Work-based learning gives Effingham County students a head start to their future

Work based learning offers students a "try before you buy" approach to future careers
ECCA Work Based Learning
ECCA Work Based Learning(Sam Bauman)
Updated: Jul. 27, 2020 at 4:16 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Effingham College and Career Academy offers a wide variety of unique hands educational opportunities for their students.

In fact, one of those programs, Work Based Learning, actually puts students like Aaric Blaske, Emilie Rowland, Meagan Nary and Ethan Christmas into a real life working experience.

“I’m a runner for a law-firm in Springfield,” said Christmas.

“I’m a kennel assistance at Faulkville Animal Hospital,” said Nary.

“I’m a teacher assistant which is kind of like a student teacher,” Rowland says.

“I want to learn to be a doctor of kinesiology,” adds Blaske.

All great careers, especially considering, they're still in High School.

This is all possible thanks to Work Based Learning at Effingham College & Career Academy.

It gives students the opportunity to basically test drive a career, in the real world.

“The students get to go into the workplace and look at their possible jobs they may want as a career one day,” said Work Based Learning Coordinator for Effingham County High School Laura Griffin.

Students who excel in the classroom and are interested in Work Based Learning can be selected for the program starting their junior year.

For some, like Blaske, it’s a career path they’ve been heading down for years.

“I had a surgery in Elementary School, I couldn’t play sports anymore. So, I still wanted to be involved so I decided this would be a great way to stay involved and if I could do this in college that’d be great.”

For others, like Ethan Christmas who started in engineering, it's a new passion.

“As I went through school I got really interested in social studies and I realized law is this huge pathway, this huge field.”

Or maybe you know what career you want, but are still working on the specifics like Meagan Nary and Emilie Rowland.

“I’m trying to decide if I want to be a veterinarian or a veterinarian technician,” said Nary.

“Maybe I’m going to love Elementary School and not love Middle School so much. You never know until you’re in the moment and I’d rather know now and spend a year of high school doing it rather than spend the rest of my life doing something I don’t love,” Rowland said.

Plenty of options, which is exactly what this program is meant to offer.

“That’s what the whole program is all about. They’re trying to figure out if this is the pathway I want to go,” said Work Based Learning Coordinator for South Effingham High School Sherry Baggott.

In a way, letting them try before they buy.

Giving them a head-start in a career or college degree.

“All these terms that I would have to go to college to learn, I’m actually learning on the job,” said Christmas.

Plus, it has other perks too.

“They also get to leave school and go to work and get paid during the school hours, which they like.” Griffin says.

Although their paths may be different, they all feel the same when it comes to the vehicle helping them get there.

“It’s so incredible,” Christmas says.

“I think it’s a great experience,” adds Nary.

“It’s just an amazing eye opener,” said Blaske.

“I really enjoy it and I’m excited to be a teacher one day,” says Rowland.

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