FAU Pine Jog Graduate Assistantship Program
Pine Jog Environmental Education Center offers assistantships opportunities for graduate students. These opportunities offer a multi-dimensional immersion into the environmental field by integrating academic coursework and theory with practical work experience at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center.
Why choose Pine Jog Environmental Education Center?
[Image: PJ Back] Pine Jog Environmental Education Center is a 135-acre nature preserve located in West Palm Beach, Florida approximately 22 miles from the FAU Boca campus
. Although surrounded by urban development, Pine Jog remains a tranquil and unspoiled wilderness where osprey soar over towering slash pine trees, rare and beautiful banana spiders weave glistening golden webs and resident gopher tortoises bask in the South Florida sun.
Only minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Everglades, Florida Atlantic University and Pine Jog Environmental Education Center offers endless opportunities for students to explore a rich diversity of ecosystems such as estuaries, coral reefs and a variety of wetland habitats. The beautiful Loxahatchee River offers canoeing, kayaking and camping. The azure blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean lap onto pristine beaches just eight miles from Pine Jog. The Everglades teems with abundant wildlife to the west, while the comforts of the city are never more than a few minutes out of reach. West Palm Beach is conveniently situated a short drive from Orlando to the north, as well as Miami and the Florida Keys to the south.
Pine Jog’s mission is to develop, provide and model environmental education programs which foster an awareness and appreciation of the natural world, promote an understanding of environmental concepts and instill a sense of stewardship toward the earth and all its inhabitants. Founded in 1960, Pine Jog has a national reputation as a leader in the field of environmental education, and its staff members have developed and implemented nationally recognized environmental education programs.
In 2008, Palm Beach County School District partnered with FAU Pine Jog to build an environmentally themed elementary school on the Pine Jog property. Pine Jog administers the after-school program at the school. By bringing students to the Pine Jog site for field trips, visiting schools for outreach programs, educating teachers about the environment, and working with the students, teachers and families affiliated with the school on site, Pine Jog fulfills its mission by continuously exposing learners to nature.
Why Should I Apply?
[Image: ll] The opportunities provided at Pine Jog are unique in the country. At no other location in the nation do you have a state university, a public elementary school and an environmental education center located on the same site and working collaboratively to improve education for all parties involved. Pine Jog can offer an invaluable practical learning experience which enhances the academic program provided by the university.
Graduate students employed at Pine Jog will have the opportunity to lead programs for students in Palm Beach County and may have the opportunity to develop and implement curricula of their own.
Teaching responsibilities may include:
- Field based programs at Pine Jog
- Schoolyard outreach programs
- After-school programming
- Interpretive programs
- Classroom visits
- Summer day camp
- Summer residential camp
- Programs for families
Graduate assistants will be involved in teaching and may be assisting a Pine Jog staff member in their area of expertise. Assistantships allow students to experience various aspects of the field such as program development, nature center administration, fund raising and grant writing. These positions vary each year, but the options can include assisting the Director of Education, the Facilities and Land Manager, or the Executive Director. Opportunities exist to assist in public relations, publications and special events.
Each year, students are presented with various opportunities to enhance their education in their free time. These opportunities usually include:
- National and/or local conferences
- Professional workshops
Students entering the program should expect approximately 30-40%* of their time to be spent in direct service (teaching) and the remainder spent on indirect service (program and administrative support). *This may change each semester.
What employment opportunities does the assistantship prepare me for?
[Image: GA] Using the professional experiences gained through the assistantship that complement academic learning at FAU, previous participants have found employment as:
- educators at non-formal education and science centers
- outreach educators for resource agencies
- program directors for state or regional EE programs
- educators and program directors for conservation groups
- teachers at the elementary, middle & high school level*
*May require further certification
- Students are awarded a yearly stipend of $7500 to be distributed bi-weekly over the academic year.
- Students receiving assistantships qualify for financial aid through Florida Atlantic University and tuition waivers. Tuition waivers cover the tuition credit fees only.
- Students are required to pay FAU fees. Please refer to FAU Tuition and Fee Information.
Two year graduate program = 36 credit hours (covered by tuition waiver)
- Instate Cost Covered: 36 x $303.71* per credit hour = $10933.56*
- Out of State Cost Covered: 36 x $927.51* per credit hour = $33390.36*
Cost to student
- Instate FAU Fees 36 x $66.11*= $2379.96*
- Out of State Fees 36 x $97.30*= $3502.80*
Other fees may apply.*Subject to change and should only be used as a guide
- Students provide twenty hours of instructional and assistantship services at Pine Jog each week.
- Duties typically will require working hours from 8:30am- 12:30pm or 1:00pm – 5pm but will require flexibility dependent on the PJ teaching and special events schedule. Students will be required to work Saturdays when necessary.
- Level two background checks will be required through Florida Atlantic University and the Palm Beach County School District, but need not be secured prior to applying.
- On receipt of paperwork qualified applicants will be notified as soon as their application packages are reviewed to schedule an interview.
- If accepted, a non-refundable deposit of $200.00 is due two months before the program start date in order to reserve a place in the program.
Who should apply?
Priority will be given to those students that are:
- accepted into the Masters Degree in Environmental Education offered through the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University.
- accepted into other graduate programs at Florida Atlantic University
Housing for Students
Students who wish to participate in the Pine Jog assistantship that are looking for accommodation in the Pam Beach County area have a number of options available:
Please contact Christopher Hill, Education and Graduate Assistantship Coordinator at [email protected]
for any questions pertaining to the program or application process.