Program Overview

Leaving to Learn includes a broad spectrum of activities and is a core expectation of learning at ILC. Following are descriptions of several LTL activities we currently offer. 

Group Visits / Experiences

  • ILC students and staff are grateful for opportunities provided by local organizations, businesses, and individuals for small or whole group experiences. 
  • With a flexible schedule, and focus on obtaining real world experience, our staff are prepared to arrange for transportation to off-site locations to engage with professionals and people engaged in their work and learning in the world
  • In the past, these visits have included: visits to local businesses and organizations, field trips hosted by scientists or other professionals, outdoor recreation, service learning, and more.
  • Please contact internship coordinator, Kelleigh McMillan (, with questions or ideas about an opportunity for ILC students. 


  • After learning about their own interests and the work of individuals in the community, an ILC student sets up a time to meet with a professional for an interview, either virtually or in-person at school or at the mentor’s place of work.
  • This opportunity gives the student information to prepare questions pertaining to what the mentor does and the path they took to get there.
  • This can be a one time interaction, or it could lead to a job shadow.

Job Shadows

  • Similar to an interview, the student will reach out to the professional to request a job shadow.
  • Shadowing allows the student and mentor to spend time together before committing to an internship or sometimes it is all that a mentor is able to provide; a snapshot into their place of work.
  • We ask that the student attend at least two job shadows before considering an internship. 
  • If, after a job shadow, the mentor or the student does not want to pursue further job shadows or an internship, then that is communicated with the coordinator’s assistance. 
  • Following the job shadow, students write a reflection and check in with the internship coordinator to determine next steps (Another job shadow? Consideration of internship?)
  • Job shadows may occur with a simple background check in place (ILC internship coordinator, Kelleigh McMillan, can assist with the paperwork)


  • An internship is an opportunity for real world experience. A successful internship gives a student exposure to an adult in a professional setting, a look at what their work and job (or pursuit of interest) include and an opportunity to learn and be helpful. Providing tasks that are truly helpful to the mentor gives the student a sense of purpose. 
  • Ideally, students will attend internships during the school day on Thursdays during the school year. Given that parameter, we remain aware that this schedule does not work for all mentors. In that case, we will assist with designing a schedule that meets both the mentor and student’s needs. 
  • With our unique programming at the ILC, a student has the flexibility to be at the internship site for a half day or longer if that suits the mentor.

We drive our internship program through the lens of flexibility and we value experience over deliverables. 

  • If an internship is proposed and all parties are in agreement, the internship coordinator and/or Advisor visits the site with student to complete:
    • Expectations contract; questions; communication plan; scheduling/time frame are established
  • Following the initiation of the internship, the student’s Advisor or Internship Coordinator will conduct regular visits to check in on progress at the internship, learn about skills the student is developing, and assist with any needs that may arise. The school representative will check in with the mentor to determine best timing for those visits. 

Goals & Learning

  • After a few sessions at the internship, with input from the mentor, the student creates learning/experience goals around the internship and shares with the advisor, mentor, and coordinator.
  • Students are expected to collect evidence to capture the story of learning happening at their internship, once a week, and submit this to their advisor. Expectations for this evidence are established by the Advisor; the student is responsible for completing this on a regular basis. 


  • If the mentor has a specific project that the student can do to assist the mentor in their place of work, the student, Advisor, and Mentor will communicate about project expectations. 
  • If there is a project or learning the student can do outside of the internship days, and it fits within the students’ goals, the Mentor, Advisor, and student will discuss the parameters of this project. 

**Communication with mentor **

  • Preferred methods of communication should be established at the set up meeting. 
  • Students should include the internship coordinator and Advisor as much as possible when communicating with mentors so that we know where our students are at all times.
  • Coordinator should check in with the mentor during internship visits to gauge how communication protocols are working and problem solve if needed.


  • Our school uses ImBlaze, an app and online platform for tracking internships and ensuring attendance is effectively communicated between Mentors, students, and Advisors.
  • Once the internship is established, the Internship Coordinator or Advisor will set up the attendance plan in ImBlaze. The student will have access to check in to their internship upon arrival, and check out upon completion. At the end of each week, the Mentor will receive an email to confirm attendance.
  • If ImBlaze is not a format that works well for a specific internship, the Internship Coordinator or Advisor will work with the mentor and student to create an alternative system.
  • If, at any time, the Mentor is concerned about attendance, they should contact the Advisor or Internship Coordinator on their school cell phone number. 

Hours required

  •  ILC has established a recommended minimum number of hours for students to complete yearly, depending on the students’ age, experience, and readiness. As with most requirements at ILC, this number is often modified to meet the specific needs and create a challenging, yet reasonable goal for individual students. This requirement will be discussed at the internship set up meeting. 
Be a Mentor!

“Being connected to the ILC for internships is incredible! Showing and inspiring teens to consider ECE (early childhood education) as a sector, to fall in love with children and/or teaching and in some cases, see a very real career possibility right here in their home town after graduation is so wonderful! Interns can be incredibly helpful for a classroom, the children WANT to connect with them and with an engaged intern, their presence provides support and relief to the teachers in the room.

-ILC Mentor

“This year has been exceptional! Having small group or one on one time with students provides a different level of engagement where we can focus on individual goals and skills.”

-ILC Mentor

“(The ILC student) worked with students in many ways. She provided in-class behavior support for a student with Autism, she worked 1-1 with academics with a student who has Autism and behavior disorders, she worked with 4 students on gross motor skills, and she provided academic support in reading, writing, or mathematics as needed within the Discovery Room. (The student) also provided organizational support for our classroom by making copies, prepping materials, setting up snack time, and taking charge of read-aloud time. She shadowed another parapro who specializes in behavior support, and provided writing support for students with learning disabilities outside of the Discovery Room. She attended at-home services for a student with behavior disorder. The list goes on and on.....”

“Personally I believe the program is fulfilling because the student can get a glimpse of real world expectations. Professionally they can be a real asset when an extra set of hands is needed”

-ILC Mentor

“This was great! I enjoy working with ILC staff and students.”

-ILC Mentor