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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), and Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC) have connected to provide Virtual Educator Externships.

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
Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
Arizona Public Service
Banner Health
Bechtel
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Carlisle Companies
Charles Schwab
CommonSpirit Health
Dircks Moving & Logistics

DP Electric
Fullstack Academy
Google
HonorHealth
Mayo Clinic
Pilkington Construction Co.
PulteGroup
Salt River Project
Simpleview
State Farm

The Hartford
University of Arizona Yuma
University of Phoenix
Vanguard
Wells Fargo
Zovio

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.

See the Externships in Action!

There have been two Virtual Educator Externships held thus far: June 2020 and October 2020. 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.”

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

Assessing Results

The Virtual Educator Externship Recap Report provides a detailed summary of the externships and activities completed. It summarizes the surveys employers and educators submitted after completing the experience. Key learnings from the externships and satisfaction ratings are included in the recap.

Want to learn more?

If you are an employer interested in engaging in the Spring 2021 Virtual Educator Externship, please contact Senior Education Partnership Manager, Kimberly Hanes, khanes@phoenixchamber.com.

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