Externships Providing Leadership Opportunities in Research and Education (EXPLORE) Program matches advanced and gifted high school students with distinguished mentors, hands-on research opportunities, and professional experience in their field of interest. With the support and guidance of mentors and IEA staff, students learn about working in a variety of professional settings and advance their skills through the pursuit of knowledge and exposure to optimally challenging learning experiences. Each student not only grows intellectually and personally but is able to make pertinent and lasting connections with their mentors and like-minded peers.
A: The Summer 2020 program dates are as follows:
• Session I: Saturday, June 13, 2020 – Friday, July 3, 2020 (3 weeks)
• Session II: Monday, July 6, 2020 – Friday, July 24, 2020 (3 weeks)
• Session I + II: Saturday, June 13, 2020 – Friday, July 24, 2020 (6 weeks)
• Session III: Saturday, July 20, 2020 – Friday, July 31, 2020 (2 weeks)
Program dates include a mandatory weekend Professional Development Orientation and culmination ceremony.
Application deadline: Monday, March 31, 2020
A: During each session, Externs will work alongside their Mentor and/or Mentor’s team during the workday, Monday through Thursday for 5 to 8 hours per day. Tasks, projects, and working hours will vary by site and is determined by the Mentor. You may spend some time shadowing your Mentors and assisting with pre-arranged projects, research and/or lab work.
Mentors are mindful of providing the most worthwhile experience that provides real-world training to educate Externs on their field of interest and expose them to the expertise of others in the field.
A: EXPLORE uses a portfolio-based application which requires an essay, a letter of recommendation, high school transcripts, standardized test scores, resume or brag sheet, and sample work to gauge your skills and interests. It is important you submit at least one piece you think would best represent your abilities and is relevant to your field of interest. Finalists are also required to go through a phone interview with an IEA staff member.
A: At the moment, we have secured site placements in Southern California throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. We are in the process of launching a pilot program at sites in Northern California.
A: IEA does not provide transportation for students. Students must provide their own transportation to and from their externship site, weekly workshops/excursions, orientation days, and final culmination ceremony.
If you are unfamiliar with the public transportation system, IEA staff would be happy to assist with navigating and making recommendations for route options.
A: You are eligible to apply if you are:
- A rising 10th, 11th or 12th grader
- Under the age of 18 for the duration of the program
- Highly motivated, high-achieving
- Interested in pursuing an advanced topic through an in-depth course of study
Some sites require students to be of a minimum age or meet certain prerequisites; these requirements will be listed with the site description on the EXPLORE Sites + Mentors webpage.
Some students will indicate this information in the enrollment forms to ensure an optimal match; however, students do not need to be identified as gifted in order to apply.
A. Your sample work should be a piece you are most proud of and should display your abilities or knowledge in your field of interest. In the past, students have submitted pieces such as a homework assignment they did well on, a school or passion project, a research paper, a lab write-up, work from a competition, and artwork.
A: Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program and site placement via email by the end of April 2020.
A: All of our sites are highly competitive so we ask applicants to be intentional when deciding which sample work they wish to include with their comprehensive application. The more students demonstrate their ability towards their career field of choice, the better their chances of being placed at their preferred site. Additionally, students should be purposeful in ranking their top 3 career fields of interest as this information helps with the matching process.
Tuition and Financial Aid
A: Program fees are as follows:
Session I: $975 (3 week session)
Session II: $975 (3 week session)
Both Session I & II: $1,950 (6 week session)
Session III: $850 (2 week session)
Program fees cover:
- Weekly college and career workshops and excursions
- Orientation Day and Culmination Ceremony
- Matching mentee with a mentor
- High-quality mentoring experience
- Laboratory and/or materials fees
- Direct support from IEA staff throughout the duration of the program
- Personalized e-Portfolio upon successful completion of placement
If you do not see an answer to your question here, please feel free to email us at Explore@educationaladvancement.org.