Southwest to launch new Faculty Industry Externship Program this summer

Southwest Tennessee Community College’s new externship program will allow faculty to gain cutting-edge experience to take back to the classroom.

Diana Fedinec, Director Public Relations and Media

College students are the ones who usually venture out into the workforce before they graduate to get precious experience to prepare them for a great career. Southwest Tennessee Community College is turning this tradition on its end and sending faculty into the workplace to gain experience so they can pass on cutting-edge skills and knowledge to their students. The ultimate goal of the Faculty Industry Externship Program is to prepare Southwest students to emerge as the most eminently prepared graduates in the Mid-South who are ready to work on day one.

“It will be a win-win-win for faculty, area businesses and students,” Southwest President Dr. Tracy D. Hall said.  “Southwest will provide a stipend to faculty who will learn cutting-edge techniques and protocols, Mid-South employers will gain a fantastic team member who adds value to their business at no cost, and students will benefit from being taught by instructors working in the jobs they seek to attain.”

Hall says this innovative program beautifully aligns with the community college mission and its greatest strength. “We are committed to teaching what industry needs us to teach, not what we want to teach, which is why community colleges were created,” she said. “One way to keep our fingers on the pulse of the needs of local businesses who hire our students is to have our faculty go into their workplaces and be students there and bring back what they learn to the classroom.”

The program will roll out this summer. As part of the initial pilot, Southwest is recruiting industry partners for the following academic programs: Accounting, Administrative Professional Technology, Architectural Engineering Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Business, Computer Engineering Technology, Computer Information Technology, Culinary Arts, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronic Technology, Hospitality Management, Industrial Process Control Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics and Paralegal Studies.

Businesses interested in the externship program should contact Associate Dean of Professional Development Jennifer Townes at 901-333-4711 or