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Information for Businesses


A Strategic Investment for Colorado Businesses

By participating in the Teacher Externship Program, your business can play a direct role in cultivating a skilled talent pool aligned with industry needs. You will be able to share your expertise, providing educators with insights into the skills, technologies, and practices crucial for success in the workforce. In doing so, you will also contribute to shaping curriculum that better prepares students for the workforce.

Strategically designed to align with policy recommendations outlined in the Colorado Talent Pipeline Report, the Teacher Externship Program creates opportunities for theory to meet practice, and offers a number of tangible benefits to businesses.


Program Benefits

Feed the Workforce Pipeline

Teacher externships are a compelling workforce development strategy:  students gain STEM career information and learn about your business through their teachers.

Strengthen Industry Partnerships

Dynamic externship opportunities foster strong collaborations and relationships between educators and industry leaders.

Career-Connected Learning Opportunities

Through hands-on work-based learning opportunities, our program empowers teachers to deliver relevant and impactful education to students — future members of the workforce.

Promote Career Pathways

By experiencing various industries firsthand, educators can guide students toward fulfilling career options, aligning with the Talent Pipeline Report's focus on promoting diverse career pathways.

Foster Innovation in Education

CDLE’s Teacher Externship Program embraces new ideas and methodologies, aligning seamlessly with the Talent Pipeline Report's call for fostering innovation within the educational landscape.

Positive Community Involvement

Hosting a teacher extern provides a unique avenue for community involvement; your business contributes to classroom content that helps students develop valuable 21st century skills. These contributions can be showcased publicly, resulting in positive PR for your company.

Host Requirements

Identify a Project or Problem

Businesses should identify a specific project or business-related problem that can serve as the externship focus area. Teachers are skilled contributors, and their fresh eyes and perspectives can lead to innovative problem-solving for issues that you don’t otherwise have time or capacity to address.

Set Goals and Schedules

Work collaboratively with your teacher extern to identify program goals and expected outcomes, and design a schedule that will work for both of you to accomplish those goals.

Ensure Externship Quality

Selected employers must be committed to STEM education in their communities and be able to provide teachers with training and meaningful experience in a STEM or STEM-related field such that teachers gain knowledge that can be transferred to the classroom to provide relevant and current information to students.

Establish a Point of Contact/Mentor

Employers must designate a mentor/contact person to work with CDLE and the teacher(s) in establishing the externship goals, expected outcomes, logistics, and to resolve any questions that arise.

Partner with CDLE

Selected employers will work collaboratively with CDLE to ensure that the externship experience is beneficial to both teachers and businesses, and that all components of the externship are completed as expected. This includes publicizing positive effects of the externship on businesses and workforce development through photos, videos, testimonials, and other communication tools.

Consider Cost Sharing

Until sustainable funding streams can be established for the Teacher Externship program, businesses may need to consider sharing the cost of hosting externs with CDLE, local education agencies, and/or non-profit organizations. The return on investment to businesses for this program will be significant for workforce development efforts, positive PR, and in building valuable business to education connections.