Bainbridge State College’s School of Health Sciences and Professional Studies offers non-traditional career training, which proves to be beneficial to the student with mentors to support their goals.
A non-traditional career is known as one where less than 25 percent of the workforce is of the gender. Recently, students in non-traditional career training programs received supplies from the Technical College System of Georgia. Two pair of welding gloves for females in the Industrial Maintenance program and two stethoscopes for males in the Nursing Program were sent to BSC to assist these students.
Industrial maintenance student, Kristen Darley and nursing student, Del Salter, are two students who are among the students at BSC who are in non-traditional career training programs.
Salter advises students who want to go into a non-traditional career to “go for it.”
“It is not so much the majority demographic that is important in selecting a career path,” he said.
“What I have found important is to do something you enjoy. If you enjoy a certain career, don’t let issues such as being the minority gender hold you back.”
Darley enjoys learning new trades and welding has been one that she has always wanted to learn.
She said, “I know it is different seeing a woman in a career where she is not common, but women have been welding since World War II. There’s history behind women in welding and I want to keep that tradition going.”
Her advice for other women like herself in non-traditional careers is for them to follow their interests.
“Don’t let anyone stop you and that goes for any career that you are going after,” said Darley. “Stay positive and keep your head up because there will be times when you ask yourself if you have what it takes. There are people making an impact every day in non-traditional career and I think we should keep doors open for those wanting to make change in the world.”
The career training instructors encourage both the traditional and non-traditional students in their classes. David Sellers, Professor of Industrial Maintenance, does not focus his class as it relates to gender, but by the individual student’s desire for success in the field.
“My motivation is driven less by gender, and more by a desire to see all my students succeed in their chosen field,” said Seller. “I believe that students can change their lives and the lives of their families dramatically by finding skilled employment in the Industrial Maintenance field, since wages are some of the highest in the hourly wage sector. Women and men should be limited only by their own level of desire to work hard to succeed.”
Nursing instructor, Gena Peterson, finds it important to encourage male students to become a nurse for a variety of reasons. According to her, breaking the gender gap in nursing is something that has been needed for many years.
She said, “It is a highly rewarding career that offers stability, a competitive salary and it allows the nurse the opportunity to work in many diverse patient care environments. Gender should never prevent a person from doing something they love and have developed a passion for.”
Peterson encourages all students that enter her classroom.
“I encourage with positive reinforcement, constructive criticism, on-the-job experiences, and frequent pep talks and by being available to my students during business hours and beyond,” she said. “The nursing program will open many doors for all of our students.”