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How Externships Work
Feeding the Workforce Pipeline into High-Growth, High-Demand Colorado Industries.
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How Externships Work
Become a Business Host
CDLE is Actively Seeking STEM Business Partners!
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Become a Business Host
Becoming a Teacher Extern
Bringing Relevant, Industry-Specific Content to Colorado Classrooms.
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Becoming a Teacher Extern
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Teacher Externship Program

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K-12 Teacher Externships for STEM Occupations

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About the Program

Envisioned in the spirit of innovation, equity, and authentic collaboration, Colorado House Bill 23-1198 is the cornerstone for a new statewide K-12 Teacher Externship Program focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-focused (STEM) occupations. This visionary initiative, driven by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), is a state-led commitment to bridge the gap between education and industry and will be a catalyst for diverse and inclusive workforce development efforts in high-growth, high-demand STEM fields. 

This program is in a start-up phase; CDLE expects the first externships to start by June 2024. Between now and then, planning activities are underway, including identifying STEM-based business partners, collecting interest from teachers, school leaders, networks, and districts, and defining the scope of opportunities that will be available.

What is an Externship?

Externships are work-based learning opportunities that allow teachers to spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks working onsite at a Colorado business to gain exposure to work environments in career sectors that their students may pursue. These experiences provide teachers with a deeper understanding of industry practices, empowering them to deliver more relevant content to students to better prepare them for the workforce.  

CDLE's program connects K-12 teachers with STEM-focused employers offering hands-on, immersive learning opportunities. Businesses identify a specific project or problem as the externship focus, then select a highly skilled teacher(s) to work in that area. The program is available to any Colorado-based STEM-focused business and all Colorado K-12 public school teachers.

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For questions about the program, please contact Kelly Reeser, Teacher Externship Grant Coordinator, at kelly.reeser@state.co.us or 720-576-3480.