Northside High School student Macy Radcliffe is the first to graduate high school with a Criminal Justice Technology Diploma from Beaufort County Community College. Radcliffe took classes through Career and College Promise, a dual enrollment program that allows high school students to take free classes at their local community college.
Northside High School student Macy Radcliffe will earn her Criminal Justice Technology Diploma this May as she graduates from high school.
The criminal justice technology program
prepares students for careers in law enforcement, crime scene investigation, parole and probation, and corrections.
Radcliffe is also part of the Pirate Promise program, where BCCC students are guaranteed admission to East Carolina University. After finishing a few more classes at BCCC to get her associate's degree, she will finish her bachelor's degree in criminal justice at ECU. She also plans to return to BCCC to complete its Basic Law Enforcement Training.
"I've just always wanted to be in the law enforcement field,"
said Radcliffe. "Everyone around me wanted to be in nursing, and they were already taking classes. I thought I might as well get on the go and pursue my dreams while I can."
Dual-enrollment is not an easy task. "At first it was a lot. I wasn't used to online classes,"
she said. "I was still taking high school classes and working at Food Lion. I let go of sports my sophomore year in high school. There were nights I stayed up until 2:00 to get things done. But I'm glad that I did it."
"Macy has worked very hard to balance high school, college, and working a job,"
said Crystal Watts, Lead Professor for Criminal Justice Technology. "She has always performed above expectations. I am extremely proud of her and can't wait to see what her future holds."
The classes started reinforcing her excitement about the field. "The classes made me more interested and made me want to go further. I know now it's what I want to do,"
Radcliffe said. Her mother also holds a degree in criminal justice.
As part of her 40-credit hour curriculum, Radcliffe did a ride-along with local law enforcement. "I loved it. I was nervous at first,"
Radcliffe said about the ride-along. "When you are riding along with them, it's a whole other mindset. You feel safe, but your adrenaline is rushing, and there's a lot of things going through your head at once, but at the end of the day you see that you made a difference."
"Just to think that every day I would be helping and protecting our community,"
she reflected about her motivation to be in law enforcement. "Trying to help people for the better. That's what pushes me the most. I've always wanted people to improve, and change the community for the better."
But it is not just goodwill that motivates her. She loves the adrenaline that comes along with the job. "I know that I will enjoy my job and not dread it every day,"
she said. "I'll love what I'm doing. If you're on patrol, you don't know what you're going to come across. You are never going to be bored."
While Radcliffe completed the program for free through Career and College Promise, students who are interested in the criminal justice program can take advantage of the Criminal Justice (CJ) Fellows Program
. This program pays covers the cost of tuition, fees and books with a forgivable loan in exchange for the graduate working in law enforcement or corrections in a designated county, including Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell, Washington, Martin and Bertie Counties. Students should contact Crystal Watts at email@example.com
to find out more.
BCCC will hold monthly orientation sessions for students interested in joining its fall Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET). These trainings will take place as an online Zoom session where applicants can ask questions and get help filling out their application packet for the fall 2020 BLET academy starting August 17.
The first session will take place on May 20, with later sessions on June 24 and July 29. Participants will need to first contact Larry Barnes at 252-940-6228 or firstname.lastname@example.org
to get signed up for a session.
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- 5337 U.S. Highway 264 East
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