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June 13, 2013

June 13, 2013

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Contact: Tami Hartmann
Moxley Carmichael


Steffanie Norwood’s mother is a police officer. That is why Norwood knows well the benefits and pitfalls of a career in law enforcement. Saturday, she will be following in her mother’s footsteps, receiving her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from South College. But she will be walking a different beat.

Norwood is one of nearly 180 students being honored at the South College graduation ceremony to be held 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Historic Tennessee Theatre. She loves the outdoors and is currently working as a park ranger in Cades Cove.

“I got tired of working in a factory,” said Norwood. “As a single mother, I wanted to show my kids that no matter what life hands you, you can always do better.”

So she decided to go back to school to pursue a career in criminal justice. The program at South College allowed her to continue to work and earn her degree in the evening.

Norwood volunteered at the National Park Service and was able to work into a job there as a ranger. She soon decided a degree in criminal justice would help her qualify to continue to work in the park system as a law enforcement ranger.

“It hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely worth it,” said Norwood.

The South College criminal justice program offers a variety of choices in future pursuits providing both the educational and training experiences necessary to enter federal and state police academies as well as positions with private and government employers.

One of many options for criminal justice graduates, a park ranger is an ideal career for professionals like Norwood who have an interest in law enforcement and a love for the outdoors. At more than 400 state and national parks across the nation, rangers provide a variety of services including enforcing park regulations, protecting the natural environment, preventing and containing forest fires, and serving as educational guides helping people to understand and respect the environment.

“I know police work is important and I respect what people like my mother do on the streets and in the community everyday,” said Norwood. “But I love the Park Service and feel I can also make a difference there. I intend to continue for another year to earn my master’s degree at South College.”

About South College

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels. South College seeks to meet the demands of the business community in East Tennessee and beyond through a focus on selected careers in high-demand fields. The school offers a doctoral degree in pharmacy; master’s degrees in physician assistant studies, criminal justice and education; bachelor’s degrees in business administration, criminal justice, elementary education, legal studies, nursing, and health science; as well as associate degrees in various fields including accounting, criminal justice, business administration, medical assisting, paralegal studies, physical therapist assistant, and radiography.

For information about this and other South College academic programs, visit