Southwest Tennessee Community College rolled out its Faculty Externship Program last summer and is set for a second round. The innovative initiative aimed at closing the gap between real-world application and classroom instruction placed Southwest faculty in area business environments where they engaged in knowledge sharing. “It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that enables our faculty to provide expert assistance to a company, while gaining knowledge and experience on the latest technology and protocols in the workplace,” Associate Dean of Professional Development Dr. Jennifer Townes said. “The faculty pass on that knowledge and experience to our students who will enter the workforce.”
The faculty worked for one month at National Guard Products, a Memphis-based, life-safety products company, where they helped the company streamline shipping, information technology and assessment processes. The faculty also learned how this Memphis business tailored its operations in response to the pandemic, invaluable knowledge they are passing along to Southwest students who will enter the workforce soon. In turn, area businesses will benefit from eventually hiring Southwest graduates who are equipped with the skills needed to address their company’s growing workforce needs.
“Business and entrepreneurs looking to create a more viable workforce and advance the economic well-being of Memphis and the Mid-South will find this partnership extremely valuable,” Southwest President Tracy D. Hall said. “In addition to learning state-of-art technological skills to apply to their curriculum, faculty are immersed in a real-world experience that opens up fresh teaching insight into the soft skills, social capital and business acumen students will need for most any job,” Dr. Hall added.
Southwest is gearing up for a second cohort and is seeking business partners who would like a Southwest faculty member to work on-site. Businesses have until March 26 to apply for faculty to work at their site May 25 – Aug. 6.
For more information about program requirements and to apply, business representatives should contact Dr. Jennifer Townes, Southwest’s Associate Dean of Professional Development, at 901-333-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch this video to learn more about how Southwest faculty and NGP teamed up last summer!