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PAL Courses

PAL courses satisfy many college requirements and most PAL classes also satisfy UC San Diego’s DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) undergraduate graduation requirement.  View graduation requirements that may be satisfied by PAL courses.

“This is what college is really about - the application of an education.”

― PAL Undergraduate Mentor

How to Enroll

Since Practicum courses place UC San Diego students in the community, extra steps are required to enroll:

  • Before you can register, you will need to complete a PAL Placement Form
    • The PAL Placement Request Form is submitted online and you will be authorized to enroll within 1-2 business days
    • After you are authorized, you will receive a confirmation email informing you that you can login to WebReg and register for the course
  • In addition, all PAL courses require a 2-credit co-requisite course, EDS 139
    • You must register for the EDS 139 section that has the same instructor as your PAL course
  • All new EDS practicum students are required to complete a background check form. Please complete and send the "clearance form" to

Course Descriptions

*Offered Summer 2024    *Offered Fall 2024

*EDS 130 (4 units). Introduction to Academic Mentoring of Elementary School Students. This course focuses on the role of undergraduate mentors in raising academic expectations for students and families traditionally underrepresented at the university. The relationship between the school and community, the social and political organization of elementary schools, and the academic achievement of elementary children are examined. (Corequisite: EDS 139 Practicum in Learning)

*EDS 131 (4 units). Introduction to Early Childhood Education. This course examines effective practices for literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional development in early childhood education. Field experience and seminar focus on social relationships between the UC San Diego student, the teacher and children, developmentally appropriate teaching and learning practices in literacy and numeracy, and community service. (Corequisite: EDS 139 Practicum in Learning)

EDS 133 (4 units). Counsel, Mentor, Advise. In this PAL course, UC San Diego students learn about innovative, equitable counseling and advising practices.  The course includes a practicum in which UC San Diego students serve as co-participants in projects at schools and community sites.  Students will have opportunities to utilize counseling and advising practices in project-based contexts. (Corequisite: EDS 139 Practicum in Learning)

*EDS 135. (6 units). Working with Newcomer Communities in San Diego. This Partners at Learning (PAL) practicum course examines the history, policies, and practices that inform work with newcomers (recent refugees and immigrants) in the San Diego community. Students enrolled in the course will learn about the diverse groups of newcomers in San Diego and will complete their field hours in a variety of school and community settings. Prerequisites: department approval required.

*EDS 136 (4 units). Introduction to Academic Tutoring of Secondary School Students. This course focuses on the role of undergraduate tutors in building academic resiliency in secondary students traditionally underrepresented at the university. The relationship between the school and community, the social and political organization of secondary schools, the philosophical, sociological, and political issues which relate to the U.S. secondary educational system, and the academic achievement of secondary children are examined. (Corequisite: EDS 139 Practicum in Learning)

*EDS 139 (2 unit co-requisite for EDS 130, 131, 133, 136, 137, & 146). Practicum in Learning. Students are placed in local schools and work with students in classrooms and the community. Students work on educational activities with P-12 students a minimum of four hours per week.

*EDS 139 (2 units). For Continuing PAL Students. Students may continue in their PAL placements for subsequent quarters. Students deepen their impact and relationships in P-12 classrooms through their extended work.

EDS 140 (4 units). Issues in P-12 Education: Intermediate Practicum in P-12 Schools and Communities. Students who have taken a PAL class and wish to focus and deepen their work have the opportunity to take "Advanced PAL" courses. These courses support PAL students who wish to continue their field placement while researching a topic relevant to their host school site. Advanced PAL classes allow undergraduates to develop research questions and collect relevant data with the support and guidance of PAL faculty.

EDS 141 (4 units). Action Research in P-12 Education: Advanced Practicum in P-12 Schools and Communities. Students who take the EDS 140 PAL class and wish to focus and further deepen their work have the opportunity to take this advanced PAL course.

EDS 145 (4 units). Introduction to Discipline-Specific Teaching and Learning - Artsbridge & STEAM. Our Artsbridge course focuses on the role of the arts (visual and performing) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) in education. UC San Diego students collaborate with teachers in P-12 classrooms to support arts instruction and integrate the arts in the core curriculum. No previous art experience necessary. (Corequisite: EDS 139 Practicum in Learning)

EDS 146 (4 units). Mindfulness and Education. This course introduces students to mindfulness and yoga in schools as it relates to social and emotional learning (SEL), executive functioning, and academic success. Through a combination of readings, lectures/discussions, assignments, and field experiences, students will learn about the impact of contemplative practices on academic functioning and SEL, while also addressing current educational and socio-emotional challenges that P–12 students, teachers, and parents face.

Using PAL to Fulfill DEI and Other College Requirements

 Chart of College Gen. Ed Requirements Met by PAL Courses

Continuing PAL Student Opportunities

Students who have already taken a PAL course and wish to stay involved with the program should consider the following opportunities:





Additional Options:


Did you love learning about education through PAL? Are you interested in becoming a teacher or an educational researcher? The Education Studies Department also offers the following major and minors:

The Major in Education Sciences provides a foundation for the study of education, focused on four domains. These include: 

  • Education in a Diverse Society 
  • Learning and Development 
  • Introduction to Learning Contexts
  • Educational Research and Evaluation

EDS also has five minor options:

  • General Minor
  • Multiple Subject Foundations Minor *
  • Single Subject Foundations Minor *
  • Mathematics Education Minor *
  • Science Education Minor * 

*Completion of any of these EDS minor options, fulfills the foundations requirements for the Master of Education (M.Ed.) & Teaching Credential Programs allowing students to complete both their M.Ed. and teaching credentials within one year after graduating with their Bachelor's degree.