(Image courtesy of Nextech) Some participants in the Educator Externship program visited executives at the headquarters of The Finish Line.
A nonprofit focused on building the tech work force pipeline is now helping high school and middle school teachers get real-world experience to bolster the mission. Nextech, which is supported by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, is partnering with industry professionals on an Educator Externship program. President Karen Jung says the effort provides teachers with the on-the-job context they can't receive in the classroom. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Jung says educators get "unparalleled access" to some of the biggest names on the tech scene.
"We measured a lot on asking teachers," Jung said, "'did your confidence go up?' and we saw a marked increase in that. 'Did you come away with lessons that you can actually take back to the classroom?' and more than anything, there was a general appreciation from both sides. One, to have access to the level of individuals they had. To be able to sit down with a Scott Dorsey or to be with the leadership at The Finish Line and to hear first-hand." The says the positive responses were "off the charts" following the first group that recently wrapped up the experience.
Nextech collaborates with educators, community organizations and the corporate community. Business partners, or "Experience Makers," include Angie's List, 1150 Academy, High Alpha, Rook Security, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and TechPoint. It offers additional programs including Catapult, which she describes as throwing incoming high school juniors and seniors into "the deep-end of the tech sector," and Explorers, which is a partnership with Teenworks and involves a one-day tech workshop for more than 400 students.
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