The spring 2022 SME Spotlight features Steven Dalton, Criminal Justice instructor at Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center in Virginia. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are critical to NOCTI’s credential development and revision process. And with several years of field experience and ten years as an educator in the CTE community, Steve quickly became a key member of the development team for a set of NOCTI micro-credentials focused on Criminal Justice, as well as serving as an SME on NOCTI’s Criminal Justice credential revision team.
In between teaching, performing law enforcement duties, and brewing his own coffee, Mr. Dalton answered some questions related to his SME experiences.
What made you choose the career you’re in?
“Law enforcement and investigations have been a lifelong passion for me. After several years in the field, I wanted to have a broader impact on my beloved career and was presented with the opportunity to start the criminal justice program at a new regional career and technical center. Through teaching, I am able to develop future law enforcement officers, attorneys, victim-witness advocates, and numerous other criminal justice professionals that will work in countless different communities.”
What is the most rewarding thing about your job/career?
“I love watching a student become passionate about a career goal and use the information and skills I taught them to become excellent examples in whatever field they’ve chosen.”
Describe your first encounter with NOCTI.
“As the first criminal justice instructor for Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center, I was tasked with selecting the appropriate state-approved industry credential for the program. Upon reviewing the list of approved tests and looking at the quality of the resources available, I was quickly impressed with the study guide and blueprints available for the NOCTI examinations. The NOCTI Criminal Justice examination has been the staple industry credential for our program since 2013.”
What are some of the more interesting or positive aspects of your associations with NOCTI?
“I was deeply honored to be a part of the SME team for the review and update of the Criminal Justice credentialing assessment. The team of instructors was an excellent representation of the various differences from across the nation. It was impressive to see NOCTI’s desire to ensure the product is closely aligned with current trends and expectations of the career field.”
What made you choose to become an SME for NOCTI?
“I am always looking for opportunities to help build the next generation of criminal justice professionals. Helping develop the products for NOCTI as an SME was a unique way to have a broad impact on students across the nation.”
What advice would you have for someone considering involvement in a NOCTI test revision or development project?
“Instructors should absolutely contribute to the revision and development projects handled by NOCTI. This is an opportunity to ensure the industry credential truly represents what is expected in our industry. If you participate, ensure you bring the best resources to the table. Also, be open-minded and ready for some challenging and meaningful conversations with your peers from across the nation.”
Would you serve as an SME again? Why or why not?
“Absolutely! The team at NOCTI is an amazing set of professionals that want to help teachers and students. Working with a nationwide organization such as NOCTI is an excellent chance to work with professionals in my field from all parts of the country.”
Thank you, Mr. Dalton, for the kind words, serving on the NOCTI team, and your commitment to CTE!
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