Are you a high school senior or know a high school senior interested in a career in criminal justice? If so, you may be interested in a new program through the Criminal Justice Standards Division of the Department of Justice.
Current high school seniors who want to pursue a career in criminal justice and reside in Wilson County are eligible to apply for the North Carolina Criminal Justice Fellows Program. The program offers a 100% forgivable loan to any student attending a North Carolina Community College seeking a two-year degree. The loan is forgiven after just four years of working in an eligible criminal justice profession and county.
Wilson County did not qualify in the past, as we had an over threshold population maximum. It’s now been extended to counties with a population less than 200,000.
Wilson Community College’s two-year Associate in Science degree in Criminal Justice Technology is centered on learning criminal justice systems and operations, focusing on local, state, and federal law enforcement, judicial processes, corrections, and security services. The program can also be completed online too.
Many students will graduate with this degree and then transition into our Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy (or BLET, as we call it) – and vice versa. BLET is held twice a year and is 17 weeks long. And it’s for anyone wanting to become a sworn law enforcement officer. Cadets in the Academy have either been hired and sponsored by their agency or are seeking employment while attending the Academy.
Students who complete the BLET program are eligible to receive up to 15 hours of credit towards the criminal justice associate degree. In fact, many agencies in this area of the state pay a higher starting salary to those with associate degrees in the Criminal Justice field as well as an additional pay raise upon completion of a bachelor’s degree. Thinking long-term, this opportunity would allow a trained officer to potentially qualify for a leadership role if they have a two-year degree in the field, which often translates into higher pay.
The NC Criminal Justice Fellows Program is a win-win for any high school senior hoping to start a career in the field. The application window closes on May 31. Complete eligibility requirements, forms, and more information can be found on the NC DOJ website.
For more information about the Criminal Justice program at WCC, contact Dr. David Moody, Criminal Justice Technology Instructor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-246-1217. And for information about the WCC BLET Academy, contact Captain Billy Radford at email@example.com or 252 246-1215. #WilsonCC. We make Wilson work.