The Prison University Project uses a student-centered, culturally-responsive model of teaching. Volunteer faculty are placed as instructors and tutors during our spring, summer, and fall terms and commit to 5-10 hours per week to their class for the duration of the semester. All volunteers should be comfortable with extensive communication with co-instructors and staff and should be open to exploring new teaching techniques.

Teaching Opportunities

We highly encourage applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender variant individuals.


Lead Instructors
At least one lead instructor must have a Master’s degree in the field or a related field. Exceptions to this rule are composition courses and courses in Spanish, art, music, and math, where instructors should be able to demonstrate a high level of content mastery and professional experience.

Co-Instructors & Teaching Assistants
Generally have at least some graduate level experience, or commensurate professional experience. Ideal candidates will have some teaching/tutoring experience.

Composition Courses
Although composition courses fall under the heading of English, we promote a multidisciplinary, writing-across-the-curriculum approach to writing teaching. Particularly for English 101A, 101B, and 204, we welcome course theme proposals that will expose students to significant disciplines, contents, and genres while also focusing on the practice of reading, writing, and critical thinking.

Volunteers with expertise in such disciplines as Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Political Science, Environmental Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Rhetoric, Linguistics and more, are encouraged to apply to teach composition courses, though writing must be a main topic of the course.

Course Catalogue
We are limited by space in our course offerings, so we rotate course offerings. See the full course catalogue below.



At minimum, all English 99 instructors should possess a four-year undergraduate degree and formal composition teaching experience; a graduate level degree or a teaching credential is preferred. We specifically encourage applications from professional educators who have worked with 1) adult learners 2) English language learners and 3) students with learning disabilities.

Teaching Assistants & Study Hall Tutors
Prospective volunteers who lack teaching experience or are uncomfortable serving as an instructor but are interested in working with English 99A or 99B are encouraged to consider serving as a teaching assistant or as a study hall tutor for English 99 students.


For Math 50A, Math 50B, and Elementary Algebra, instructors must hold an undergraduate degree and significant coursework in math, with a master’s degree preferable. Ideal candidates will have some teaching/tutoring experience.


At minimum, writing tutors should hold a four-year undergraduate degree; some graduate level experience and previous tutoring experience is preferred and experience teaching writing/composition is ideal. All tutors should be comfortable tutoring students in college level composition.

Previous experience teaching and/or tutoring math up to Intermediate Algebra (Algebra II) is strongly preferred for both Study Group instructors and Study Hall tutors.

Designated tutors
Designated tutors should have at least some graduate level experience in the subject matter.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

We have an ongoing need for volunteers to support our fundraising and office management team. Ideally, volunteers are able to commit to a regular schedule, but one-time or intermittent assistance can also be very helpful. If you're interested, please contact Mary Donovan.