Paige McCardle has a passion for helping others and making a difference. McCardle teaches Adult Education at the Advanced Technology Center and Psychology of Personal Adjustment at Jones College. McCardle is in her seventh year at Jones.
McCardle is a Smart Start instructor, which is a course for someone who returns to get their high school equivalency, also known as a GED. Students learn how to write a resume, be successful in an interview, and possess the skills employers are looking for. The students also learn what the company expectations are for employees, such as getting along with others. The class requirement is 45 hours. Students learn lots of things from being in the class, such as participating in mock interviews and how to dress appropriately for work.
McCardle says her class is kind of like having a job. For example, students have to show up to class on time and dress appropriately, or they will be sent home, just like if they were at a real job.
“We work with them and get them enrolled. We teach you a trade and you’re able to go out and get a job to be a functioning tax-paying citizen,” McCardle said. “We have truck driving, welding and CNA, which is a healthcare assistant, but it’s the first step in becoming a nurse. We have all those classes that you can go into called Workforce classes.”
Before working at Jones and the Advanced Technology Center, McCardle worked for the American Cancer Society. She said when she left that position, she wanted to do something that felt equally rewarding.
She said she feels she is doing that by working at Jones and seeing students come through the program.
“What is really cool is when you get a classroom with multiple ages in it, and you see an older student that could be old enough to be their grandparent, helping that younger student. Or flipside, you see that 16 year old sitting with a 40 year old, and they’re helping the 40 year old learn,” McCardle said. “Seeing their determination and excitement to want to earn their high school equivalency is very rewarding.”
Shai Holder, who worked with McCardle at Relay for Life events and the American Cancer Society, said, “Paige is one of the most positive people I have ever met. She can find the good in every situation. From encouraging those with cancer at Relay for Life Events, to being a cheerleader for those trying to better themselves through adult education, Paige is just such an incredible person.”
For more information on this program, contact the Advanced Technology Center at 601-477-4164.
by Olivia Norwood