Emanuel County Institute and Swainsboro High School ninth-grade students and their advisors recently toured a selected industry and a post-secondary institution. As part of our Emanuel County Schools Strategic Plan, the district is working to develop opportunities for collaboration with our businesses, industries, and educational partners. The system has developed tours at both the teacher and student levels.
Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Director Stefanie Mason said the tour helps students familiarize themselves with the educational and career opportunities available in Emanuel County. With approximately 360 students attending, students toured one of the following: Southern Livestock Market, Crider Foods, Emanuel Medical Center, East Georgia Health Care, Emanuel County Courthouse, Emanuel Peanuts and Grain, American Steel, Hotset, Advanced Metal Components, America Knits, and Southeastern Technical College.
Following the tour, students and teachers were surveyed. When questioned about the tour, here are the students' voices: "This activity inspired me to keep working hard. These activities are important because it shows what working in the real world is like," said one student. Another explained how they respected the business they toured more now because they saw how people had to work together. Students gave insightful feedback on ways to enhance the tours to make them more valuable to them.
Principals see the value in the tours. Anetria Edenfield, Principal of Emanuel County Institute, said, "This was a great opportunity for our ECI students! They were able to learn in-depth what our industries actually provide here in Emanuel County, not only in terms of job opportunities but also in the product they produce. It is my hope that this sparked an interest and will plant a seed on how they can be a part of this once they graduate from ECI."
Brandon Andrews, Principal of Swainsboro High School, commented, "In our community, our students have an extensive prowess with an abundance of God-given ability. Nevertheless, the only career(s) our students observe daily are teachers, doctors, lawyers, and/or law enforcement. Whether we like it or not, our students have a vision/pathway to a modernized world outside of our community through technology, social media, and other various means of communication. Industry Tours provided our students with an opportunity to observe how relatable & relevant many of our industries are in this new, modernized world."
CTAE's next step will be to organize tours of businesses, industries, and post-secondary institutions with twelfth-grade students.