Iowa Department of Education

10/22/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/23/2019 02:13

Why this teacher is drawn to the clearinghouse

Work-based learning gives students hands-on learning
Denise Hillman is an instructional coach and co-teacher of English language students at Muscatine High School. As an instructional coach, she has been involved with career and technical teachers throughout the school system.

She has signed up for a project with the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-based Learning to enhance instruction with English language students, a journalism class and an iJag class. Here are here thoughts about why the clearinghouse works well for her classes and students.

What business are you partnering with? We are partnering with HNI Corporation and KENT Corporation.

What is the project? We are participating in two projects from the clearinghouse.

With Kent Corporation's project, our students are developing a survey for meat alternatives. The survey will be given to high school students. Our students will then compile the survey results and provide the company with the details. Our journalism and iJag students are working together on this project. We have not begun this project yet. We have until spring to complete it.

HNI Corporation's project is creating and translating marketing materials into Spanish and French. Our EL students who are fluent in Spanish and French will be working with the HNI marketing department on making sales materials culturally relevant to Spanish and French culture. My first meeting with HNI will outline how they want to work with students.

What is the intended outcome? Our intended outcome is for students to enter into the work field and be able to explore real-life careers while working with professionals. Hopefully, our students will have their horizons opened up to the vast variety of careers right in their own backyard. If our students can get in the door of a business it could lead to future employment.

What disciplines and skills are required to do this project? Both projects require communication skills, written and spoken word. We will be using the English standards of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Why does the clearinghouse appeal to you? I first learned about the clearinghouse in a Future Ready Iowa Conference we had in Muscatine. Initially, I was interested in two great projects but I couldn't generate any interest with our staff. I have developed a strong partnership with HNI as we are on regional boards together and we are always having open conversations trying to fit school and business needs together. When HNI designed the project for cultural integration into their marketing, they already knew I would be willing to collaborate with them. I have also worked with KENT in developing school and business opportunities. I was excited to find their project on the board and apply.