North Carolina’s changing economy can’t wait for a workforce with the skills that employers need now and that the state requires to thrive in the global marketplace. Global corporations, regional businesses, and entrepreneurial ventures alike demand employees with 21st century skills.
Schools and employers are joining forces to prepare all students for life after high school -– with the skills and love for learning required to continue their education and embark on a successful career path. The state’s business community -– particularly those companies in STEM-related industries, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics –- plays a critical role by connecting educators and students to the career skills and resources needed today and in the future.
North Carolina New Schools takes an innovative approach to creating partnerships between schools and employers. These strategies directly impact students by preparing them for success in North Carolina’s growing economy.
Educator Industry-Based Experiences
Connecting educators directly with industry professionals helps teachers integrate career relevance into their classrooms. Business leaders host industry immersion experiences, engaging teachers in hands-on activities through externships and field studies. They engage with teachers through roundtable discussions, statewide professional development opportunities and school-based workshops to identify workforce skills and career pathways with growth opportunities for today’s graduates.
- Externships: Offer a paid, professional position for a teacher, counselor or administrator lasting 2-6 weeks during the summer, equipping them to develop classroom materials that reflect the world of work.
- Industry immersion days: Host a full- or half-day learning experience at an industry, corporate, research-based, or university site.
- Workshops: Participate in annual conferences and school-based workshops to expose teachers to the real-world applications of what they teach.
- Co-teaching: Partner with a teacher to design a lesson/project and co-teach a class or learning activity.
Student Work-Based Experiences
Industry professionals provide students with critical skills development and career exposure by offering a continuum of work-based learning opportunities, ranging from career awareness activities to job shadowing to mentoring to internships and apprenticeships. These experiences introduce students to the world beyond school and provide critical relevance for students who might otherwise lose interest in learning.
- Job shadowing: Allow students to “shadow” professionals within your organization and learn about the varied departmental functions.
- Field studies: Host groups of students for a structured learning experience at your site.
- Classroom coaching: Serve as an advisor and evaluator for classroom projects.
- Internships: Provide students with extended, hands-on learning experiences at your site.
Business and Community Engagement
Industry partners help scale innovation by joining local school advisory boards and regional Industry Innovation Councils. The regional councils convene more than 80 companies and organizations from key industry sectors and higher education to develop model approaches to education-industry partnerships and to advocate for public and private strategic investment in education innovation. The councils reflect deep connections to areas of growth in our state’s economy.
- Industry Innovation Council: Join a statewide network of industry and higher education leaders working to scale innovative models of school-industry partnerships.
- School business advisory council: Join an advisory council to help schools build connections within the local business community.
- School-industry liaison: Serve as the contact within your organization to connect students and teachers with employees willing to serve.
- Financial investment: Accelerate workforce development by investing in NC New Schools to support coaching and professional development for educators.
Click here to download our 4-page overview:
The Power of School-Industry Partnerships