Massachusetts Connecting Activities


High School Senior Internship Education Project (HSSIEP) - FY21


High School Senior Internship Education Project (HSSIEP) - FY21

DESE`s Connecting Activities and the Commonwealth Corporation`s Youthworks have developed an educator internship project open to all districts for high school seniors in good academic standing for the Spring of 2021. Districts will be able to place high school seniors in paid education internships within their districts. To learn more about the HSSIEP project and to answer the questionnaire, please review the information sheet and feel free to attend one of three information sessions on December 23rd at 12:30 PM, January 4th at 11AM, and January 5th at 11AM.

If your district is interested in participating, please complete the following questionnaire as soon as possible, but not later than January 8, 2021.

[FY21 HSSIEP Survey Link]

Information Sheet

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High School Senior Internship in Education Program "HSSIEP"

Today`s students are our future leaders in multiple fields and occupations including in education.

Dear Superintendents,

We are excited to share with you an opportunity for your high school seniors interested in the education field. The HSSIEP project is one step towards ensuring that future educators in MA have the skills to enter and succeed in the teaching profession and to ensure that we are working to diversify the educator pipeline. Funding for the program will be supported by DESE`s Connecting Activities and Commonwealth Corporation`s Youthworks program and supported through our 16 Regional MassHire Workforce Boards.

What is HSSIEP?

HSSIEP will provide work-based learning experiences in the field of education to highly motivated high school seniors in good academic standing, while supporting their school and community-based partners.

What are the goals of HSSIEP?

  • To offer high school seniors the opportunity to complete a paid work-based learning education internship.
  • To accelerate the growth of the teacher pipeline in MA with a particular focus on increasing racial/ethnic diversity.
  • To improve educational outcomes for underserved students, particular younger learners, due to the pandemic.


  • Several high schools in MA have built senior projects and internships into their programs of study and the project will provide an increase in opportunities for students to participate in an authentic learning experience in the education field.
  • HSSIEP aligns with Commissioner Riley`s priority of working to diversify the educator workforce so that our educator population reflects the population of students in MA.
  • One of the most effective ways to improve outcomes for students is individual tutoring from cross-aged peers. Research confirms that it can improve academic and socioemotional outcomes because of the timely feedback that students receive. Further, cross-aged peer tutoring can strengthen attachment to school for students which is necessary right now considering the decline in student participation as a result of the pandemic. Also, cross-aged peer tutoring improves outcomes in math fluency and across other disciplines.

How will HSSIEP be implemented?

  • HSSIEP will largely build on current work-based learning structures to support implementation. The structures include a collaboration and partnership between DESE`s Connecting Activities initiative, school districts throughout MA, Regional MassHire Workforce Boards, and the Commonwealth Corporations Youthworks program. Districts currently not engaged with their local workforce development system including Connecting Activities and Youthworks, will still have the opportunity to fully participate.
  • Support for High School Interns will be provided by a career and technical student organization. This student organization will offer, through monthly meetings, an opportunity for students to learn instructional strategies to utilize during their internship and after high school, a community of practice to discuss challenges and success, and to reflect on their internship experience for deeper engagement and learning.

What could a High School Educator Intern Schedule look like?

  • Educational interns are intended to be part of "regular" school day programming, and a part of a comprehensive educational experience for the intern that includes supervision by a member of the school staff.
  • Districts will need to determine delivery models that would best suit student schedules and needs.
  • The use of educational interns could range widely across various grade levels and in schools and educational supports. Schools, districts, and non-profits should determine immediate need and identify the services that schools, and students need for success, and the role that high school senior interns could play in meeting those needs.
  • High school interns can provide educational support for students in grades K-8. The tasks completed by interns could vary greatly and may include:
  1. Teaching assistants providing in person academic and social supports in schools and in community learning pods.
  2. Assigned duties as a day to day substitute teacher on an interim basis
  3. Mentoring
  4. Academic tutors
  5. Lunch and recess monitors
  • Note:To ensure health and safety of staff and students, high school seniors participating in the internship will be required to sign a safety attestation and be willing to be tested for COVID-19 frequently as determined by the placement.

If your district is interested in participating, please complete the following questionnaire as soon as possible, but not later than January 8, 2021.

To learn more about the HSSIEP project, please feel free to attend information sessions on December 23, 2020 at 12:30 PM, January 4, 2021 at 11AM, and January 5, 2021 at 11AM.

To join the information session, please use the log in details below. No registration for the event is required.

Topic: HSSIEP Info Session

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For additional information, please send an email to