On Monday, August 5, the South Bend Regional Chamber will launch Cohort 2 of their pilot Educator Externship program. Twenty-six educators participated in Cohort 1, June 24-28, (see attached article) and 17 will participate next week. This pilot program was made possible through Skill UP Indiana grant funding and 29 employer partners who provided opportunities for educators to learn about their business; expectations of various positions; the skills, training, and education needed at different levels of employment; and provide insight into how middle and high school academic content ties to the world of work. As part of this regional pilot, Horizon Education Alliance partnered with Elkhart Community Schools to provide 15 externship opportunities at 14 businesses in Elkhart County, for a regional total of 58 educators placed in 44 businesses!
National estimates are that each participating educator will impact up to 400 students through the knowledge gained from their experience – that’s 23,200 students, and an impressive return on this investment in our educators.
Why Educator Externships?
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 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.
• Chamber provides interested businesses with assistance in externship development.
• Chamber hosts 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 offered the weeks of 6/24-6/28 and 8/5-8/9.
• Educator participants compensated through the Skill UP Indiana grant and South Bend Community School Corporation Career & Technical Education funds.
• Educators will create lesson plans from the experience and present them to their peers.
• Educators will come together in the fall to share how they’ve integrated their learnings in curriculum development and student career conversations.