PivotED - "Celebrating Internships" Issue (April)
A newsletter (for adults) about career readiness (for kids).
It’s been a very busy event season for myself and a lot of my peers in the career readiness world. (I wrote of my experience speaking on a panel at SXSW EDU about the intersection of formal and informal learning, here.) As I reflect on what I’ve heard and learned, I am left with a great sense of responsibility and urgency. Speaking opportunities and networking events are futile if I don’t return even stronger in my resolve to help build and advocate for something that serves kids. That “something”, as always, is better and more meaningful education-to-career pathways. But this month — National Internship Awareness Month — I am especially excited about the power of internships and I’m telling anyone who will listen. Because, wow, there is a lot of work to do, and so much opportunity to help kids in this area!
Our research shows that while 79% of high school students would be interested in a work-based learning experience, only 34% were aware of any such opportunities for students their age…and just 2% of students had completed an internship during high school. Internships are full of so much promise for kids in the wake of the pandemic. That’s largely down to their flexible format, ability to help kids figure out what they want to do, and their power to open up professional doors to kids in spite of where they live, what’s happening in their home lives, and what they’ve already learned. As one intern told Getting Smart last month about her global virtual internship experience, “I was able to practice personal accountability by delivering what I was asked to complete in a timely manner and in a professional way.”
Well said, Alison! That practice will serve you so well in your working life.
Without further ado, I hope you enjoy my April roundup, which includes the usual look at news about career readiness, but with a special focus on what’s happening in the world of internships.
President & CEO, American Student Assistance
Five Benefits of a Global Virtual Internship
The Story: From building critical thinking, collaboration and agility, to broadening global perspective and digital skills…the possibilities that exist by way of Global Virtual Internships are vast. Getting Smart weighs in on the landscape around this increasingly common model, sharing its top five benefits, as well as insights from kids who have worked as interns supporting critical missions and social impact in Japan, the Philippines and Rwanda.
The Bottom Line: The pandemic opened up a new world of possibility and helped to redefine the norms of work-based experiences like internships. The ability for a kid in, say, rural Georgia, to apply for an internship that will see him or her working with a team in Nairobi or Rio de Janeiro is not just exciting; it is completely game-changing in how it helps kids see and contextualize the global work landscape, and build newfound confidence about their place in it.
Why America’s Economy Needs More Apprenticeships
The Story: Apprenticeship is one of the oldest-known workforce pathways out there, but it has a reputation problem in this country that needs dissecting. Ryan Craig contextualizes for Forbes how an increasingly crowded landscape full of well-intentioned educational institutions and think tanks showcase the appetite for apprenticeships, but how — without a serious uptake from employers — it remains only a hypothetical game-changer.
The Bottom Line: For young adults, there are few on-ramps into the workforce as promising as apprenticeship. The ‘earn while you learn’ model gives people with neither experience nor a credential the chance to start earning a serious salary right away. That more employers haven’t caught on is nothing short of baffling…because, as Craig writes, “Apprenticeships are jobs with clear career trajectories. They’re the only pathway to socioeconomic mobility that truly level the playing field. And that couldn’t be more important in the tightest labor market any of us have ever seen (11.3M unfilled jobs, including millions of good digital jobs)…”
More Than A Million Students Never Showed Up Last School Year. Here’s What We Know About Them
The Story: This in-depth piece takes a sobering look at the reality of students who missed school altogether last year, stating that 50 to 60% of teachers in high-poverty schools reported having students unaccounted for, compared to less than a third of teachers in more socioeconomically advantaged areas.
The Bottom Line: From homelessness to quarantines — every empty seat tells a story not just about one student’s circumstances, but about our school systems. Understanding these reasons will better allow educators and decision-makers to create school environments in which kids are holistically supported and where things like not having adequate learning supports in the home or not having reliable internet access are no longer a barrier to attendance.
Connected STEM Classrooms Break Down Learning Silos for K-12 Students (EdTech Magazine, April 8, 2022)
AHA Media Partners with American Student Assistance to Launch Virtual Internship Program (Yahoo Finance, April 19, 2022)
The Great Resignation’s Wage Hikes May be Sending Fewer Students to College (Fortune, March 24, 2022)
Work is Broken. Can We Fix It? (Vox, April 18, 2022)
The Best Paid Internship in America Pays Almost $10,000 a Month — and Even Allows You to Work Remotely (MarketWatch, April 5, 2022)
Maryland Eliminates College Degree Requirements for Thousands of Jobs (Morning Brew, April 6, 2022)
Immersive Virtual Career Exploration Program for Middle and High Schoolers
Registrations Open to Teachers & Students from April 13-June 22, 2022
Jobs for the Future (JFF) Horizons National Summit June 7-8, 2022, New Orleans
LearnLaunch Institute K12 Innovation Summit June 23, 2022, Boston
Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) Annual Conference
Virtual, November 3-5, 2022