Educator Externship Program Showcases Real-World Education in Our Communities

Date Posted: July 3, 2023

Recognizing the need to strengthen the region’s workforce pipeline through innovative partnerships with our K-12 colleagues, Southern Crescent Technical College hosted an Educator Externship Program in partnership with Georgia Power called Connect – SCTC that provided an opportunity for educators to observe technical education in action while interacting with local companies and gaining real-world industry experience to bring back to their schools and students.

Southern Crescent Technical College partnered with local public-school systems in Butts, Fayette, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Pike, Spalding, and Upson counties to offer this unique program. Through Connect – SCTC, three educators from each county spent four days from June 20-23, 2023, participating in the Educator Externship Program.  Time was spent understanding the local economy and exploring career opportunities in our industrial and allied health sectors.  While at industry sites and medical facilities in our area, educators met with key leaders to learn about the mission and vision of the company, participate in a tour, and shadow employees in key occupations.

SCTC President Dr. Irvin Clark commented, “What a fantastic week for technical education in our community!  Through Connect – SCTC Educator Externship, we were able to showcase technical education to local educators and bring awareness to the importance of technical education through various workforce development opportunities. We are incredibly grateful to Georgia Power for sponsoring this event and also to our local community partners including our local public-school superintendents, Development Authorities, Chambers of Commerce, and participating business, industry, and allied health partners who joined forces to make this unique program a resounding success.”

The educators participating in the program were nominated by their school superintendents, and after completing the program, they received a stipend made possible by a generous donation from Georgia Power.

Educators from Butts County: Dr. Lequesha’ Brooks, Ariel Woodruff, and Caroline Dodd toured R&B Metals and Wellstar Sylvan Grove.

Educators from Fayette County: Justin Hooks, Rebecca Hill, and Brittany Cook toured MOBA Corporation and Piedmont Henry Hospital.

Educators from Spalding County: Daniel Gooden, Jada Ingram, and Jameka Fields toured Caterpillar and Wellstar Spalding.

Educators from Henry County: Sammie Ely, Stephen Sanders, and Dr. Daryl Stone, toured Bennett International Group and Piedmont Henry Hospital.

Educators from Jasper County: Ashley McElheney, Nash Bragg, and Cynthia Dolvin, toured TREZZ and Jasper County Memorial Hospital.

Educators from Lamar County: Kaleigh Payne, Sharonda Bostic, and Carol Parrish, toured Continental Tire and Upson Regional Medical Center.

Educators from Pike County: Kayla Dennis, Stephanie Faulkner, and Jennifer Shepherd toured McLeroy, Inc., and Wellstar Spalding Hospital.

Educators from Upson County:Nath Legg, Randy Holliday, and Teresa Kendall, toured Quad Graphics and Upson Regional Medical Center.

Throughout the week, participants created a portfolio featuring a summary of the companies visited; an overview of four occupations found within the company; information regarding technical education, adult education, and business and industry training programs at Southern Crescent Technical College; and ideas to reinforce the soft skills/employability skills needed to succeed at the company. On June 23, 2023, all of the educators presented their portfolios at the Event Center on the SCTC Griffin Campus to external stakeholders, including Georgia Power representatives, Chamber representatives, Industrial Development Authority representatives, business hosts, allied health hosts, Southern Crescent Technical College Board of Directors, and Southern Crescent Technical College Board of Trustees.

The Educator Externship Program was designed to be rewarding, informative, and interactive.  The program provided a foundation for fostering future opportunities for our K-12 students in the region and strengthening the partnerships with education and industry to produce a better-equipped workforce.