avatar for Maria Swygert

Maria Swygert

SC Department of Education
Team Lead, OCTE
South Carolina
Mrs. Swygert has been focusing on education for more than 20 years striving to promote the value of career and technical education (CTE) in South Carolina. Prior to joining the OCTE, Mrs. Swygert taught in the K-12 computer science classroom, developed state-wide virtual curriculum resources, and worked with special projects and federal career and technical legislation at the SC Technical College System Office (SCTCS). While at the SCTCS, she was selected by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to work closely with the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) in developing the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act which amended the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). Focusing on supporting partnerships between the community, the educational arena, and business and industry has been a driving factor in her career. One such partnership led to being awarded a grant from the Microsoft Corporation to develop a middle-grade curriculum utilizing robotics in the classroom. In addition, she was asked to commit time and support for a partnership with the University of South Carolina’s School of Engineering on a National Science Foundation grant for robotics. She has published articles in the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) journal Techniques on articulated programs of study and non-traditional student success. In addition, she has assisted in the successful development and facilitation of numerous state-wide professional development opportunities for secondary and post-secondary students, faculty, and administration. Mrs. Swygert continues her passion to continually advocate for student success and promote their presence in a global economy through college and career readiness.