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Army Veteran Transitions to
New Career in Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice Technology students learn legal concepts, investigative techniques, and interviewing and interrogation methods. They study evidence collection and presentation, report writing, and patrol operations.
Verrault’s first job after graduating from Durham Tech was with the Crabtree Special Police Department in Raleigh. There he dealt with property crimes such as larcenies and frauds, along with the occasional fight. Then he moved to Washington, DC, to work with the National Zoological Park Police Department. The animals and the area were interesting, and there was little crime. “It was all tourists,” he said. However, his current position with the NC Central University Police Department is the best fit for his personality and skills.
“At a college, you are able to build relationships with faculty, staff, and students,” he said. “I like having the opportunity to interact with the students and help them solve their problems.”
Verrault tells students who are enrolling in the BLET program at Durham Tech to also pursue the Criminal Justice Technology degree. “You are a much more competitive job applicant with a degree, and the knowledge you gain makes you a better officer,” he said.
Graduates of Criminal Justice Technology find positions in federal, state, county, and municipal governments, as well as in industrial, retail, and private security businesses. Graduates earn an Associate in Applied Science degree. The program, offered during the day and the evening, may be completed in five semesters.
Graduate’s Career in Respiratory Therapy
Takes Her to New Heights
After graduating from Durham Tech in 2008, Kendall worked for UNC Hospitals’ Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and later the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She recently was hired to work with UNC Hospitals’ Pediatric Air Care Transport team on a helicopter that transports pediatric patients throughout the state. During adverse weather, they use an ambulance. The pediatric team always includes a respiratory therapist and a registered nurse to help care for the patients during transit.
The skills and knowledge Kendall obtained at Durham Tech are serving her well on the job. Her classes of 20 to 25 students were small enough for individual attention. She enjoyed the combination of both classroom and clinical time. “We received a lot of exposure to local area hospitals, which really helped in finding a job,” she said. The students spent clinical time at Duke University Medical Center, the Durham VA Medical Center, UNC Hospitals, Rex Hospital, and WakeMed.
Kendall says respiratory therapists must adapt to a wide variety of patients. “You see newborns and geriatric patients, so it is important to understand the physiology behind taking care of each set of patients,” she said. She said prospective students should be interested in anatomy and science and be technology driven.
Respiratory Therapy classes are held during the day, and clinical rotations are
scheduled during the day and in the evening. Graduates of this five-semester
High School Computer Course
Led to Student’s Career Goal
The Computer Programming curriculum emphasizes hands-on training in programming and related computer areas that allows students to adapt as systems evolve. Students learn computer concepts, logic, programming procedures, languages, generators, operating systems, networking, data management, and business operations. They develop skills in solving business computer problems through programming techniques and procedures and in using appropriate languages and software.
Graduates find employment in business, industry, and government organizations as programmers, analysts, computer operators, systems technicians, or database specialists.
Lightbourne-Pratt, like many students, not only attended college but also held down a part-time job while raising a family. She was able to schedule her courses on Mondays through Thursdays and work some part-time hours with a caterer on weekends. At Durham Tech, Lightbourne-Pratt said she was surprised at the attention she received from her instructors. “Anytime I needed help, they were there,” she said. Early on she discovered that there were few females in her classes. In fact, in one class, she was the only female. Lightbourne-Pratt took it in stride and made excellent grades.
For her internship, she worked for Anderson Edward Solutions, an information technology consulting firm based in the Research Triangle Park. The company specializes in software design and development and business intelligence solutions. During her internship, she was able to practice the skills she was learning in the classroom. The internship then led to a part-time job with Anderson Edward Solutions. Lightbourne-Pratt will continue her studies in Programming at NC Central University.
Accounting Graduate Finds Her Niche in Numbers
When Tenaglia became pregnant with her daughter, she decided to enroll in Durham Tech’s Accounting program. “I wanted to better myself to be a good role model for my daughter,” she said. In her classes, she met others who loved spreadsheets as much as she did. “I am way too organized,” she admits. “I love numbers and love making them reconcile.”
Today, Tenaglia is the accountant at Evergreen Partners, a Durham nursery. She also is the part-time bookkeeper at New Hope Church. Her advice to prospective students is not to rush through your courses. “It will seem like you'll be in school forever, but there are some very encouraging people at Durham Tech,” she said. “You will get more out of the experience by slowing down and doing excellent work in each class.”
Accounting has three major fields, including public
accounting, private and industrial accounting, and
governmental and non-profit accounting. Durham
Students may enroll in day or evening classes. The
Associate of Applied Science degree is awarded
upon completion of the program. Students who
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