This month, Piedmont Technical College (PTC) and the Western Piedmont Education Consortium (WPEC) began a partnership to strengthen the linkage between high school students, employers, and postsecondary pathways—ultimately to help students better connect with a career path earlier in their studies and with good jobs after graduation.
PTC will play an active role in the work of the Regional Career Specialist (RCS). The RCS is a longstanding position in the region intended to strengthen services for students on a number of fronts, including career awareness, partnerships with businesses for work-based learning opportunities, and ongoing professional development for school counseling staff.
With the new partnership, the RCS will be able to work alongside college personnel to provide resources designed to assist and to support school counselors and career specialists with the delivery of career awareness, career exploration, and career guidance activities to students in the Upper Savannah region. The RCS will be housed at Piedmont Technical College.
The Western Piedmont Education Consortium is an association of school districts in the Upper Savannah region in South Carolina that work collaboratively to make their districts more effective and efficient. The Consortium serves 13 school districts as well as affiliate members Lander University, PTC, and the SC Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe.
“This collaboration is really a natural fit,” said WPEC Executive Director Jim Suber. “PTC is already a great partner to all of our school districts with dual enrollment opportunities, and they are in regular contact with our school counselors and other district personnel, so it makes good sense to strengthen that connection for the benefit of students.”
The partnership began when Suber saw the need to provide additional support for perpetually busy school counselors in raising awareness among high students about career opportunities and about the ways dual enrollment can be leveraged to help students get on a path to a good job earlier. Suber began a dialogue with PTC President Dr. Hope E. Rivers and SC Department of Commerce Regional Workforce Advisor Matt Wiggins that resulted in an agreement for PTC to contribute financially to the position and to help with day-to-day management.
“We are excited about this new partnership,” said Dr. Hope Rivers, president of PTC. “We have been working to align our dual enrollment offerings with career pathways for students, so deepening our existing work with the school districts makes sense for the college and for students. We think this work will ultimately help students clarify their career goals earlier and help set them on a path to success in the future.”
To learn more about dual enrollment at PTC, visit www.ptc.edu/dual.
PHOTO: PTC President Dr. Hope E. Rivers and WPEC Executive Director Jim Suber