At HMI, we believe deeply in the philosophy of education through experience. Apprentices are college graduates who immerse themselves in a hands-on semester-long apprenticeship with the HMI Semester (our semester program for high school students) in addition to participating in a rigorous seminar that combines formal lessons in educational techniques with philosophies of outdoor education. Each apprentice specializes in a specific academic subject area, helps lead expeditions, and supports residential life activities. Needless to say, the HMI Semester would not be possible (or as vibrant) without them.
Starting this fall with Semester 47, we transitioned the Apprentice Program from a tuition-based model to a stipend-based one. Apprentices will receive a $4,500 stipend in addition to room and board on campus. This transition is intended to help break down barriers to access for outdoor education and to help attract a more diverse group of applicants. This programmatic shift is part of a larger institutional goal to increase diversity among HMI’s adult population.
Nick Ho, Semester 47 Wilderness Apprentice, said of the change: “I’m super grateful that the apprentice role is now a paid position. Initially, I had been really excited about applying to be an apprentice this year, but the cost of the program was a difficult hurdle to overcome, especially as a recent college graduate. I understood that, as an apprentice, I would leave HMI with a wide variety of new skills, experiences, and mentors, but the thought of ending the semester with fewer dollars than when I started was a significant deterrent to accepting the job. Now that the role is a compensated position, I’m excited to see how HMI’s moves towards equity and greater accessibility will draw a wider pool of more diverse applicants to the school.”
As HMI grows and becomes a more accessible and diverse institution, it is important that our apprentice, faculty, and staff cohorts diversify as well. Historically, many apprentices have returned to HMI as full-time employees (over one-third of our current full-time employees are former apprentices), and our hope is that as our apprentice cohort diversifies, so too will our employee cohort.
Please contact Avery Kernan, Dean of the Apprentice Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-486-8200 x108 with any questions or to learn more about the program.