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California Mini-Corps

The California Mini-Corps Program (CMC) is a statewide program designed to provide direct instructional services for migrant students in grades K-12 through a cadre of trained college tutors.

The California Mini-Corps Program, began in 1967, patterned after the Peace Corps Program. The approach was to engage a corps of college students with rural migrant backgrounds and recruit them to work as teacher assistants in migrant impacted schools. The Mini-Corps students became role models which raised the aspirations of migrant students.

Today, the CMC program encompasses two major goals:

  1. To provide direct instructional tutorial services to increase migrant student academic achievement through a framework of trained college tutors.
  2. To develop a cadre of future bilingual-bicultural, credentialed teachers that will be better equipped to work with migrant students.

Role of the CMC Tutor

Mini-Corps participants are full-time, undergraduate students who are pursuing careers in education. Mini-Corps participants work as teacher assistants in public schools providing direct instructional services to migrant children. Mini-Corps participants work under the direction of certificated teachers and are supervised by a Mini-Corps College Coordinator. Participants are paid an hourly wage for their work in the program and also receive in-service training through educational workshops.

Those in the Mini-Corps Program strive to fulfill the following purposes:

  • Provides direct tutorial services (primarily in language arts and math) to Migrant students identified as “priority for services” and who are at risk of not meeting state academic standards.
  • Serves as a positive role model for migrant students.
  • Encourages migrant children to continue their education.
  • Conducts home visits and serves as a liaison and advocate between the parents and the school.
  • Helps classroom teachers better understand the migrant child and his/her culture.
  • Works 10-17.50 hours a week.
  • Performs voluntary community service (minimum six hours per semester).

Training and Support

CMC Tutors receive inservice training through monthly educational workshops or by registering for a class in conjunction with the California Mini-Corps Program. Major emphasis is on English language arts, mathematics and on effective methods and strategies that enable the Mini-Corp Tutor to assist teachers in instructing migrant children to meet state academic standards.

The program coordinator conducts classroom visits to observe the CMC Tutors working with migrant students to support and provide feedback that will help the Tutor to develop and improve tutorial skills and knowledge. The Program Coordinator meets and advises the CMC Tutors on their academic course work on a regular basis.

Criteria for Admission

Students interested in applying to be a Mini-Corps tutor, must meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled as full-time student in an undergraduate program
  • have a financial need
  • have a migrant or farm worker background (Experiential classroom knowledge of the migrant family life style may be considered.)
  • interest in providing tutorial services to migrant children
  • be citizens of the United States or meet resident criteria
  • have an interest in a teaching field and/or pursuing a career in education. (Liberal Arts, or Single Subject Major)
  • be able to communicate in English and with a high degree of proficiency in Spanish, or in the target language of the migrant student
  • meet the academic standards for a credential (A minimum GPA of 2.0 for freshman, 2.3 for sophomores, 2.5 for juniors and 2.8 for seniors.)

If you are interested in applying to the California Mini-Corps program, contact:

Rosario Verdel, College Coordinator
University Hall 202 
(760) 750-4313
rverdel@csusm.edu

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