J.P. Hancock, Texas A&M University, College Station, Tx
Over the last 32 years, J.P. Hancock has been an educator at many different levels. Previously, an agriculture mechanics educator at the high school level, Hancock currently teaches at Texas A&M University in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications. For Hancock, returning to teach the courses he previously he took as a college student is important. “What I’m teaching is relevant to the education field, and I’m excited to work with our future teachers as they prepare to go into the workforce, it’s a full circle moment,” he explains. Hancock continues on to say that the best thing about working at the collegiate level is to work with students that want to make a difference in education for the future.
Hancock first came into contact with CareerSafe as a high school teacher. “A group of teachers and I initially took the OSHA 10-Hour [General Industry] to learn how to use it and get the credential ourselves,” he says. At the high school level, Hancock believes that an industry recognized credential is often essential in the difference between obtaining employment or not. By already having the credential prior to employment, many of his students received a pay increase $2 more an hour. “It’s a big concern…for students to have safety training. A lot of what they will be working with is dangerous so it’s important for them to be knowledgeable.”
Using OSHA training in his agricultural education classes at Texas A&M, Hancock wants to give his students as many tools as possible to be successful in the future. “My students are training to be agricultural teachers, so I have them go through the OSHA training to learn how it works and get [a credential],” he explains. Hancock is implementing the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour General Industry (Agriculture) safety training, the newest online course offered by CareerSafe, in his classes as a complement to the safety training he provides them. He explains that it’s convenient as work outside of the classroom. “Each week we discuss safety in a different topic. They are learning how to be educators and that includes safety in all circumstances,” continues Hancock. From general lab safety to agricultural focused safety including pesticides, truck and tractor equipment, and livestock, Hancock is interested to see how the additional OSHA 10-Hour training will translate into the classrooms of his students as they finish student teaching and enter the workforce. “They have the tools now to use the training in their own classrooms…I’m looking forward to seeing how it impacts them as educators. Safety is one of the most important things as an agricultural educator.”