By Will King, Blue Ridge Community College Career Coach, Transylvania County Campus
First year Blue Ridge Community College student Jasmine Powell is a recent graduate of Rosman High School and a former dual enrolled Career & College Promise (CCP) student. Powell plans to continue her Associate in Arts degree this fall. After completing her Associate degree, she plans to transfer to Western Carolina University to get her Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science. Powell hopes to become a Crime Scene Investigator.
At Rosman High, Powell was an active member of the school’s community. Powell played varsity softball and volleyball, was a member of the National Technical Honor Society, the treasurer for the National Honor Society, and the recipient of the American Association of University Women Brevard Endowment Scholarship in 2022-23.
Powell’s passion for crime scene investigation began at an early age while watching police dramas like NCIS. Powell said, “I would get so excited when the show transitioned to the crime scene. I would focus on the details they would find during the investigation. That’s the kind of thing I want to do. I want to bring justice to those that have been wronged by combing through the details of each case.”
Although there was a time when Powell considered nursing as a career, a field trip with her high school Anatomy and Physiology class to the Forensic Anthropology Facility at Western Carolina solidified her passion for forensics. Powell said, “It may sound morbid to some, but I think it is really cool to be able to solve a crime and bring justice to a family by studying the details of a crime scene. It is a very important part of solving most crimes.”
Although Powell knew she wanted to pursue a career in forensic investigation, she did not know the classes she needed to take to complete this type of degree. “The career coach at my high school was very helpful. He was able to find the guidelines published by Western Carolina that listed each course students should take while getting their Associate degree at Blue Ridge to enter the WCU Forensics program. This would allow me to spend less money on tuition without losing any course credit and gives me a clear path to complete my degree,” said Powell.
Powell began preparing for her Forensic Science career during her junior year of high school as a CCP Transfer Pathway student through the Blue Ridge Community College, Transylvania County Campus. This pathway allows students to take Blue Ridge courses in high school and have the credits they earn transfer to any NC public college or university, including Western Carolina and most private institutions. When she graduated high school, Powell already had nine credit hours on her college transcript.
Powell is excited for classes to begin again. In fact, she has already completed her registration for the fall semester. Powell said, “Registering for classes was easy. I went to the Blue Ridge campus, talked with an advisor and explained my plan to him. I showed him the transfer guide my career coach found online. He asked me a few questions like if I wanted to take fully online classes or in person classes, and we set up my course schedule. We were even able to schedule all morning classes that fit into my work schedule.”
Powell added that she is grateful for the Brighter Futures Scholarship and the ability to work while attending classes. “The scholarship will pay for my college this year and will allow me to save the money I earn for the tuition at Western Carolina when I transfer. That way, I will have far less student loan debt when I graduate” said Powell.
When Powell is not attending classes or working at the Food Matters Market in Brevard, you will find her coaching little league softball or fishing the creeks surrounding Rosman and in Wolf Creek Lake.
Potential students can speak with an admissions counselor or academic advisor at Blue Ridge: stop by the campus at 45 Oak Park Drive in Brevard, call (828) 883-2520 to set up an appointment, or apply online via blueridge.edu.