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Did you know educators can use externships as professional learning to renew educator certificates or licenses?
With the emphasis on fostering authentic P-20 student experiences and career readiness, as well as exploring career options, pathways and college goals, externships are an exciting opportunity for an educator’s professional development. Externships provide real life experiences for educators and help make instruction more relevant to students. In June 2017 the State Superintendent issued an executive directive to implement recommendations of the Career Pathway Alliance. These opportunities align with statewide vision and goals.
There are many types of meaningful externships, including but not limited to: job shadowing, informational interviewing, in-field experience/observations, service learning, community involvement, and working in an industry. The Michigan Department of Education appreciates the process outlined by the University of California, Berkeley for planning and coordination of externships in their Teacher Externship Guide.
- Ensure educators’ knowledge and skills remain current in order to adequately prepare students for today’s technically enhanced work environments.
- Increase educator awareness and knowledge of labor market trends.
- Give educators a perspective of the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in today’s workplace.
- Increase awareness of career pathway potential in occupational areas.
- Give business professionals and educators an opportunity to have a constructive dialogue.
- Enable businesses to actively support workforce development and make a positive impact on classroom curriculum and instructional practices.
Externships can be considered as education-related professional learning within the State Continuing Education Clock Hour (SCECH) OR within the local District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) systems.
To maintain high-quality standards for externships, and other out-of-classroom experiences, districts are encouraged to adopt local guidelines. These guidelines should address the process by which teachers can propose experiences, including how this experience will impact student learning. Additional items for consideration may include the educator’s compensation for the experience, student presence during the experience, and the duration and timing of the experience. Guidelines for externship programs may include processes through which externships can be offered as DPPD or SCECHs.
Externships as DPPD Hours
Educators and building/district administration are encouraged to work together to design quality externship programs, including other out-of-classroom experiences, to be completed for DPPD and used for certificate renewal. These opportunities will create unique learning opportunities for adults that will directly impact the curriculum in their classroom. These experiences should provide educators with a comprehensive, working knowledge of industry that can translate directly into instructional practices.
Note: If the professional development experience is approved by the local administrative authority and documentation maintained so that the District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) process can be completed, the experience can be used for educator certificate renewal. The Michigan Department of Education does not approve DPPD.
Effective July 1, 2020, when districts choose to allow DPPD to be used for recertification, they must enter it into the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) as State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs). This includes externship experiences as DPPD hours.
Externships as SCECHs
Educators, building/district administration and SCECH Coordinators are encouraged to work together to identify quality externship programs and other out-of-classroom experiences. These opportunities provide unique learning opportunities that directly impact curriculum and can provide educators with a comprehensive, working knowledge of business and industry that translate directly into instructional practices.
To provide high-quality standards for externships and other out-of-classroom experiences, districts are encouraged to adopt local guidelines. These guidelines should address the process by which teachers can propose experiences, including how this experience will impact student learning. Additional items for consideration may include the educator’s compensation for the experience, student presence during the experience, and the duration and timing of the experience.
For additional information on using externship experiences for SCECHs please contact the Office of Educator Excellence at 517-241-5000 or MDE-EducatorHelp@michigan.gov.