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Anderson dot5.gif (848 bytes)Oconee Pickens

This release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507,
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506,

Criminal Justice Career Fair at Tri-County April 5

(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- Soon-to-be graduates of Tri-County’s Criminal Justice program will get the opportunity to talk one-on-one with recruiters from local law enforcement agencies, as well as DeKalb County, GA, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., police departments, at a career fair set for April 5.

“Representatives will be recruiting for their departments and will be looking at Tri-County students,” said Jonathan McCombs, program coordinator for the College’s Criminal Justice Technology department. “We’re excited about the list of agencies that will be here. It broadens the scope of opportunities for the 40 men and women who will complete their degree requirements in May. The job market for our graduates is really good and isn’t limited to law enforcement work.”

The Career Fair will be held from 10 a.m. - noon in the Student Center. The public is invited to attend. Agencies in attendance will be: State Law Enforcement Division, Belton, Clemson, and Seneca police departments, Pickens and Oconee County Sheriff’s Departments, Anderson University, Southern Wesleyan University, Department of Social Services and Defender Security.

Tri-County grads are prepared for entry-level jobs in security, protective services, corrections and court administration. The degree doesn’t mean they will all work in the government sector. They also can work in the private sector as private investigators, security officers, loss prevention and other related professions.

McCombs added that since 9-11 security-related jobs are more abundant due to a more security-conscious society.

The number of agencies requiring an associate degree has grown in the last five years, said McCombs. “Most studies show that college-educated police officers are more comfortable with diversity and are better able to cope with real-world scenarios. They’re also more adept at problem solving, have good communication skills and have a good ability to convey information to a wide variety of audiences.” The associate degree also gives new police officers a leg up in terms of passing the classes at the Criminal Justice Academy, he added.

“Our students are prepared for the workforce,” he said. “We put a large emphasis on the law so they are familiar with case law and how the court systems work because that is typically the most confusing part of the job, and it is ever changing. Other components of the curriculum are community policing, criminal investigation, police administration and criminology.

“The Career Fair will get our students acclimated to the employers and their process of applying for a job, which can be daunting because it’s a detailed, lengthy process that encompasses preparing documents, meetings, interviews and possibly a polygraph test,” explained McCombs.

He added that two of the department’s strengths are its seasoned instructors’ wealth of knowledge and offering the entire Criminal Justice curriculum online. Both McCombs and Department Head Johnson Link have years of police work experience. McCombs worked seven years in law enforcement, including time in investigations and patrol. Johnson Link served 25 years in law enforcement with 17 years as Clemson’s police chief. Corey White has six years of law enforcement experience and has worked as an attorney, probation and parole agent and patrolman. He is a member of the Connecticut State Bar.

“We have a strong team who is able to convey the material via real-world example, which can be invaluable,” he said.

Offering the entire criminal justice curriculum online has been a lifesaver for many officers who work 12-hour shifts and battle time constraints and schedule conflicts that can often hinder completing their degree through the traditional classroom route.