Additional Information - New Bedford Whaling Museum
A group of apprentices work with a docent measuring rope.

Additional Information

More About Apprenticeship

The New Bedford Whaling Museum High School Apprenticeship Program is a 3-year journey. This journey requires a significant time commitment and yields meaningful rewards. Exploration is central to the Apprenticeship Program. Not only do Apprentices receive assistance in the high-school-to-college transition, they also make time to explore their interests and passions, and find support as they define their future paths. The program lasts 3 years, but Museum connections extend from high school graduation into post-secondary education and beyond.

The Apprenticeship Program runs year-round, beginning the summer before a students’ sophomore year and continuing through high school graduation. In the summer, an Apprentice’s day begins at 9:00 am and ends after 3pm Monday through Thursday, with occasional evening and weekend events. From October to June, Apprentices meet at the Museum after school three times a week. 

Apprenticeship Program applications open in early spring each year. Ninth grade students who live in New Bedford are encouraged to apply during this open recruitment period. Apprenticeship Program applications typically close the first week in April. New Apprentices begin their journey in July, the summer before their 10th grade year. 


Phoebe Magee
Manager of Young Adult Programs
(508) 997-0046 x187



Commitment Information

Year 1

During year one, Apprentices dive into museum learning. They explore the history of Greater New Bedford and the biology of whales, and they also explore the halls and galleries of the Museum. While learning their way around, Apprentices also  develop their personal, professional and creative skills through a series of hands-on trips and workshops. Apprentices visit museums, aquariums and cultural sites, such as the Fishing Heritage Center, Mystic Aquarium, and the RISD Museum, and also visit a college campus. They bridge their museum learning to the real world, and participate in career exploration workshops, hone their public speaking skills, collaborate on projects, and contribute to Museum programs and events. 

Year 2

In year two, Apprentices continue to learn about the museum and engage in various projects and events with across museum departments. They further develop career skills and cultivate a better understanding of how a museum functions, and continue to explore art, science, history and culture by contributing to Whaling Museum work.. Apprentices will again visit local college campuses and will receive help with SAT preparation and individual or small-group guidance through the college search process. Second-year Apprentices will take new summer trips, and develop their leadership skills by supporting new Apprentices and collaborating on hands-on projects. Workshops such as a weekly Writing Workshop, a Career Shadow Day, and weekly tutoring will help them excel in school as well as prepare for college and career.

Year 3

In year three, Senior Apprentices emerge as leaders in museum projects and events. In balance with this, an Apprentice’s final year allows them to focus on preparation for post-high school life, and access resources and support along the way. Apprentices work with a college counselor, who offers personalized guidance through college and career exploration and the entire college application process, including completing the FAFSA and other financial aid forms. Apprentices continue to participate in Career Shadows as well as a series of other workshops, as well as explore new places on field trips, particularly during the summer. Third year Apprentices are important leaders in helping to teach and train new Apprentices. Graduating Apprentices are celebrated with a graduation at the Whaling Museum each May.