November 2, 2022

shakari jonesHigh school students from all over the Midlands gathered on the Columbia College campus for Teacher Cadet College Day. River Bluff High School, Pelion High School, Eau Claire High School, Keenan High School, Camden High School, and Columbia High School were in attendance, with 92 students total. 

Whitney Chick, Education Lecturer and Teacher Cadet Liaison for Columbia College, shared, “Giving students a day to experience campus life, meet new people, and engage in conversations about college acceptance and preparation will give them the tools they need for their next step in higher education. Whether students choose a path in education or not, we hope their Teacher Cadet experience will encourage students to advocate for teachers.” 

A portion of the day was dedicated to service. Students from each school organized a professional clothing drive (October 6-19), which will be donated to the Palmetto State Teachers Association Teacher Clothes Closet. The Teacher Clothes Closet provides preservice and first year teachers the opportunity to shop for professional attire at no cost to them. Participants also enjoyed a fashion show featuring some of the donations that were received. Other events of the day included classroom visits across academic areas, lunch in the dining hall, a panel discussion on campus life, greetings from Arthur Pinckney from the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) as well as a motivational presentation from the current SC Teacher of the Year, Deion Jamison. 

The Teacher Cadet partnership fosters advocacy, leadership, and what being a teacher means to South Carolina. This partnership is one of the many ways Columbia College works to strengthen the South Carolina teacher workforce to better serve the youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow. 

Shakari Jones (pictured here), participant and senior at Eau Claire High School shared, “I plan to teach high school mathematics, so I do think the Teacher Cadet Program and the information I learned today will benefit me and give me tips on how to better prepare for my classroom and my students in the future.” 

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