Importance of Business Engagement in Education: GW’s Teachers in Industry Project Featured at U.S. Chamber of Commerce

January 23, 2013

Paula Harper, the executive director of program development and management at the GW Virginia Science & Technology Campus, and co-director of the GW Teachers in Industry Project, participated in a panel discussion on the importance of business-education partnerships at a sold out U.S. Chamber of Commerce event on Jan. 23, 2013. The event showcased the release of a report by College Summit and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Business Engagement in Education: Key Partners for Improving Student Success.” Funded by the Citi Foundation, College Summit partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Competitive Workforce (ICW) on this project.

The event, attended by business, education, nonprofit, and public leaders, included speakers from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Citi Foundation, and College Summit. In addition to Harper the panel included Jackie Lynn Coleman, executive director of National Community Tax Coalition; Dr. Pablo G. Ortiz, assistant superintendent, Education Transformation Office for Miami-Dade Public Schools; and Peter Pruitt, managing partner for Deloitte Florida and Puerto Rico.  The key note address was given by Neustar President and CEO, Lisa Hook and closing remarks were given by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

GW’s Teachers in Industry Project (GWTIP), founded in 2009 by Harper and Dr. Janet Schiavone, GW adjunct professor of curriculum and pedagogy, was featured in the College Summit report which raises awareness of the critical role the business community plays in partnering with schools and other stakeholders to support the learning needs of students and develop America‘s future workforce.

GWTIP exposes middle school and high school, core content teachers to practices, tools, information, and trends of STEM related businesses through a three-week externship program with regional industries. The program aims to bridge the gap between ‘academic’ preparation (what is taught) and ‘professional’ development (what is needed) for participation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce of the future. GWTIP is collaboration between GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, GW’s Virginia Science & Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va., leading regional industry partners and four regional school districts. 

Now entering its fifth year, GWTIP has served over 50 teachers and receives generous financial support from Lockheed Martin.