UnitED – Uniting Education and Business
The UnitED program (formerly “Principal for A Day”) is designed to establish, build and maintain beneficial, meaningful, sustainable relationships between public education and businesses.
Businesses can have a positive impact on public education. When business leaders understand the nature of the public education system at every level, the impact on education can be tremendous. Meaningful engagement in public education can have a positive impact on the business sector as well. AEF’s UnitED program provides businesses with an ongoing opportunity to engage in education and positively affect students and schools in their communities.
To participate in the program, businesses bring their expertise and resources to match a school’s needs. Businesses demonstrate a commitment to building and sustaining a long-term relationship. The Arizona Educational Foundation in collaboration with other nonprofit and civic organizations facilitate the purposeful matching of business leaders and school leaders and help them explore the myriad ways in which effective partnerships can be built. Throughout the process, administrators provide all parties with the tools and ideas to develop, nurture and sustain the relationship.
Following a joint information and training session in the fall, leaders are encouraged to shadow each other at their sites. This experience provides both leaders with a basic understanding of a day in the life of a business leader or a leader in public education. Shadowing provides both parties with opportunities to identify, explore and discuss possible ways in which the partnership might grow to benefit the school or district.
- Foster an increased understanding and awareness among individuals in the business or private sector regarding public education;
- Demonstrate the business sector’s commitment to ensuring a quality education for every student;
- Help build engaging, accountable, sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships between schools and businesses to enhance student outcomes.
Sample Partnership Activities
- Mentoring, coaching and consulting between business leader and school leader and their teams.
- Providing advice on community relations, marketing, conflict resolution, budgeting, branding, incentives, training, data analysis, etc.
- Help students set up mini-businesses. This project includes development of math, language arts, economics, creative and critical thinking and leadership skills.
- Show students new “state of the art” technology, what it has replaced and how it is used.
- Invite business people to take part in discussions with students on major current events.
- Have students interview or observe workers to see how basic skills taught in school are used in the work place.
- Provide information to students concerning money and how to handle it, checking accounts, credit and installment buying, investments, and setting up accounting systems.
- Establish mentorships between students and employees.
- Involve retired employees in partnership activities.
- Provide employees with time away from their work to tutor students.
- Have diverse art exhibits or musical performances at your business.
- Provide recognition or awards for students.
Career Orientation/Career Preparation:
- Have a career fair for students and parents either at your business or in the school.
- Participate in career fair presentations on a district wide basis.
- Arrange for educator and student tours of your business facility
- Provide for student internships or work study programs
- Arrange for employees to help students explore career, vocational, and personal goals.
- Personnel Department share job search techniques with students through applications, resume writing and interviewing skills.
Campus Facilities and Support:
- Enhance campus environment.
- Donate equipment or supplies.
- Provide financial, human, experiential or other resources to support specific needs agreed upon by the partners.