In 2011, Arizona Cooperative Extension implemented Externships in Sustainability, a program in which undergraduate students conduct community-based sustainability projects. In contrast to internships, in which students shadow a professional, externship students apply their skills to community outreach. Extension faculty proposed projects and recruited undergraduates from within their communities to execute the projects. Students were given responsibility for planning, implementation, and Extension. Agents, students, and communities have benefited from improved relationships between the university and communities, and through rainwater harvesting, community gardens, and other projects to increase resilience. Extension programs in other states could adopt this model to reap similar benefits.
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Apel, M., Mostafa, A., Brandau, B., & Garfin, G. (2013). Externships in Sustainability Program as an Outreach Tool for Extension. The Journal of Extension, 51(2), Article 17. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.51.02.17