Rock Externship Program

[NOTE: For a recap of the 2023 program, click here. Preliminary details regarding the 2024 program are provided below.]

The Rock Externship Program is a collaborative, career preparation and readiness offering supported by area employers, Blackhawk Technical College and the County of RockRock County 5.0 and the SW Workforce Development Board to provide direct industry sector and career cluster exposure for high school teachers from any of the school districts throughout Rock County. While primarily targeted at Career & Technical Education, STEM, counseling and/or guidance staff, these externships will also be open to other high school personnel that have the ability to influence a student’s Academic & Career Plan (ACP).

Through the Rock Externship Program, high school staff will have the ability to immerse themselves in business environments and shadow specific occupations and/or disciplines for one week during the summer. The information and experiences gleaned from this focused engagement will then be incorporated into staff lesson plans and related curricula delivery models during the academic year.

Externship placements will be determined through an application and business worksite match-making process; applications are due April 5, 2024. Educators participating in the program will receive a stipend (provided for by non-district funding) in the amount of $1,000 for successfully completing the program's requirements. These requirements include: full participation in the externship week (i.e. June 17 - June 21, 2024; four hours per day), including the program's pre-program onboarding and post-program professional development sessions; daily journaling requirements; and a post-progam summary, noting how the information and experiences gained through the externship will be incorporated into lesson planning and related curriculum delivery applications. Participants that opt to leave their (home) school district and/or pursue other employment opportunities, that are not directly affiliated with Rock County's K-16 / workforce development network, following the completion of the program will be required to return (or repay) their stipend.  

Overall, the goals of the Rock Externship Program include the following:

  • Increase awareness of and exposure to local businesses, specifically as it concerns Academic & Career Planning activities.
  • Form, build and/or strengthen relationships to generate new or enhanced career-based learning experiences.
  • Facilitate stakeholder information exchanges and curriculum development / delivery ideas, particularly as it concerns career pathway programming.
  • Cultivate and augment local talent development pipeline activities, particularly those aligned with Blackhawk Technical College.

Provided below is a listing of the participating employers for the summer 2024 program. Please note, that due to (specific) employer COVID-related requirements, externs may be required to document their vaccination status. 

For additional program details, contact Molly Markley (the Externship Coordinator) at [email protected] . 

Participating Employers


High School Teacher / Staff Participation & Eligibility Requirements 

  • H.S. Teachers / staff must be an employee, and in good standing, from any public or private school district in Rock County, WI.
  • H.S. Teachers / staff must commit to participate in, as well as attend, all program related activities to be eligible for the full amount of the program's stipend. The Externship Program involves 20 hours, four hours per day, with specific times TBD. Additionally, there is a requirement to attend one pre-program onboarding sesssion and one post-program professional development session. 
  • H.S. Teachers / staff must commit, following the completion of the program, to remain gainfully employed with their (home) school district and/or within Rock County's K-16 / workforce development network. 
  • H.S. Teachers / staff must commit to incorporate, as well as document (pre-and-post externship), how the information and experiences gleaned during the Rock Externship Program will be embedded into their lesson planning and related delivery during the Fall 2024 - Spring 2025 (and beyond) academic year. 
  • H.S. Teachers / staff must agree to collaborate, engage and share information with their host worksite and the Externship Coordinator - during and after the completion of their externship week.
  • H.S. Teachers / staff must submit a completed Rock Externship Program application, by no later than April 5, 2024.
  • Supplemental participation requirements might be imposed by the teacher's / staff's school district, as well.

Employer Participation & Eligibility Requirements

  • Employers must have the organizational capacity to serve as an extern worksite, as demonstrated by past / experiential learning activities (e.g. internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing, mentoring, etc.).

  • Employers must assign a primary contact as the extern worksite supervisor and also provide a secondary or back-up extern contact. The worksite supervisor must participate in the extern interview process and/or other program related activities; and agree to work collaboratively and communicate frequently with the Externship Coordination team throughout the Rock Externship Program.

  • Employers must offer a comprehensive, holistic externship experience that extends beyond a specific subject or core competency. For examples, an extern working for a metal fabrication business should be exposed to more than the company’s welding and fabrication operations

  • Employers must be in good standing; and in compliance with all applicable local, state and/or federal workplace rules and regulations.

  • Employers must have an established and documented safety plan.

  • Employers must possess a corporate culture that values professional growth and development.

  • Employers must agree to strictly adhere, as well as enforce, the program’s guidelines.
  • Employers must agree to contribute financially to assist with underwriting the cost of Rock Externship Program (i.e. $350.00)

2024 Externship Calendar

[NOTE: Dates are tentative, and subject to change.]

  • April 5, 2024: Extern applications are due.
  • April - May 2024: Extern selection and interview processes; and extern (employer) placements.
  • June 14, 2024: Extern Onboarding Session at BTC's Central Campus [NOTE: Time and room location TBA]
  • June 17 - 21, 2024: Externship Week [NOTE: Specific onsite reporting times and BTC's professional development details remain TBD].