The Fralin Student Docents
The Fralin Student Docents are one of the oldest volunteer university student docent programs in the country. Our Student Docents facilitate close-looking with original works of art, gain vital experience as museum educators, and serve the community by leading tours for thousands of area school children every year.
New docents participate in a semester-long training course in dialogic teaching, public speaking, and education theory, and are given ample opportunity to practice these skills. Some knowledge of basic art history is helpful but not required. After the training semester, docents attend weekly education meetings Fridays from 1–2pm. Docent education meeting topics vary semester to semester, but always include education specific to the art and exhibitions on view.
The Student Docents are an official UVA student organization operating under the supervision of The Fralin’s education department. Interested students are encouraged to apply by the spring of their second year in order to have at least one full year as an active docent after completing the training course. Rising fourth years will only be accepted to the program if they are planning to stay on for graduate study. Applications are reviewed by the Manager of Docent & Teacher Programs and a committee of student docents.
Docent Training Course
The selections cycle is over for the Fall 2023 Training Course. Applications will go live in late September/Early October for the Spring 2024 Training Course. Students who wish to become docents can find more information by contacting the Manager of Docent & Teacher Programs by email with questions.
Continuing education for student docents
After their initial training period, student docents attend weekly education meetings that include workshops and lectures by education staff, curators, and guest speakers on special exhibitions and the permanent collection. As a group, docents take annual field trips to other museums.