example, a student could create an internship focused on analyzing the effectiveness of after-school programs by working with Gomper’s Primetime program.

Preuss School

  • Main Office: (1 intern needed)
    The front office at The Preuss School is dedicated in greeting all visitors.  In addition they handle transportation and attendance, gym clothes sales, bus fees, and coordinate the newsletter and calendar of monthly events.  Interns are to greet visitors, answer phones, assist with mail, and various office duties as assigned. Must be detail oriented and have strong ability to multi-task.
  • Admissions Coordinator: (1-2 interns needed)
    The admissions office provides information to prospective students.  There are outreach events held at various schools or community settings throughout San Diego that the coordinator attends.  In addition, the admissions coordinator plans events such as orientation day, open house, application reading, lottery, and enrollment day.  The admissions office is responsible for handling and reviewing the applications for any missing documents. Interns will help in planning and assisting in events, data entry, and review of applications for missing documents. Must be strong in Excel, Word, and Power Point as well as be detail-oriented.
  • Volunteer Coordinator: (1-2 interns needed)
    The volunteer coordinator is responsible for all volunteers, processing applications, and orientation.  In addition the volunteer coordinator is responsible for the PTA general meetings, various events, creating presentations, translating documents and letters into Spanish, and gathering data.  In this position interns will help with data entry, reviewing applications, contacting volunteers, mailing, and providing support to volunteer coordinator with various tasks as assigned.  Must be strong in Excel, Word, and Power Point, have the ability to multi-task, have strong organizational skills and be detail-oriented. 
  • Student Services: (2-3 interns needed)
    The student services department is composed of our Vice-Principal, College Advisor, Middle School Counselor, and High School Counselor.  They provide a variety of services that include coordinating testing, gathering data, coordinating scholarship and enrichment programs, and creating marketing material.  Interns will assist with data entry, assist with testing, updating flyers and brochures, and assist with other duties as assigned.  Must be strong in Excel, Word, and Power Point, have the ability to multi-task, and be detail-oriented. 
  • Registrar: (1 intern needed)
    The registrar is responsible for obtaining student documents and keeps all student files and data.  She is responsible for maintaining and entering information in our school database.  Interns will be doing data entry, filing, reviewing student files for missing documents, and some occasional phone calls.  Interns must be detail-oriented and have strong organizational skills.
  • Library: (1 intern needed)
    An essential part of our school the library is a hub of activity. Our librarians maintain The Preuss School Catalog, processes book orders, clean and repairs books, and help students check out books. There are 28 computers for student use. Interns will assist students in finding materials, occasionally help parent volunteers stay on task, data entry, repair books, and help students check out books.  Interns must be able to multi-task.

Volunteer Perspectives

  • Yuh Liew

    Yuh Liew

    Sociology, Education Studies Minor

    Position: School Psychology Intern

    Why did you choose this program? I wanted to explore different areas of the education system, and I saw that this program had many various positions that I could do. I immediately chose to intern with the program so I could expand my horizons, not just as a tutor but as a school psychologist.

  • Cynthia Pizano

    Cynthia Pizano


    Position: School Counseling Intern

    What would you say about this program to a friend?This is a great way to get hands-on experience in a field you are interested in. The students find you very relatable so you are a positive role model to them. Through interns and volunteers, the students see that college is a possibility.

  • Robert Turner

    Robert Turner


    Position: Volunteer Tutor

    What is your most memorable experience when working with faculty? On my very first day, while walking down the hall to class, every single staff member shook my hand, smiled, and welcomed me to the campus. I could tell that every one of them loved Gompers Preparatory Academy and cared about the kids. It was a breath of fresh air to be around people who are truly passionate about educating ALL our youth.

  • Breeawn Cherry

    Breeawn Cherry


    Position: Family Support Center Intern

    What did you gain from this outreach experience? I gained knowledge and insight. Based on what you are told about the students, you would think of them as simply unruly kids, but they are so much more than the labels placed on them. They all have a story to tell, and this experience opened my eyes to that.

History of Program

Former Marshall Provost Cecil Lytle Thurgood Marshall College spent five years working to establish a model college-preparatory public charter school for children from underrepresented backgrounds on the campus of a major state university. He began this effort with the creation of the Preuss School in 1999, as a response to the anti-affirmative action movement in California, which limited access by underserved minorities to higher education by statute in 1996, with the passage of Proposition 209.

It is his hope that the lessons learned from this model school, which has now been recognized as one of the top ten high schools in the U.S.A., can be transferred to urban areas and used by colleges and universities across the country to improve educational opportunities everywhere, in the same way that the University of California used Agricultural Field Stations in the 20th century to improve the agriculture industry throughout the state.  He eventually succeeded, and the Preuss School has surpassed the most optimistic expectations.

The model was then expanded to Gompers Middle School, a San Diego middle school located in a low-income and predominantly Hispanic neighborhood and repeatedly failing to meet No Child Left Behind provisions.  In 2005, it was restructured into an academically rigorous, detracked charter school. The discussion of the political experience and working relationships between the charter organizers, the school district, and its superintendent illustrate the often contentious process of community mobilization and deliberation.

The involvement of faculty from the University of California San Diego and community groups as contributing partners enhances our understanding of the creation of educational reforms or the transformation of passion into practice.  The volunteers participating in the Marshall College Partnership Schools program play an essential role in furthering the connection and collaboration between UC San Diego and these model schools.

For more information, please reference these links:

  • The Burden of Excellence
    Burden of Excellence
    The stirring memoir of Cecil Lytle, former Provost of TMC, in his arduous 5-year struggle to establish the Preuss School UCSD.
  • UCSD Impact: Charter Schools
    Bud Mehan and Luis Acle explain UCSD’s role in the development of the charter school model at Preuss and Gompers.


Shelly Buono

Shelly Buono

Intern & Tutor Coordinator
Gompers Preparatory Academy

I came to GPA as an Exercise & Nutritional Sciences teacher 5 years ago when the charter began. The second year of our charter I changed to working with our Chief of Staff and have been the UCSD liaison since then, which includes working with interns & tutors on campus.

I have the pleasure of orienting UCSD interns & tutors to their volunteer work on our campus. I let them know about our expectations for them, our school culture and how they can best work with our students. I follow up with their supervisors to see how they're doing and talk to interns & tutors as well to see if their experience is what they thought it would be. If there are problems, I work to see that they get resolved in a fashion that benefits the volunteer, the supervisor and our school.

Having a tutor tell me that they were now thinking about being a Math teacher because of the wonderful experience they had at our school and the fact that they want to be a part of closing the "Achievement Gap." Then watching that student go through the credentialing program, being an intern teacher on our campus and finally a full-fledged fabulous 8th grade Algebra teacher.

My work with CREATE has been top notch as far as the great interns that we receive from the TMC 198 internship program and the marvelous tutors that our Provost Intern recruits.

Sandra Gutierrez

Sandra GutierrezVolunteer Programs Coordinator
Preuss School

I came to The Preuss School 2 years ago as the admissions coordinator. Last year I became the Volunteer Programs Coordinator.

I graduated from SDSU with my bachelors in Psychology. I’ve worked in Social Services for 8 years before moving into the education field.

One of the programs I coordinate is the Tutor and Intern program on our campus.  I provide the orientation to prepare UCSD tutors and interns with the logistics of the program and inform them of what is expected of them as well as assign them to the appropriate class or internship position.  I follow up with the tutors and interns to know how they are doing and receive feedback of their experience with us.  

I look forward to continue working with the TMC 198 internship program and all the wonderful UCSD students.

Brianna Nelson

Brianna NelsonCharter School Program Coordinator
College: Marshall
Year: 2014
Major: Economics and International Studies

As a Marshall student, I have always felt very connected to our philosophy of “Developing the Scholar and the Citizen.”  From my first weeks at UCSD, I became involved in Marshall Council and the Marshall community service club, ACT.  During my second year, I began volunteering as a mentor in an elementary school through the PAL program in the Education Department.  I loved spending time with the students, not only to help them with homework, projects, and quizzes, but because I was able to really get to know them.

Now, as the Charter School Coordinator, I’m excited to be in a position where I can empower my UCSD peers have an experience like mine.  Marshall College played a central role in establishing the charter schools, and as students, it is essential that we continue to promote and develop that Marshall legacy.  We are all extremely lucky to be at a top university like UCSD, and it’s now our responsibility to use that opportunity to give back to the community.  There are plenty of young students who are working hard to get where we are, and we have the opportunity to help them.

Sherley Williams Honorary TMC Provost Internship for Charter School Outreach

Sherley WilliamsThe Sherley Williams TMC Provost Internship, currently held by Brianna Nelson, has recently been made possible by a generous donation by Harvard’s Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in partnership with Thurgood Marshall College/UC San Diego and our campus affiliation with San Diego charter schools for disadvantaged communities. Sherley A. Williams was an esteemed faculty member at UC San Diego’s Literature Department.  Williams, the daughter of migrant workers, became an award-winning novelist, poet and playwright. She was a renowned poet for works such as The Peacock Poems, that was Pulitzer Prize nominated, and Some One Sweet Angel, both of which were National Book Award nominees. Williams used her own experiences of picking cotton as a migrant worker to write the children’s book Working Cotton, which garnered her the 1992 Caldecott Award and a Coretta Scott King Book Award. She gained critical acclaim for her novel Dessa Rose and was writing the sequel at the time of her death in 1999.

News and Events

Alumni named California Teacher of the Year

Kelly Kovacic

An alumnus of both Marshall College and the Partnership Schools Program, Kelly Kovacic has not only been selected as the California Teacher of the Year, but has been chosen as one of four finalists to receive the nation’s top teaching honor, National Teacher of the Year. Kovacic is an eleventh and twelfth grade social studies teacher at The Preuss School USCD.

In her National Teacher of the Year application Kovacic stated, "At my school I have seen the power of a functioning educational system that can transform a student from one who has all but given up to one whose passion to learn is ignited and whose future is reclaimed. We have the power as teachers, administrators, parents and community members to make that difference, but must model what we ask of students through the efforts we exert, funding we support, academic rigor we instill and the standards we fulfill.”

Read the full article here.

Come Volunteer at Gompers!

Director Vincent Riveroll of Gompers Preparatory, wants YOU to come volunteer! Check out this video highlighting the role of UCSD tutors at one of our partnership schools.

A Day at Gompers

An overview of the recent transformation of Gompers Preparatory Academy. Watch Here

Contact Information


Marshall College Admin Building
Provost Office

Mailing Address

Thurgood Marshall College
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093-0509