Stories of Excellence–Todd Carver
Todd Carver believes in the power of education. Whatever degree, diploma or certification a student may seek, whatever career a student may wish to pursue, an education is critical to creating opportunity. Education has opened doors in Carver’s life, and now he is helping others change their lives.
The first in his family to ever graduate college, Carver knows his degree has provided him with many opportunities. “My education has been a way to really change my life. I am educated to the point where I have options and choices that others in my family before me didn’t have,” he noted, “and Mitchell helped get that started.” Carver entered Mitchell’s Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program in 1995 after he completed his service in the Air Force. Upon graduation and certification, he began working at the Mooresville Police Department. While Carver earned a degree from the Community College of the Air Force, the credentialing did not qualify him for advancement in the field. Instead of seeing his lack of credentials as a roadblock, Carver saw it as an opportunity. “It ended up being one of the best things to ever happen to me,” he said. In 1996, Carver decided to return to school to earn another degree, enrolling again at Mitchell in pursuit of his associate’s degree while working full time.
After receiving his Associate of Arts degree from Mitchell in 2000, Carver transferred to Gardner Webb University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in human services. He then went on to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) to get his master’s degree in criminal justice. Like many students, Carver worked full time during his years as a student, serving at the Mooresville Police Department then the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office. He also worked in construction/landscaping to earn additional income for his family.
“Mitchell has not only helped me, but Mitchell has been great for my family,” Carver shared. “It has given us all a great foundation.” Both of Carver’s children have taken classes at Mitchell. His son completed firefighter training at the Career Academy & Technical School and Emergency Medical Technician training through Mitchell’s Continuing Education division before joining the Marine Corps. His daughter, currently a student a Lake Norman High School, takes classes through the Career and College Promise program.
The instructors at Mitchell made the difference for Carver. “I had really great instructors while I was here,” he said. “BLET really exposed me to what Mitchell has to offer.” Gordon Knight specifically was an inspiration to Todd. “He was a great teacher and a good friend. He helped open doors for me and helped me along the way.” The training he received from instructors who work in the field provided him with understanding not only of traditional textbook knowledge but also real-world experiences and insights. Carver noted this training set his education apart from others. “Mitchell helped me with the soft skills–the human interaction– that a lot of employers are looking for. Mitchell has been helping grow that in their students for years. Before it was even called soft skills, Mitchell was teaching it to people.”
Carver is currently a Patrol Major with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Department where he supervises around 75 officers. He also teaches classes at Mitchell in the Continuing Education division. He also works with the BLET program and occasionally is featured as a guest speaker in Mitchell’s criminal justice classes. In addition, he teaches criminal justice courses at the UNCC.
Carver may have five years left until retirement in his current full-time position, but he has no plans to leave the field of public safety. In the future, he plans to teach criminal justice full-time at the community college level or work with a company leading criminal justice/human service related training sessions. Carver has a real passion for teaching and a desire to give back. “I have worked in the field for years,” he said, “and I want to share my experience with future law enforcement students.”
Carver advises any student, regardless of major or goals, to never stop learning. “Get your education, it belongs to you. Once you put something inside your head it is yours forever,” he shared. “If you are going to do something, do it right. Find something that makes you happy and do it the very best you can.”
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