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Kershaw County Adult Education receives 2023 Spearman Innovation Award

Kershaw County Adult Education receives 2023 Spearman Innovation Award
Webmaster Putnam

The South Carolina Office of Adult Education selected Kershaw County Adult Education (KCAE) as the recipient of the 2023 Spearman Innovation Award at the Fall Training and Awards Conference held in Columbia on Friday, November 10, 2023. The Innovation Award is presented to a local Adult Education service provider that has demonstrated an innovative practice, process or service during the 2022-2023 school year. The recipient of the award must be able to present with qualitative and quantitative data how their innovation has met a particular need of the local program, students, area employers, the workforce system, or local community. Innovative Adult Education practices may be new or significantly improved instructional or supportive activities that facilitate the attainment of knowledge and skill development, secondary credentials, postsecondary credentials, and/or employment.

Kershaw County Adult Education submitted an application based on the proactive stance the program takes in collaborating with area high schools to provide an opportunity to meet the needs of the county's young adult students who are at risk of dropping out and to provide an avenue for them to continue their education. The key component of this initiative has been the development of Adult Ed 101 training and informational sessions for staff and students at our local area high schools. Staff sessions provide information on the role of Adult Education, the profile of a Young Adult Program student and general information regarding program entry. The program schedules student assemblies at local high schools, where students are encouraged to take charge of their academic future – be it a change in their current engagement levels or a hard look at the Choice Academy (our Young Adult Program). KCAE also provides general program information on Choice Academy as well as Office of Adult Education programmatic information such as GED by 24 (an initiative that allows students to qualify for free tuition and fees upon successful completion of their High School Equivalent Diploma) and clears up any misgivings or stigma related to earning a High School Equivalency Diploma. Staff provides the parents program information and invites them to attend student assemblies or schedule follow-up meetings. 

This initiative has helped KCAE to identify and graduate 11 students thus far with 21 more currently enrolled and working towards attainment of employability and secondary credentials. Director Byron Johsnon says “We are glad to be able to provide an opportunity for students to get back on track and move in a direction of being gainfully employed. It’s an honor for our staff to be recognized for this achievement.”

For more information regarding programming offered at Kershaw County Adult Education, please contact the school at 803.425.8980 or email 

Pictured (left to right): LeKeith Bufford, Lead Teacher; Byron Johnson, Director; Bridgett Bailey, Program Coordinator