• Creative Connections - Educators

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Educators of the Greater Orange County area are all eligible to be a part of the Creative Connections program, with priority being given to schools receiving support from Title 1 of the Every Student Succeeds Act. 

Educators may receive an intern in order to:

  • Augment the great work you are already doing
  • Provide your students with a mentor currently studying the arts at a collegiate level
  • Support the future of arts education

Teaching Artist Interns are UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) undergraduate and graduate students majoring in Art, Dance, Drama or Music. Our goal is to provide CTSA students with valuable professional development and a pathway to continuing their arts education, while creating inclusive and equitable access to the arts for area K-12 students.

There is no fee to participate in the Creative Connections program as it is entirely grant funded and FREE for Orange County schools and school districts. 

I absolutely adore my Teaching Artist Interns. They connect weekly with me and their lesson plans are as professional and as engaging as anything a seasoned teacher would come up with, especially in the difficult circumstance of this academic year. They have been flexible team members and they connect with my students in honest and genuine and inspiring ways every time they join us.  I seriously can't thank [CTSA] enough for connecting us. I think they are amazing and represent UCI in the best possible light.

Terry Schwinge / Teacher / Santa Ana Unified District



Educators are committed to providing a positive learning and professional development experience for our CTSA Teaching Artist Interns. The relationship between intern and educator should be symbiotic, with the intern gaining just as much from the educator and their students as the educator and their students gains from the intern.

Educators must be:

  • Employed by an Orange County school or school district
  • Possess strong communication and collaborative skills
  • Serve as a positive role model and mentor
  • Maintain flexibility and understanding that our Interns are students first, interns second


The responsibilities of the Educator are to:

  • Collaborate with intern in developing project schedule and details that support your classroom and curriculum goals in equitable and inclusive ways
  • Communicate regularly with intern and program staff on both successes and challenges
  • Welcome and supervise intern in your classroom between January-May/June to implement project
  • Support intern by providing feedback, access to materials, resources and facilities
  • Liaise with school administration and parents



Applications due Thursday, August 31st at 12 noon PST.


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Spring Quarter
Monday, May 8, 2023 Educator applications open
Tuesday, June 16, 2023 Intern applications due
Summer Quarter
June 20-23, 2023 Intern interviews
Friday, June 30, 2022 Interns selected
Fall Quarter
Thursday, August 31, 2023 Educator applications due
September-December 2023

Intern Training

  Intern-Educator initial meetings
  Classroom observations
Winter/Spring Quarters
January-May/June 2024 Project implementation
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How are Interns matched with an Educator?

​Interns will have access and review Educator applications during our Fall training.  An initial meeting between the Intern and Educator is then scheduled to ensure that the needs, goals, and approaches of both the intern and educator align well.  Once a good match is established, the Intern and Educator will work together to plan at least one classroom observation by the end of December for the intern to see the classroom dynamic and meet the students.

Please note, we do our best to match the interests of the Teaching Artist Interns with the needs of the Educators.  Because of this, we, unfortunately, may not be able to partner all Educators with an Interns.


  • How is this Teaching Artist Intern position different from a Student Teacher?

​The Teaching Artist Intern position does have some similarities to a student teacher role, however, there are also key differences. 

Like student teachers, our Interns can develop lesson plans, consider pedagogy, and require support and mentorship from their Educator, who oversees them during their classroom work.  On the other hand, unlike student teachers, our Interns are specifically arts majors (art, dance, drama, music), with some double majoring or minoring in education, though not a requirement to participate in this program.  Additionally, the students that apply to be Interns do this program as an extracurricular, professional development opportunity.  Their participation is not required to obtain a degree or to graduate, and this program is not part of a traditional district-sponsored Student Teacher program. 

There are various reasons why our students decide to become Teaching Artist Interns:  some use this experience as a stepping stone, whether they are seriously or casually considering an arts teaching profession, while others simply want to give back to their community through mentorship and service.  Regardless, it is a unique opportunity that allows them to get their feet wet in teaching within a formal classroom space.


  • What kinds of projects are created as part of the internship?

​Projects are developed collaboratively between the Intern and their matched Educator to augment the work already being done in the classroom.  Beginning in January and continuing into the end of the Educator's school year, Interns can implement these planned projects through synchronous or asynchronous classroom lessons, group and individual coaching, and any other appropriate teaching methods.  Examples of past projects include: visual art and science integrated drawing lessons, guest choreography sessions, monologue direction, and one-to-one music lessons. 


  • What is the expected time commitment to participate in this program?

The Interns are expected to spend between 1-3 hours per week implementing their project.  These hours may consist of independent prep work, meetings with their Educator, classroom time, or whatever else may be needed to complete the project.  As the Educator, we ask that you remain in good communication with your Intern and remain supportive and flexible throughout the year, understanding that your Intern is student first and foremost.


  • What if I have other questions that were not answered here?

Should you have any other questions or concerns, please email us at



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