Docent Program Overview
The word "docent" is from the Latin "docens," meaning teacher or lecturer. Docents fill a variety of roles at the Institute of Texan Cultures. The mission of the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) Docent Program is to provide trained and dedicated volunteers to assist with tours, interpretation, and the daily and on-going operations of the various departments within the Institute of Texan Cultures.
The Institute of Texan Cultures provides a wide range of volunteer opportunities for the community which contributes to the growth and education of San Antonio. From tour guide to office assistant, there are opportunities for people to share their talents.
Tour Guide – leads museum visitors on tours around the exhibit floor, providing both general and specific information, depending on the request. Tour guides also interact with the public using objects and artifacts to create a better understanding of the museum’s exhibited information. Tour guides work with all audiences: K-12 students, university students, and adult groups. Training in interpretive tours is required. Constructive evaluations are conducted periodically.
Interpreter – interacts directly with museum visitors in specific exhibit areas. Interpreters wear period appropriate clothing and through the use of museum interpretive techniques engage with the audience. Opportunities to work in both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Training in interpretative techniques and methods is required. Constructive evaluations are conducted periodically.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is grateful for the time, talents, and services that volunteers donate to the museum. In appreciation for sharing their time and talents, volunteers will have access to a number of benefits not afforded the general public. These benefits are bestowed upon you in exchange for your service to the museum.
- Training sessions to learn more about Texas’ many cultures
- Network and meet new people
- Help in preserving Texas history and culture
- Free museum admission for up to two guests at a time
- Free parking during shifts
- Invitations to some special events and exhibition openings
- 20% discount in the ITC museum store
- Official name badge
- Official shirts for tour guides
Anyone interested in becoming a docent for ITC will be required to go through a formal application process. This process is designed to evaluate the docent and his/her skills, needs and commitment level, as well as, to give the docent an opportunity to determine if they would like to give their time and talents to the museum. Applications are accepted year-round and must attend an orientation program.
Requirements for Application
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Have access to the Internet and an active email address
- Participate in orientation and additional trainings
- Complete a background check
Complete and return a paper application to the Manager of Volunteer Services.
Applicants will be invited to an interview if available positions match with applicant needs.
Applicants being considered must go through a background check.
The interview is a two-way communication process. It provides an opportunity for both parties to assess each other. It is important that the applicant knows how they will fit in the overall picture of the operations of the museum. Docent candidates should feel free to use the interview to ask candid questions about the ITC Docent Program.
In addition to the orientation, tour guides and interpreters will be required to participate in additional training, depending on the area of assignment. Tour guides will be expected to deliver a tour for evaluation purposes.
To apply, please fill out the Volunteer Application and return it to:
Volunteer Services Manager
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
801 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd.
San Antonio, Texas 78205-3209
Phone: (210) 458–2226