SGTC Criminal Justice students prepare for SkillsUSA
Published 9:18 pm Sunday, March 12, 2023
From Staff Reports
ATLANTA – Five South Georgia Technical College Criminal Justice students are competing in the Georgia SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta this week along with other SGTC students from Aviation, Cosmetology, and Barbering programs.
All of the SGTC students have been putting in extra work with their instructors to prepare for the state competition. Criminal Justice students Ashlyn Childs and Traneisha Burns are competing in the Crime Scene competition. Brantley Vansickle is competing in the Criminal Justice Category. Marticia Garcia will be competing in the Job Interview category and Jessica Wiley will be competing in the T-shirt design category.
While these students were preparing for their state-wide competition, SGTC Americus Criminal Justice Instructor Teresa McCook had a great team of current officers in the field to come in and share their knowledge and expertise with the students.
“I could not have done this without these officers coming in and working with these students,” said McCook. “I really appreciate all of their help. Our criminal justice books give the students the information, but to have officers come in and do the work with them in exercises and mock crime scenes really helps them to comprehend and be prepared for what is to come.”
Special Agent John Welch from the GA Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Division was one of the officers to come to campus and assist McCook’s criminal justice students as they were preparing for their state competition.
Welch, who is currently enrolled in the SGTC Criminal Justice Program and is a candidate for Spring Graduation with his Associates degree, was the SGTC Student of Excellence winner for February 2023.
He was able to observe the students complete a mock crime scene and help them with suggestions. Teresa McCook advised that she appreciates current officers in the field like Special Agent Welch coming in and helping and providing real-life advice with current practices being done in the field.
Other officers who volunteered their time included: Detective Sgt. Eric English and Sgt. Chet Nowell from the Americus Police Department; Special Agents James Gibson and Dylan Talley from the Americus GBI office, Sgt. Ellen Anderson from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and SFT. Gourley from the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office
Detective Sgt. Eric English and Sgt. Chet Nowell from the Americus Police Department worked with the students early in the process. Special Agents James Gibson and Dylan Talley from the Americus GBI office came in and worked an outside mock crime scene with the crime scene students. Sgt. Ellen Anderson from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office shared some suggestions with the students as well. SFT. Gourley from the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office also provided valuable assistance with a mock crime scene.
During each of these practices, the current officers in the field were able to observe the students in action and provide suggestions on areas of improvement. In addition to preparing the students for the SkillsUSA competition, these officers are helping prepare them for their future after graduation.
SGTC is proud that these current officers are willing to give back to the next generation of SGTC students. Nowell and Anderson are both graduates from the SGTC LEA and criminal justice program with their associate degree. English is also a graduate from SGTC with a computer programming degree. Welch is a Spring 2023 candidate for graduation with his associate degree in criminal justice and has been taking online courses. Gourley is currently working on his degree as well.
“I love that we have these officers who are willing to come in and help our current students succeed,” said McCook. “I have not been in the field since 2006 so to have current officers to be able to come in and share with these students the best practices and current trends to use is a big help in making sure our students have what they need to succeed in and out of the classroom.”
In addition to the mock crime scene activities, SGTC students Garcia and Wiley have been working as well on their SkillsUSA competitions by preparing resumes, portfolios and a design workbook.