Northeastern Technical College

Contact Us | NETC Portal

20 years after she started college, she has no regrets.

Criminal Justice student Cynthia McCormick (on left) practices her technique for fingerprint dusting during class at Northeastern Technical College.

It may have taken Cynthia McCormick 20 years to finish the college degree she started in high school, but she says she wouldn't change a thing about the life that "got in the way."

Cynthia McCormick is a widowed mother of four children, a Northeastern Technical College graduate, the President of the NETC Student Government Association, and now a recently elected town councilwoman in Patrick. She has a lot on her plate, but she's always been committed to earning a college degree, which will happen this spring when she walks across the stage to accept her Associate in Science in Criminal Justice.

According to Cynthia, the road to her associate's degree has been a long one, because "life happened," but over the years, she never lost sight of her goal.

Cynthia began working towards her college degree in 1995 as a Cheraw High School student with Northeastern Technical College's Dual Enrollment program. Following high school, she used the college credits she earned to enroll in NETC's Criminal Justice certificate program, which she completed in 1997.

After NETC, life moved fast. Cynthia moved to Columbia and worked for the state correctional system while taking more college courses at Midlands Tech. A few years later, she re-connected with a man she had known since childhood, fell in love, and moved back to her hometown of Patrick. Life happily happened. Cynthia had children and nurtured her growing family. In 2004, Cynthia found her passion for a career in criminal justice system re-kindled while working with disadvantaged and troubled youth at AMI Kids in (town).

"I have always been passionate about service, because my mother taught me that giving back was important. I wanted to help troubled kids, and I knew that a criminal justice degree could be helpful," Cynthia said. "Neither of my parents finished school beyond the eighth grade, my mother and I actually learned to read together. Education and service are two very important aspects in my life."

In 2013, Cynthia's life changed drastically when her husband suffered a heart attack, and died suddenly. As a single mother, with two teenagers and two pre-school aged children counting on her, Cynthia couldn't allow the tragedy to derail her life.

"My husband's death really motivated me to do something and finish my degree," she said. "Recently, my son was recently diagnosed with autism, so I don't know what will happen. But, I do know that now it's more important than ever to finish what I started. People are counting on me, and I have to set a good example."

In fall of 2013, Cynthia was on campus to help her teenage daughter enroll at NETC, when she learned the Criminal Justice program had expanded, allowing students to earn their Associates Degree, and she knew that the time had come to get her college education back on track.

"It was a little scary even thinking about going back to school," said Cynthia. "I knew that I was going to be older than most students, but instead of it being a problem I think it's worked to my advantage."

Cynthia feels that with maturity comes wisdom, and says the younger students sometimes look to her for help.

"I take my classes more seriously now than when I was younger. I am driven to learn," said Cynthia. "I take good notes, I'm always in class, and my classmates know that I am not afraid to speak up and ask the questions they won't."

Cynthia says that many programs at NETC have helped her along the way. She uses free tutoring services, available through support services, to ensure that she doesn't lag behind, and works with her advisor to ensure she's on track to transfer her degree to Coker College next fall.

"I know there are lots of people who can say that "life" got in the way of their education, but you live and learn," she said. "I wouldn't have wanted it any differently, I love being a parent, and didn't want to miss anything with my kids."

Cynthia thinks that no matter your age or circumstance, you are never too old to start, or finish college.

"Life may have gotten in the way, but it didn't stop me. I have no regrets."

Photo Caption: Criminal Justice student Cynthia McCormick (on left) practices her technique for fingerprint dusting during class at Northeastern Technical College.

Tags: Alumni College College Educated Community Pathway to a Future Students Transfer Opportunities




Back to The News   Share with a Friend

  • Kayla Gibson, Dual Credit Student:

    Taking classes at Northeastern Technical College while in high school has helped prepare me for the College of Charleston by earning credits that I will need for my major. I will be entering the College of... Read More about Kayla

  • Cynthia Hulon, Educational Mentor:

    I received individualized attention from my instructors at Northeastern Technical College when I was going through the business program. NETC's faculty and staff members are very friendly and accommodating, and they really care about their students.... Read More about Cynthia

  • Anissa Keith, NETC Alumna:

    Going to Northeastern Technical College allowed me to work a full-time job, be at home with my child and live in my community. At NETC, you are more than just a number in a classroom. The... Read More about Anissa

  • Jonathan Rivers, Farmer:

    Going to NETC, which is exactly 17 miles from my home, was convenient. I could live at home and go to school, which was a lot more affordable for me than going off to college elsewhere.... Read More about Jonathan

  • Santrice Hailey, NETC Alumna:

    Northeastern Technical College was my pathway to a better life. NETC was directly involved in getting me where I am today and having the job that I am so passionate about.... Read More about Santrice

  • Tony Knight, Printer of T-Riffic Promotions:

    NETC was my pathway to a broad range of knowledge that has allowed me to pursue my dream of owning my own business. NETC is a great starting point for people who are undecided about their... Read More about Tony

  • Davis Yarborough, Loan Officer:

    Northeastern Technical College is a huge resource for students attending four-year colleges and universities who come home for the summer. It's a quality education at a fraction of the cost. And it's right here in Chesterfield... Read More about Davis

  • Trevor Gilchrist, Former Dual Credit Student:

    Being a part of the Dual Enrollment program at NETC allowed me to not only graduate in four years from college, but also see the world. By gaining a head start in my college career through... Read More about Trevor

  • Hester Ellerbe, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor:

    Life is a journey, and NETC was my starting point on my pathway to a rewarding career in social work. NETC can be a starting point for many who are ready to start pushing for an... Read More about Hester

  • Larry McNeil, Chief of Police:

    The education I received at Northeastern Technical College was my pathway to a fulfilling, exciting and successful career in law enforcement. Had I not started at NETC, I would never have achieved my position as chief.... Read More about Larry

  • Alanda LeGrand, Cosmetology instructor:

    I tell my students all the time that they need to pursue an associate degree and not just rely on the cosmetology certificate. A two-year degree can be their pathway to another job if they do... Read More about Alanda

  • Chad Hood of Lineman:

    If you live in Chesterfield, Marlboro or Dillon counties and you're having a hard time finding work, there's no reason not to start you­r education at Northeastern Technical College.... Read More about Chad

  • Caroline Sylvia, Former Dual Credit Student:

    I am thankful for the opportunity I had to take dual credit classes at NETC. Not only did they help me prepare for college level course work and scheduling, the college credits I earned at NETC... Read More about Caroline

  • Frank Ponce, Movie Director:

    I have a passion to create. I'm not just doing this because of the money, the fame or power. It is truly my passion. I am an artist, and I will always create to make people... Read More about Frank

  • Jarrett Davis, Electronics student:

    By enrolling in the Industrial Electronics program at NETC, I am pursuing the dream I’ve had for a long time of becoming an electrician. Going to school at NETC and learning these advanced skills has been... Read More about Jarrett

  • Emily Williams, NETC Alumna:

    I knew I wanted to study law, and Northeastern Technical College offered the pathway to becoming a legal office assistant. The smaller classes and the support services offered by NETC really met my needs and allowed... Read More about Emily

  • Josh Thomas, INA Apprentice:

    NETC is my pathway to a college degree and a better life. It has helped me define my career plans and pursue a job in machine tool technology where I can use my problem solving skills.... Read More about Josh

  • Tommy Pegues, Registered Nurse:

    Northeastern Technical College was close to home and my job, and it was affordable. It was my starting place. With this nursing degree from NETC, I can branch out and go anywhere.... Read More about Tommy

Website Design by: TrueBlue Advertising & Kaleidoscopic, Inc.   ||   Powered by: PageCraftCMS