Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus held its 2018 Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference Friday, April 6. The conference welcomed students and industry leaders from around the country with an overall goal of establishing a platform for educators and perspectives students to exchange fresh ideas, usable classroom techniques and strategies for teaching and learning success.

Keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Thea Williams-Black, dean of the College of Education at Tougaloo College. Williams-Black focused her presentation on respecting past trends and techniques of education, leading the present generation into the most beneficial and needed areas of education and securing the future in education.

Breakout sessions served as a backup to information obtained in the general session of the conference. Workshops were offered on why a prospective student should choose education as an employment field as well as how to obtain an educator’s licensure in the state of Mississippi. Other sessions include incorporating technology in early childhood settings, movement in the classroom and ways to introduce creative arts into a classroom setting.

“The purpose of this conference is to reach out to current and future teachers who would like to enhance their skills. Showing respect for the past, leading the present and securing the future of education is vital to our growing industry,” said Yolanda Houston, director of Early Childhood and Teacher Education on the Utica campus.

“Taking resources we learned as students and young teaching professionals and updating them to accompany innovative trends keeps us as educators relevant and relatable to our student population,” she said.

The conference also welcomed vendors from Mississippi Early Childhood Education, Mississippi Building Blocks, The University of Southern Mississippi Disability Studies, Jobs for Mississippi Grads, Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, Division of Medicaid, Kaplan Early Learning, and others.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

Jobs for Mississippi Grads representative Elizabeth Blackshire of Greenwood has attended the Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference four years running. Blackshire’s goal for attending the April 6 conference was to introduce her program to new graduates looking to gain employment in the teaching field.

Third year attendee and vendor Dr. Alice McGowan of Clinton represented Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center at the Early Childhood and Teacher Education Conference held April 6. McGowan, shown with Utica campus librarian Jean Greene, provided information to guests on early intervention services her company offered children with exceptional needs.

Early Childhood Education students Audrey Ward of Claiborne County, Aneekia McKenny of Simpson County and Samantha Boyd of Jefferson County attended the April 6 conference hoping to gather information about the industry. Ward and Boyd both have plans of becoming teachers, while McKenny hopes to one day become a social worker.

Dr. Tyrone Jackson, vice president for the Hinds CC Utica campus, spent time greeting guests and attending workshops at the Early Childhood and Teacher Education conference held April 6. He is shown with Dr. Will Smith, principal of Utica Elementary/Middle School.


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