PDCCC adds career coaches

Published 10:15 am Saturday, February 5, 2011


FRANKLIN—Paul D. Camp Community College has increased its number of career coaches, enabling the advisers to cover all public high schools in the college’s service region.

A career coach encourages high school students to graduate and further their education by enrolling in college.

“(They) are the extra resources to help high school students think about ‘what’s next’,” said PDCCC President Dr. Paul Wm. Conco.

According to Tech Prep Coordinator Audrey Lawrence, career coaches can provide assistance in the development of career pathway plans, as well support in the college application process, including financial aid, scholarship acquisition, counseling and career assessment, and assistance with dual enrollment.

“They also can coordinate career-focused opportunities by sponsoring field trips, in-school career fairs, activities specifically for graduating students and professional speakers to motivate and encourage students,” she said.

“Tech Prep programs form a bridge between high school and college by providing a blend of the academic courses you need for success in college with career and technical courses that prepare you for careers,” Lawrence added.

Coaches include:

• Daryl Savage, who also teaches physical education courses and serves as an educational counselor, is assigned to Southampton and Smithfield high schools.

He graduated from Hampton University in 2002 and earned his master’s degree in 2007 from Old Dominion University. Savage has been a volunteer for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s First Team Mentoring Program since 2004.

• Olivia Crawley, career coach at King’s Fork and Franklin high schools, has been with the program since its implementation in 2005.

Her experience includes guidance counselor/counselor at L.P. Jackson High School in Surry, John F. Kennedy Middle and High schools in Suffolk, Driver Intermediate School in Suffolk and Central Middle School in Gates County, N.C.

She enjoys her present position because it allows her to do much more than she could when she was a counselor.

“I get to share with students in much detail the many resources and opportunities available to them,” she said. “I think that the program is helpful to students because they get involved with hands-on career assessments, career- and learning-style activities, plus much more that is not available to them otherwise.”

• Shellae Woodlin, assigned to Lakeland and Windsor high schools, earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia State University.

She taught for five years at a private school and began as a career coach in November 2009. Passionate about her students, her ultimate goal is for them to reach their fullest potential.

• Esther Harrell is spending her first year as a career coach at Nansemond River High School. She is retired as guidance director for Lakeland High School.

Harrell was pleased that all of the Suffolk public high schools have the program in place.

“It was a pilot program, and Lakeland had it for four or five years,” she said. “The value of the whole program has been seen by the governor and the president of the college. There is such a need for (the program).”