By Vern Garcia
USAREC, Columbia Battalion
August 02, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- More than 60 South Carolina educators participated in the sixth biannual, three-day Military Career Pathways MCP 101 course here recently.
The course teaches educators about military benefits, resources, and careers, and how those careers fit into the national education 16 career clusters.
"This is an amazing program to help build relationships with our schools," said Lt. Col. Robert Garbarino, Columbia Battalion commander. "After this, I believe these educators will see their local recruiter differently. I also hope they have a greater appreciation and understanding of the wide range of career fields available in the military."
Kama Staton, MCP 101 committee chairperson, is an education associate for the South Carolina Department of Education. She said the course breaks down stereotypes and helps educators help students make informed decisions about their future and how military service is a viable option.
"Every student in South Carolina needs to be aware of the globalization of military careers - high skill, high wage, with a seamless crosswalk to civilian careers," Staton said.
To receive recertification and continuing education credits, attendees were required to participate in all the activities and design a project they could implement in their schools during the upcoming school year.
"We encourage participants to invite [MCP 101] committee members and recruiters to help with and participate in their projects," said Laura Jones, an MCP 101 committee member.
On day one of the course, educators learned about the enlistment process, discussed with recruiters about how best to provide students with information about military careers, and visited McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, South Carolina.
"It is important, as educators, that you know as much as [you] can about every opportunity available to your students to better prepare them for bright futures," Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston, Jr., South Carolina Army and Air National Guard commander, said to attendees.
The second day, the group attended the basic training confidence course, visited the Engagement Skills Trainer - EST 2000 weapons simulator, and talked with several Soldiers about their different military occupational specialities.
Navy representatives talked about their nuclear program career options.
Shantelle James, Columbia Battalion education services specialist, showed educators how they could incorporate March2Success into their lesson plans.
"This has been a very good event; educators are very enthusiastic and asking for assistance with their projects," James said. "The event assisted in generating a greater interest in Army programs and opened future opportunities to work closely with educators."
On the last day, participants learned about the Air Force mission and the role Shaw Air Force Base plays in national security.
An end of course survey revealed 64 percent of participants believed military service programs were applicable to their areas of instruction and curriculum. Forty eight percent strongly agreed that career guidance can enhance student performance, character, and personal integrity.