Authentic Learning Strategy:

Connect Learners to Mentors

NOTE: This strategy is part of the self-paced Promote Anytime/Anywhere Learning

While your school might not yet have a formal internship or mentorship program, there are still many ways to ensure learners get connected with local community members and with work-based learning experiences to expose them to the ever evolving world of work, and to support them in building essential skills for success in college, career and civic life. This could look like partnering with a nonprofit organization and inviting learners to engage in meaningful work to advance their mission, pairing students in your classroom with mentors from a local college or university, or using an online platform to connect learners with mentors far and wide.

Bright Spots

Gain inspiration from authentic examples of this strategy shared by teachers who have used them with their learners.

Creating your own Bright Spots? Let’s get them out into the world! Share yours here.

High Tech High Internships

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Clairmont High School Mentoring Program

Source: Clairemont High School in San Diegoโ€™s Mentoring Program

โ€œEach Fall, Clairemont High School recruits industry and community volunteers who would like to mentor students in each of our academies. Our goal is to connect every 11th grader at CHS with a mentor who can share their interests and wisdom as they guide our students through the challenges of academics and career decision makingโ€

Big Picture School Internships

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Embedded Learning at Embark

Source: Embark Education

Learning at Embark middle school is embedded in two local businesses: Framework Cycles and Pinwheel Coffee. Students workshop shifts in both of businesses throughout the year, gaining valuable workplace skills. They also engage in projects and design challenges that support the operations of the business such as researching and recommending a new coffee bean source or finding ways to reuse and upcycle old bike parts from the shop. The employees of the shops serve as mentors and educators for the students.


Inspired? Use the resources below to bring this learner-centered strategy to your learning community.

Related Learner-Centered Content

If you found this helpful, try this related strategy:

Learn More in this Learner-Centered Course:

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Associated Learner-Centered Competencies:

Collaborate with the community:
I create opportunities for real-world learning experiences with community members through mentorships, internships and community-based projects.