Job Description

Job Title: Apprentice

Department: Education Programs

Employment Class: Not Applicable

Pay Status: Stipend

Expected Hours: 40 hours/week

Dates of Apprenticeship: August 5, 2020 - May 28, 2021

Reports To: Education Program Coordinators

Housing Available: Yes (Apprentices are not required to live on campus)

Number of Positions Available: 2

Application Deadline: February 1, 2020

At Keystone Science School, we believe that the power of inspiring curiosity and critical thinking, through the lens of science, changes lives and strengthens communities. We create future leaders who can problem solve and work together in an ever-evolving world and workplace environment.

Located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Keystone Science School’s historic campus serves as base camp for our diverse suite of inquiry-based learning programs. We combine hands-on science education with outdoor adventure to create engaging experiences for our students. At KSS, we change lives, we bring fun and laughter to everything we do, we care about each other and those we serve, we strive for excellence, we offer competitive compensation and generous benefits, and we are committed to serving students from diverse backgrounds. We’re proud to be Summit County’s #1 Best Non-Profit and #2 Best Place to Work (2019)! Visit to learn more! 

Program Overview and Job Summary

KSS offers a range of programs that balance hands-on science activities, field-based exploration, and adventure programming. Curriculum themes include but are not limited to: environmental science (aquatic ecology, forest ecology, earth science, snow studies, winter ecology, weather and climate), leadership, community building, STEM, outdoor skills, and health. The Education Programs team offers residential and day field trips for visiting school groups, workshops, teacher trainings, and retreats. Programs are 1-7 days in length (generally 3 days), and may be held on-campus, at an off-site facility, or at a camping-based location.

The KSS apprenticeship is an educational opportunity with the goal of providing Apprentices with the appropriate training needed to advance into an outdoor education Program Instructor position. The program will allow Apprentices to explore topics of interest to them, and to develop their personal teaching approach. Apprentices will learn the practical and theoretical aspects of being a Program Instructor through on-the-job training, job shadowing, team-teaching, mentorship, and other professional development opportunities across KSS program areas. Apprentices will become familiar with the wide variety of curricula options offered by KSS.

Keystone Science School categorizes the apprenticeship as a learning opportunity that does not fall within the category of an employment relationship with Keystone Science School. As such, Apprentices do not receive any benefits that are offered to employees. The Apprentice is not necessarily entitled to and has not been promised an employment position with KSS at the conclusion of the apprenticeship program.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The main responsibility of an Apprentice is to pursue knowledge growth while advancing through the two-tier learning progression. To progress to the next tier, the Apprentice must demonstrate competence in each of the categories listed for the tier level they are completing. Criteria are specific to KSS and the Apprentice position. The exact duration of each tier is at the discretion of Program Coordinators, and is also dependent upon the start date of the individual apprentice.

  • Tier 1 Development: $115.38/week Stipend
    • The focus of Tier 1 is centered on exploration, curiosity, developing teaching skills and research. Each Apprentice will learn the general operations of a non-profit environmental education organization and learn to become a field-based science educator through shadowing, team-teaching, mentorship/training and professional development opportunities. Apprentices will facilitate pre-developed programming such as evening programs, residential meals, and structured one-day programs. Apprentices will also explore curriculum development, lesson planning, and experiential teaching philosophies. During the Development phase, Apprentices will progress through shadowing, team-teaching, and solo teaching for each designated curriculum area.
  • Tier 2 Practicum: $276.92/week Stipend
    • During Tier 2, Apprentice will teach independently as an environmental educator by executing the skills and knowledge acquired throughout their apprenticeship. In this tier, the apprentice will also complete a long-term project and demonstrate knowledge of all KSS program areas and curriculum content. Apprentices will take on Lead Instructor duties and continue to carry out curriculum and professional development.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – Minimum Requirements

  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including days, nights, and weekends;
  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with children;
  • Have an interest in, respect for, and ability to work with people with diverse backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, abilities, and experience;
  • Ability to be creative, adaptable, and flexible while managing children in a variety of situations;
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals and educational methods;
  • Disciplined in thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence;
  • Strong work ethic and will work until the job is complete;
  • Motivation to contribute positively to the KSS at-large community;
  • Interpret a variety of instructions provided in written or verbal form;
  • Multi-task efficiently while managing a high-volume workload in a fast-paced, changing environment;
  • Superior customer service skills, with the ability to be creative and think 'outside the box';
  • Strong command of communication, writing, and organizational skills;
  • Ability to work in a busy environment with many distractions;
  • Write reports, correspondence, and lesson plans with attention to detail.

Required Education, Experience, and Certifications

  • Bachelor's or Associate's degree;
  • Current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and CPR certifications, from an approved vendor, or the ability to obtain before the first day of employment;
  • Age 21+ with a minimum of 5 years driving experience, excellent driving record, and a valid driver's license;
  • Must be able to successfully pass a comprehensive background check.

Preferred Skillsets:

  • Some teaching experience in a camp and/or outdoor education facility;
  • Desired computer skills include proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.);
  • Ability to communicate verbally and teach in Spanish.

Travel Expectations:

Limited travel throughout the state of Colorado.

Physical Demands of this Position:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an Apprentice to successfully perform the essential functions of this role. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the Apprentice is regularly required to sit; use hands and fingers to feel, handle, or hold objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk and hear. The Apprentice often stands for up to 8 hours per day, but may be required to stand longer in emergency situations. The Apprentice must be able to lift and carry at least 40 pounds for an extended duration. The Apprentice is occasionally required to travel for extended periods over rugged terrain. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an Apprentice while performing the essential functions of this role. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This position requires the Apprentice to work in close contact with his/her teammates and children. The office space is small and the Apprentice must have the ability to stay focused while others are working in close proximity. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate, but varies seasonally due to programs and staffing on campus. While performing the duties of this job, the Apprentice often works outside and drives vehicles in various weather conditions.


No compensation is offered for the Apprentice position. This is an unpaid apprenticeship, designed primarily to enhance the educational experience of the participant. Nevertheless, there are some perks of participation that KSS may offer to Apprentices to facilitate the ability of the Apprentice to participate in the program, and to ease the burdens of living expenses during the period of the apprenticeship. Please note that the ability to utilize a particular perk is dependent upon the Program Coordinator’s approval. Such perks are set forth below:

  • Stipend: Each Apprentice is eligible to receive a weekly participation stipend, dependent on tier level. Tier level advancement is dependent upon meeting criteria during the apprenticeship term, as well as Program Coordinator discretion. This stipend is not a wage or compensation in any regard.
  • Meal Plan: All Apprentices shall be offered the ability to utilize the dining facilities at KSS for up to 21 meals per week, and all meals available during periods of time that the Apprentice is participating programming.
  • Staff Housing: Each Apprentice is eligible for complimentary rustic cabin housing on-site at KSS.
  • Approved Time Off: In the following cases, Apprentices will be approved to take time off from their apprenticeship duties, and they will incur no reduction of their stipend. Please note that these perks are not guaranteed, and the Apprentice’s supervisor has discretion in approving such time off. Apprentices are not paid for unused time off upon termination of the Apprentice’s term: 
  • The apprenticeship schedule is aligned to the KSS Education Programs schedule. This calendar includes times during the school year when Education Programs does not have clients on campus. During these times, Apprentices will not be required to carry out any duties, and they will receive their full stipend. Such times may include the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, however, exact days/times should be confirmed with and approved by the Apprentice’s supervisor prior to making travel arrangements.
  • As the apprenticeship schedule allows, the Apprentice is eligible for up to three (3) days of approved time off to be used for personal obligations, travel, etc., and no stipend reduction will be incurred.
  • Should an Apprentice fall ill during their apprenticeship term, the Apprentice’s supervisor will approve up to three (3) days in which the Apprentice will be absent from programming and no reduction in the stipend will occur.
  • KSS values the importance of having time to enjoy Summit County. From time to time, when Summit County has accumulated a significant amount of snow, the Executive Director of KSS may call a “Powder Day”. As the apprenticeship schedule allows, Apprentices may be permitted to use this perk to enjoy up to four (4) hours away from apprenticeship duties, not to exceed 5 days per year. 
  • School Store Credit: Apprentices are given a $20 school store credit for logo merchandise.
  • Worker’s Compensation Coverage: All Apprentices shall be provided with coverage under the Colorado Worker’s Compensation Act for all illnesses and injuries caused or incurred while participating in the apprenticeship program.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Keystone Science School is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type, without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, religion, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Job Availability: 

2 positions available

To Apply

Please submit the Employment Application found at Applications require a cover letter, resume, and 3 references. In your cover letter, please address your philosophy of education, and describe how your previous experiences have prepared you for this position. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. For more information, please contact Human Resources at [email protected].

Application Closing Date: 
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Keystone, CO
Job Starting Date: 

Job Details

Job Details: 
College/University Outdoor Education
Environmental Organizations
Outdoor Education Center
Seasonal Program
Summer Camp
Job Population: 

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