In 2020, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, embarked on a two-and-a-half-year pilot program on a work-based learning initiative for secondary education. They convened business and education stakeholders to create a strategic plan and launched ElevateEdAZ in partnership with Phoenix Union High School District (PXU). Over the 2021–22 school year, ElevateEdAZ expanded to five schools across PXU and Mesa Public Schools.
The program’s primary objectives include increasing the number of students enrolled in and completing high-wage, high-demand career pathways, increasing student attainment of industry-recognized credentials and early post-secondary credit, providing more students with work-based learning experiences, and empowering educators to reimagine classroom learning through educator externships.
Last month, the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation granted ElevateEdAZ funding to expand to two additional schools in Maricopa County, one public and one charter in the 2022–23 school year.
The funding will be used to embed one ElevateEdAZ College and Career Coach at each of the campuses, provide a YouScience aptitude and interest assessment to all students to help them determine their career path, fund career awareness events such as mock interviews and resume-building workshops, and provide incentives to students, teachers and schools to accelerate outcomes.
With this funding, as well as other local and national philanthropic partners, the program will expand to a total of eight high schools in 2022–23 and at least one charter school.