Ten United ISD teacher externs from the Biology and Life Sciences Industry Academy Early College High School's BLSIA T-Ext Program will experience externships of 40 hours (eight hours a day for five consecutive days) in real-world Biotechnology and Life Sciences industry activities, interacting with industry partners through their placement at industry partner’s work sites. Teacher Externs in this program will begin their externship by attending a meeting in May, 2018 hosted by the Career and Technology Education Director and Coordinator that will bring the participating employers and the externs together. During this meeting introductions will be made, program goals will be reviewed, an overview of the Teacher Externship Program Handbook will be presented, and individual teacher technology will be provided to facilitate the externship process.
In Summer, 2018 during their time at industry partner’s work sites, the BLSIA ECHS teacher externs will make observations and learn the state of the industry practices and identify student skills needed for future employees to succeed in this field. As a result of the externship experience, teacher externs will be afforded the opportunity to learn: the knowledge and skills students need to work in industry; industry trends, needs, and opportunities; and how to connect workplace needs to student learning. Through the externship experience, teacher externs will meet the specific program goals of being able to: articulate the specific skill requirements (content and “soft” skills) for employees to be successful in a variety of roles within the Biotechnology and Life Sciences industry; describe career paths for a range of students to enter into a career in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences industry (i.e. opportunities directly out of high school, those that require advanced degrees, etc.); make relational connections between members of the Biotechnology and Life Sciences industry and their students (via virtual or in-person mentoring, guest lectures, etc.); and provide information and insight regarding the BLSIA Academy ECHS students and program by acting as ambassadors to the Biotechnology and Life Sciences industry.
Teacher externs will gather for meetings on the Monday (all day) and Tuesday (half day) following conclusion of the externships. Activities at these meetings will include evaluating the externship experience, developing a scope and sequence integration based on the information gleaned from the industry partners, and preparing presentations based on their experience that will inform the educational program taking place at the BLIAS ECHS. These presentations will be shared at this meeting, and again during campus staff development at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.