The goal of the proposed HCISD Externship Program is to provide 15 Career and Technical Education Teachers of the district’s “Innovative Technology Academy”, specific to the STEM and IT clusters, with field experiences through partnerships with local science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and Informational Technology (IT) industry leaders and businesses. This program will strengthen the local labor market/educator connection through hands-on extern practices in which the educators will learn about current industry trends, employer needs, and employment as well as college and career opportunities translated to relevant classroom instruction and connections for our students.
The HCISD Externship Program is based upon a three-tiered system of which to measure, gauge and ensure productive teacher experiences. The first tier involves an application process which involves the support and participation of the campus administrator. Based on the criteria, teachers will be selected to join the cohort for the summer teacher externship program.After an informational session teachers will have the opportunity to communicate, collaborate and engage with their Industry/Business partners prior to their actual 40-hour externship. During this meeting teachers will work with their industry partner to set goals for learning and develop a needs based experience with each educator. The second tier is the implementation of the externship, in which teachers will learn notable similarities and differences in trends, opportunities, and required skills within their industry and will gain knowledge of the skills and expectations industry possesses for their students; their potential future employees. Examples of these include employee soft skills, constructive knowledge of applicable skills within their field, teamwork, workplace safety, proficiency of recognized industry-based traits, as well as technical knowledge and proficiency. Finally, after their 40-hour experience, Teachers will participate in a two-day Professional Learning Community (PLC). During this period, the externs will collaborate to develop a lesson and a peer presentation pertinent to their experiences and teaching area. The expectation is for teachers to implement the lesson to their students in the fall semester.
This program will be evaluated by many different stakeholders including business partners, teacher participants and administrators. One measure of effectiveness that will be evaluated by the project director is the journal and lesson delivered by the participants. In addition, business partners will be asked to complete and HCISD Program Evaluation as well as an Extern Evaluation to provide us with an insight on their perspective of the program as well as our teacher’s overall experience. Finally, teachers and administrators will provide a Post-Externship Experience Report that will not only serve as a reflection tool, but will provide suggestions for future programing especially in the area of special populations within CTE.