Student Museum Educator Program


Hear about what it's like to be a SME.



What does a volunteer Student Museum Educator (SME) do?

  • As a Student Museum Educator, you would lead tours for school and adult groups, in addition to assisting with family events. SMEs are an integral part of education programming at the Smith College Museum of Art.
  • SCMA tours are designed to enrich the visitor’s experience of the Museum. School tours are an interactive combination of discussion and hands-on activities aimed at developing visual literacy and a sense of the fun to be found in museums.

What can being a SME do for me?

  • SMEs meet other students, learn about art, have fun, and contribute to the community.
  • Being a Student Museum Educator (SME) looks great on your resume for any field, whether you plan to go on to graduate school or apply for jobs. Recent program participants have landed jobs and internships at MoMA, the National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the corporate offices of Starbucks.
  • SMEs receive preference for internships and jobs at the Museum.

What kind of training does a SME receive?

  • Training is extensive and takes place in a supportive atmosphere. SMEs learn tour techniques, further their knowledge of art history, develop public speaking skills, and gain an understanding of how to communicate with people of varying ages and backgrounds.
  • Training sessions are led by Museum education staff, curators, scholars, and artists.
  • SMEs meet with Museum staff and get a glimpse of the inner workings of an active museum, read short articles, and practice and present tours.

When are the training sessions?

  • Training takes place throughout the academic year on Mondays 4:15–6.
  • You must attend all weekly training sessions and commit to a weekly one and a half hour time slot to prepare and lead tours.

How much time do I need to commit?

  • The Student Museum Educator Program is rewarding, but it is a volunteer opportunity that requires a serious time commitment. It is a good supplement to four classes; if you are taking five classes, or if you have a job or other major time commitment, you may find the work load to be too much. Think carefully about your schedule!

What is required of me?

  • Completion of one college-level art history course by the time you start training.
  • Enthusiasm for talking and learning about art!

How do I apply to become a SME?

  • Applications for the 2014-2015 academic year are now closed. Please check back here in Spring 2015 for the 2015-2016 academic year deadline.
  • Questions? Contact Gina Hall, Associate Educator for School and Family Programs, 413.585.2773,