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SCCC partners with Sussex Technical High School

12/14/2020 12:04:44 PM

If everything goes as planned, Sussex County Technical High School and Sussex County Community College (SCCC) will soon be strengthening their already strong partnership in a variety of ways that will benefit students at both of their schools.

Sussex Tech and SCCC have begun monthly planning and collaboration meetings to share objectives and goals to enhance students’ education. While there has been a history of collaboration on several projects between the two schools in the past, the “Securing our Children’s Future” bond act will help support a shared vision for career and technical education in Sussex County.

"The primary objective of this grant opportunity is to increase capacity to offer CTE programs that prepare students for high-demand, technically skilled careers. This support will go a long way in helping to sustain career and technical education within the County for decades to come," said Cory Homer, Associate Vice President, Student Success and Institutional Effectiveness.

Working together, however, is nothing new for the two schools. Over 30% of the Sussex Tech graduating class enrolled at SCCC in the Fall of 2020 to continue their studies. In addition, students enrolled in the Law and Public Safety program at Sussex Tech have the opportunity to take their entire senior year on the SCCC campus, while earning college credits.

"The collaborative efforts being discussed between our College and Sussex Tech reflect a long history of synergistic efforts between our two institutions," said Dr. Kathleen Okay, SCCC's Sr Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. "This newest collaboration includes the sharing of facilities and equipment to better leverage our individual holdings beyond any point either side could attain individually; structuring curriculum in a way that allows students to earn credentials in a more expedient manner; and ultimately supporting county industries by developing a skilled workforce to meet their evolving needs."

A few areas currently being discussed include Mechatronics/Engineering, Optics Technology, and Exercise Science/Sports Medicine. 

Deb Keiper Vice Principal at Sussex Tech agrees.

"We each have programs that can augment each other, with equipment and maker spaces, as well as direct connections to specific majors. In many cases, it is a natural progression for our students to attend SCCC. If the bond gets approved, there's no telling how far the two schools can take the relationship." Keiper said.  

Keiper notes that "new labs, new programs, shared equipment and services" will all be on the table for consideration, and she added, local companies like Thor Labs, will be the beneficiary of this expanded association. "There are a great many opportunities here," she said. 

Both schools are currently developing their applications which are due in March 2021.