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Virtual Educator Externships

Through a partnership that started in response to COVID19, ElevateEdAZ, the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA), Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC), and the Pima County Superintendent’s Office have connected to provide Virtual Educator Externships.

Educators who participated in the Spring 2021 Virtual Educator Externships may access their session materials here.

What is an Educator Externship?

Externships are a professional development opportunity where educators engage in industry activities to learn how classroom content and learning are applied in the workplace. During a virtual externship, educators rotate between various industry experiences via Zoom meetings, ending with a collaborative and interactive group activity, creating lessons that apply their newly acquired industry acumen in the classroom.

Who Participates?

Participating businesses represent high demand industries throughout Arizona. Past representation includes:

1st Bank Yuma
3G Construction
Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
Arizona Public Service
Banner Health
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Carlisle Companies
Charles Schwab
CommonSpirit Health
Dircks Moving & Logistics

DP Electric
Eclipse Automation
Fullstack Academy
Generation Tech Support
IBM Tuscon
Mayo Clinic
Pilkington Construction Co.

Salt River Project
Sonora Quest Laboratories
State Farm
The Hartford
University of Arizona Yuma
University of Phoenix
Wells Fargo

Educators from across Arizona, including middle school, high school, community college, and university teachers and counselors have participated in the externship. Through focused interviews, panels, trainings, and virtual tours, each business dedicates one to two hours hosting sessions that give educators glimpses into their respective industries. Topics covered include career awareness, technical and employability skills, and professional culture and expectations.

Summer 2021 Educator Externships

Virtual Educator Externship: Cybersecurity

June 7-11

IT and Cybersecurity industry leaders provide educators with industry acumen they can bring back to the classroom.

Industry-Specific Educator Externship

June 14-18

Industry leaders from six highest-demand industries in Arizona share insight to build the connection between business and education.

Virtual Educator Externship

July 19-23

Connecting business and education to improve student outcomes and meet workforce needs.

See the Externships in Action!

There have been three Virtual Educator Externships held thus far in June 2020, October 2020, and March 2021. Most externship sessions have been recorded so that industry knowledge can be shared broadly and impact as many classrooms across Arizona as possible.

Assessing Value

Employers and educators each have various reasons for participation, but most agree that the experience allows educators to gain advanced industry knowledge and equip them to better prepare their students for life after graduation.

“It was rewarding to be able to provide teachers information that they can take back and use in their classrooms.”

Sandy Carlock, Talent Brand Specialist, State Farm

“Employability skills are as important or even more important than technical knowledge. Technical knowledge can be taught on the job, but soft skills are needed to do the job well.”

Dr. Annette Wright-Smith, Health Sciences Teacher, Phoenix Union High School District

Assessing Results

The Virtual Educator Externships are evaluated to ensure quality, relevant, and impactful programming. The reports below include survey responses from employers and educators, along with key learnings and satisfaction ratings submitted by participants.

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