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Graduates choose RichmondCC to start their educational journey

Chad Haywood and Jimmy Collins both began their criminal justice careers at RichmondCC
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HAMLET – Chad Haywood and Jimmy Collins are no strangers to Richmond Community College. Not only are they graduates of the college, but they also have chosen similar career paths and have been friends since 2013.

Haywood is a native of Richmond County and always knew he wanted a career in law enforcement. He started his journey at RichmondCC and enrolled in Basic Law Enforcement Training and earned his certification in 2012. From there he worked in law enforcement for a couple different agencies until deciding to enroll in the college’s Criminal Justice Technology Program. In 2017, he graduated with his associate degree.  He also earned his general instructor training for law enforcement certification from RichmondCC.

“Richmond Community College isn’t just a place where you come to get your start. It’s a place where you continue to grow and learn,” said Haywood.

Haywood said RichmondCC was a home to him and gave him a great start to his education and career. After graduating from RichmondCC, he continued his education at Columbia College in South Carolina and finished his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2018. RichmondCC and Columbia College established an articulation agreement that year specifically for graduates of the criminal justice program. Currently, he is the superior court trial court coordinator for Anson County.  

“Every morning you have two choices: You can continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them. Going to RichmondCC helped me get closer to my dreams,” he said. 

 Collins’ path isn’t much different from Haywood’s. He began his education at RichmondCC by earning his GED in 2004. 

“The exceptional faculty at Richmond Community College was fundamental in setting the foundation for my educational success. RichmondCC is a unique community treasure that everyone should take advantage of to improve their life and become even more than they might imagine,” said Collins.

After some time, he decided to earn his associate degree and knew that RichmondCC was the best place to start. In 2017, he graduated with his first associate degree in criminal justice and earned an associate in science in 2018. He transferred with his friend to Columbia College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. 

 “If it wasn’t for the experiences, lessons learned, and education RichmondCC provided, I would not be the person I am today. No matter where I was on my educational journey Richmond Community College was there to help push me to new and greater heights,” he said.


Both Haywood and Collins recently earned their master’s degrees from University of Texas-Rio Grande in criminal justice. 

About the Program

The Criminal Justice Technology program is the gateway to a career in law enforcement, public safety, or the legal system at the local, state and federal levels. Graduates of this program will gain skills to go straight into the workforce or gain a transferable degree that will allow them to enter a baccalaureate program to further their education.

“A bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice is the standard for advancement in law enforcement, corrections, homeland security, emergency management and related areas,” said Patsy Stanley, director of Career and College Transfer Services at RichmondCC.

To meet the growing demand for law enforcement professionals, RichmondCC and Columbia College have signed an articulation agreement to create clear pathways to advanced degrees in criminal justice. This articulation agreement will allow students to obtain an Associate in Applied Science from RichmondCC and then go on to complete online a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice through Columbia College. Columbia College also offers students a “4+1” program, which allows students to obtain a bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice in just five years. In addition to Columbia College, the criminal justice program at RichmondCC has additional articulation agreements for criminal justice with seven other colleges or universities. 

Employment opportunities exist in a variety of local, state, and federal law enforcement, corrections and security fields. 

“Opportunities in public safety and law enforcement are growing rapidly, and higher education is the key to achieving greater earning potential and command level positions,” said Stanley.

For more information about the Criminal Justice Technology program, contact Student Service at 910-410-1700. For more information on the pathway with Columbia College and others, contact Stanley at 910-410-1700.


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