Three Cheers for PTPSby Brea Weinreb on Oct, 24 2012
Are you knowledgeable? If you are a Berkeley student, your answer to this question is probably a big, fat “yes!”
Do you love sharing this knowledge with others in need? If you are a decent human being, you probably answered yes to this as well.
Lucky for you, UC Berkeley’s Education Department offers a three-unit DeCal titled the People’s Test Preparation Service that offers free test prep classes to low-income high school students.
People’s Test Preparation Service, or PTPS as it is more commonly known, holds weekly two-hour meetings in which Cal students teach other members how to become teachers. These newly trained teachers go on to teach SAT and ACT test-preparation classes anywhere in size from ten to twenty-five high school students.
There are roughly 300 high school students involved in the program across thirteen different teaching sites, with approximately thirty-five Cal student teachers. Aside from a pre-printed manual, the class structure is entirely up to the teacher. The classes take place on the weekends and consist of two hours of math review and two hours of reading and writing, each taught by a different student. PTPS has come a long way since its founding in 1995 and there are further hopes for expanding the program to all different kinds of test preparation. Teaching sites are located across the East Bay with a few located right here on campus.
Being a Berkeley student is often qualification enough to become a PTPS teacher, although an informal interview is also required of all applicants. It is not mandatory for students to become test-prep teachers. Students can opt to attend weekly meetings without leading a class to earn two units instead of three.
This year PTPS had the most ever Cal students apply. As PTPS Publicity Coordinator Katrina DeVaney explains, “Being a PTPS teacher is a confidence-booster for the teachers and students alike.” Over the summer Katrina was given the opportunity to work as Lead Mentor for CollegeSpring, a non-profit founded in Stanford that does work similar to PTPS. This is just one example of the profound impacts PTPS has in creating agents of change in our community.
Sound like something you’re interested in? PTPS is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2013 semester.