To prepare students for the workforce, educator externships are an effective conduit through which teachers and counselors can acquire valuable experience within an industry. Through an externship, educators gain industry perspective on the skills training their students will need to be successful in the real world and identify ways to creatively integrate relevant, real-world application into student learning. Externships also give your business an opportunity to impart knowledge of career opportunities, hiring trends, and required skills for current and future work in your industry.
Indiana’s looming workforce shortage requires a commitment to introduce students to current and future career opportunities in our region. Educator externships have proven to provide a greater awareness of important 21st century skills – critical thinking, technology, and collaboration – and increased integration of these skills into the classroom and career pathway conversations. The South Bend Regional Chamber has developed the framework for this pilot externship program, based on successful programs from across the country.
South Bend Region Educator Externship Framework:
- Businesses host an educator extern(s) on-site for 3.5 days.
- The Chamber will provide interested businesses with assistance in externship development.
- The Chamber will host two, half-day, sessions for the educators. An orientation session and a post-externship working session to share experiences and begin planning classroom integration.
- Externship opportunities are being offered the weeks of 6/24-6/28 and 8/5-8/9.
- Educator participants will be compensated through the SkillUP Indiana grant.
- Educators will create lesson plans from the experience and present them to their peers.
This is a great opportunity for employers to infuse the world of work into the educational environment. Businesses can take this time to teach educators about the expectations of various positions, the skills, training, and education needed at different levels, and provide insight into how middle and high school academic content ties to the world of work. Your direct engagement with educators will support them as they work to prepare your future workforce.
To make this program a success, we need businesses to host educators! Thanks to SkillUP Indiana grant funding, we have the opportunity to place up to 50 educators in the South Bend|Elkhart Region in externships. Each participating educator will impact up to 400 students through the knowledge gained from their experience – that’s more than 20,000 students!
We hope you can join us in this important endeavor and open your doors to an educator (or two!) this summer. If you are interested, please let us know by April 26, by emailing Kate Lee, director of talent engagement, and we will contact you with next steps. We will be rolling out the externship program to educators the following week and we would love to have a placement for all 50 funded opportunities!