2021 Pilot Program:
Certified Facilitator Training for High School Educators

Creativity-focused Entrepreneurial Training for the Future

In July 2018 twenty Kentucky high school students from Hazard Independent, Perry County Central High School and Buckhorn Schools participated in a pilot High School Shift Workshop. Beth Flowers, Julie Walters Steele, Director of the Reynolds Homestead at Virginia Tech and Robert Donnan served as the AIR facilitators. A second cohort of high school aged student successfully participated in a Shift Workshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky in 2019.

We are now working with partners in Ohio and Virginia to determine how to provide teacher training so that the Shift Workshop can be used easily in high school settings, aligned with academic standards and curriculum content.

AIR Institute programs increase creativity, promote cross-discipline connections, and practice team building and practical life skills with an eye toward each student’s future: exploration of educational pathways and career building.

AIR curriculum uses adult learning principles that include use of traditional instruction, videos, gamification, quizzes and self-reflections, small group work, experiential learning, individual coaching, and deep use of the socratic method that encourages the students to discover questions and answers through facilitation rather than teaching. Modules can be customized for short weekend or week-long intensives or traditional semester or full year educational schedules. AIR programs are available as online, in-person, and hybrid models. Facilitators will be certified in a 30 hour training program to ensure mastery of the content and the AIR educational methods.

Training Details

Students will learn, practice and demonstrate:

  • Design thinking, brainstorming and idea generation
  • Business and project planning processes
  • Leadership, collaboration skills, and empathy
  • Action plans and goals that build confidence and resilience
  • Community and civic duty and service
  • Career and educational path exploration

AIR Certified Facilitators receive 30 hours of proven facilitation training and certification including:

  • Zoom and remote presentation/work best practices
  • AIR facilitation methods and processes
  • AIR accountability coaching methods
  • Design thinking process
  • Business planning process and tools
  • Creativity and innovation development methods
  • Cross sector collaboration skills
  • Delivery of the Art Builds Business Builds Art and Shift Workshops.

CEU Credits

CEU credits will be available for this training at no cost to the participants.

Help create a new model for educating high school students

Instructor Qualifications

Training participants will be teachers, educators, or administrator with backgrounds in a range of arts, education, or entrepreneurial disciplines who are, as follows:

  • Employed in a national, state, or local agency, school district, or organization with the ability to add creativity-focused entrepreneurial training to their job responsibilities for at least one year.
  • Have experience in high school and opportunity youth age education focused on arts and/or community development, and/or entrepreneurship, and/or economics.
  • Able to complete the 30-hour training (components will be virtual, hybrid of virtual and in person), participate in the facilitation of one High School Shift Workshop, and attend monthly cohort meetings via Zoom through May 2022.

There is no charge to the selected applicants for the training and certification. A stipend for travel, lodging, and per diem expenses will be covered as appropriate. Meals will be provided during the training. Applicants will receive notification of acceptance into the training program by June 1, 2021. Participants must attend all of the training sessions and pass certification assessments before being certified to facilitate Shift Workshops.

Pilot Program Timeline

Application Process
April – May 2021
Representatives of the Ohio Arts Council, Virginia Tech, and AIR Institute personnel will select twelve teachers or educators (six from each state) to become the first High School Educator AIR Certified Facilitators. The deadline to complete and submit the application is end of business on May 25, 2021.

Cohort Virtual Monthly Training Sessions
August – May 2022
Once certified, the twelve educators will participate in monthly cohort meetings as part of the national network. These opportunities will provide professional coaching, feedback, and peer-to-peer experiences.

2021 Training Dates

Virtual Trainings

  • Tuesday, June 15 1:00pm – 4:00pm EDT
  • Wednesday, June 16 1:00pm – 4:00pm EDT

In Person Trainings at the Reynolds Homestead in Critz, Virginia

  • Tuesday, June 22 9:00am – 5:00pm EDT
  • Wednesday, June 23 8:00am – 5:30pm EDT
  • Thursday, June 24 8:00am – 1:00pm EDT


Submit your application by close of business on May 15, 2021 below: