MCC student completes WSCC corrections academy, begins new job in June. 

April 9, 2021

Nick Parker

MCC student completes WSCC corrections academy, begins new job in June. 

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central Schools in partnership with Mason County Press. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief. 

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — Mason County Central High School senior Nick Parker isn’t waiting around to start his post-high school career. Parker is the first student enrolled in West Shore Educational Service District Career & Technical Education program’s criminal justice program to simultaneously attend the West Shore Community College Corrections Academy program. Nick graduated from the program on March 26 and has already interviewed and been offered a job as a corrections officers for the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office, which he will begin in June.

Nick, right, practices techniques.

As a CTE student, his tuition in the WSCC program was paid for by the ESD. 

Nick, the son of Tamara and David Parker of Victory Township, is a second year CTE student. He said he started the program last year as a junior with the intention of becoming a police officer. 

“I always wanted to be a police officer,” he said. “But, as I got further along in the program, I started to get interested in corrections. It fits my personality more. I think there’s a really strong community within the corrections side. You work with the same crew, most of the time, and develop a strong bond. I’m also very interested in the equipment that is used.” 

Nick’s CTE instructor, Chrysten Gregory, said she has been impressed with Nick’s drive to enter the corrections academy and to move into a career at 18-years-old. 

“This has been a great testament to the influence career and technical education can have on a student,” Gregory said. “This has also been a great example of how well the different programs have worked together. Mason County Central High School Counselor Joan Vidak was great preparing Nick to finish his high school classes early so he could devote all his time to the academy. John O’Hagan, director of the WSCC criminal justice program, was wonderful to connecting Nick with the right people at the Manistee County Sheriff’s Officer. I just can’t say enough about the professionalism of the instructors in the WSCC program.”

The CTE criminal justice program is located on the main campus of West Shore Community College while the WSCC criminal justice program is housed in the Riemer Regional Public Safety Training Center on US 31 in Free Soil Township. 

MCC allowed Nick to fast track his last two classes by taking them online. Gregory allowed Nick to forego his regular CTE routine and attend the four week, 160 hour certification program. 

Nick said he is grateful for the CTE program. 

“CTE has been a great experience and I would encourage any high school student to take advantage of the opportunity,” he said. Nick said he plans on giving back by being a future guest speaker and CPR instructor in the CTE program. 

CTE is funded through a millage paid by the taxpayers of Mason, Oceana, and Lake counties. Students from Manistee County also attend on a tuition basis. 

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