View article as it appears on GaffneyLedger.com
Spartanburg Community College (SCC) recently welcomed guidance counselors from local high schools in Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties to an inaugural event designed to educate them and their students on the benefits of attending college after graduating from high school. SCC's Guidance Counselor Outreach was held on the central campus in Spartanburg from June 13-17.
"Thanks to a grant from the SC Technical College System, we hosted 13 high school counselors on our campus and showed them first-hand all that SCC offers and the difference an SCC degree, diploma or certificate can make in the lives of their students," said SCC President, Henry C. Giles, Jr. "Although many of these counselors were familiar with SCC, this intensive week-long outreach exposed them to specific programs and opportunities available to students, as well as the critical role we all have in guiding students to pursue post-secondary education opportunities beyond high school."
According to a 2014 education study by the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project, "18.8 percent of Spartanburg County adults lack a high school diploma or equivalency, and another 31.5 percent hold high school degrees but no advanced certificates or degrees." This study, along with data from the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), shows that our community must make a shift in the importance we place on education and academic achievement if we are to meet the demands of the new knowledge economy, an economy in which know-how and expertise replace the labor-intensive requirements of the past."
"The goals of this first outreach effort was to help attendees gain an overview of SCC's mission, programs and enrollment process, as well as presenting workforce needs of local employers and matching those needs to training opportunities for their graduating students," explains Lynn Dale, SCC's associate vice president of enrollment and retention. "It's critical that we work hand-in-hand with guidance counselors to guide their students in selecting programs and job opportunities that match their aptitude and skills, and also align with available jobs once they graduate from SCC."
Dale adds that particular focus was placed on changing the perception of manufacturing and encouraging science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) related fields as well as IT and health care career options. The week-long event included tours of SCC's program areas at the central campus and gave counselors a first-hand opportunity to see classrooms and labs where their students would attend and the equipment - robots, computers, machinery - they will learn to operate throughout their SCC career. Participants were selected to attend by their high school principals and received a stipend and recertification credit for their participation.
Guidance counselors attending from across Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties included the following:
- Blacksburg High School - Brooke Cook
- Boiling Springs High School - Marietta Evans
- Boiling Springs High School - Pamela Lewis
- Broome High School - Gary Barnard
- Byrnes High School - Christina Paxton
- Chapman High School - Carrie Canada
- Chesnee High School - Donna Tucker
- Dorman High School - Stephanye McCarroll
- Gaffney High School - Felicia Carmichael
- Landrum High School - Lyndsay Mahaffey
- Spartanburg High School - Sarah Jumper
- Spartanburg High School - Calla Snow
- Union High School - Imani Richard
Photos from SCC's Guidance Counselor Outreach can be viewed or downloaded from Flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sccsc/27697056966/in/album-72157669375416111/