New to the site? Try Quick User Guide

We track anonymous visitor behavior on our website to ensure you have a great experience. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Student Internships

Opportunities to explore career pathways while in high school


In addition to academic and nonacademic classes, participating in internships can prove to be invaluable for high school students as they begin to explore potential career pathways. Many schools offer various forms of structured opportunities for students to begin exploring a job that aligns with their skills, interests, and goals. Internships can also help high school students build basic workplace skills and professional competencies that make them more desirable and prepared for college and career after graduation.


Schools can create an internship program for their students in a number of ways. They can call on local community connections, hire an internship coordinator to establish opportunities for students, or rely on students and families themselves to explore and find their own job. Below are a few different approaches used to implement internships creatively and effectively at various virtual and hybrid schools:

  • Flexible: Taos Academy takes on a flexible approach that allows students to volunteer in the community, participate in a sports program, or seek out their own opportunity. Internships can range in length from a few days (e.g., job shadowing or volunteering opportunity) to several months (students attend 1 to 2 times per week). Students must track their hours and activities completed to receive credit.

  • Structured: Students at ASU Prep Digital work with an internship coordinator to find jobs that are located on the ASU campus or create their own local opportunity if they don’t live in Arizona. Their structured internship program serves a dual purpose of providing a pipeline to ASU as well as offering real-world experience to its students. Learn more about ASU Prep Digital’s career pathways here.

  • Early start: The Forest School requires middle school and high school students to complete numerous apprenticeships throughout their tenure at the school. By the time they graduate, they will have completed over 20 apprenticeships. The students are fully responsible for researching, connecting, fulfilling, and reflecting on their apprenticeship experience. (Learn more about The Forest School Apprenticeship program.)

  • Gradual: Mountain Heights Academy has created a step-by-step pathway for students to work their way up to a year-long internship while in high school. Students start by job shadowing in ninth grade, completing externships in tenth and eleventh grade, and finally participating in an internship in twelfth grade.

Schools can prepare students for internships by focusing on career exploration and offer career development training, such as writing a resume, practicing for a job interview, completing an interest inventory, etc. For example, Map Academy (MA) incorporates career development as an integral part of their school experience by offering opportunities for students to hone their professional skills and create a postsecondary plan before graduation.

Strategy Resources

Learning Through Apprenticeships at The Forest School

Students at The Forest School share their experiences of participating in apprenticeships starting in middle... Learn More