Educator Externships are a form of professional development that allow educators teaching in college and career pathways to learn, through direct experience, about trends, skill requirements, and opportunities in industries related to their areas of instruction in order to enrich and strengthen their teaching and bring relevance to student learning.
With the goal that all students are prepared for college and career pathway educators must constantly update their own knowledge and skills about their industry sector. Externships offer educators exposure to the most current workplace practices, tools, and information, and an “on‐the‐ground” understanding of the future economic and career trends that will affect their students. Educators also learn about the skills used in daily work processes and the levels of academic and technical competence required for a specific career. In addition, externships provide educators with specific and real-world examples of the kinds of teamwork, planning, decision‐making, problem‐solving, communication, social emotional learning and creativity employed in successful businesses and organizations.
With this first‐hand exposure, educators then design and implement classroom curriculum, projects, and work‐ based learning opportunities that will deepen understanding and add relevance and meaning to students’ classroom learning. These opportunities connect classroom content with students’ future career interests and help students develop both the academic, social-emotional, and technical skills required in the world they are preparing to enter.