Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Virtual clearinghouse connects classroom learning and real world projects 

November 8, 2019

To view the specific options available in your area, there are two places that you might find helpful. The Business Partner Inventory box at the top of the page takes you to space that offers the ability to search by zip code, location, etc, and you can find the businesses in your reading coverage area who are participating, and what they offer. The Project Board showcases all of the available projects, and there might be something offered by one of your local businesses/industries. 

Emergency Management Planning. Live Streaming. Designing and painting an outdoor mural. Designing instructional lessons that are innovative and create awareness of the motor truck transportation industry in Iowa. These are a few of the projects waiting for students on the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-based Learning. 

The Clearinghouse, which launched in August, is a virtual space that connects students and employers through shared projects that gives students professional experiences.  This can include virtual projects, internships, and apprenticeships. The Clearinghouse is jointly coordinated by the Iowa Department of Education, AEA Learning Online, and Iowa Workforce Development.

Available to all Iowa schools, K-12 classrooms, and businesses, this is a space where both students, educators, and businesses can enter themselves as an interested party and browse for a good match for a project. Students work on projects primarily in the classroom. Project coordinators at the Iowa Department of Education and AEA Learning Online facilitate these school-employer partnerships as needed.

The Clearinghouse offers students in our rural and urban districts the same access to rich, real-world experiences,” said Mark Shea, Postsecondary Success Readiness Lead at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency. “We know that connecting students to authentic, work-based experiences ignites student learning in ways that artificial projects cannot. And so we are reaching out to schools and businesses in the area to encourage them to get involved. It is a win-win for everyone involved.

Visit the clearinghouse website to explore all of the opportunities to get involved:

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