For those working in the criminal justice field, an inconsistent schedule and lack of time are two of the main barriers to pursuing a higher education. That’s one of the reasons Excelsior College offers the Criminal Justice Training Assessment (CJTA) program, which helps law enforcement officials convert training to college credit.
“More than 50 agencies in over 30 states had 62,000+ hours of training academies assessed,” says Dr. Michael Verro, Excelsior College’s criminal justice program director.
[Listen to Dr. Verro discussing criminal justice career pathways]
CJTA has made more than 2,000 credit recommendations to date. In New York State, the two well- known agencies, New York State Police Training Academy and Zone 5 Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy, have also participated in this program.
Excelsior Life sat down with Dr. Verro to discuss CJTA and answer frequently asked questions on the program.
Excelsior Life: How does this Criminal Justice Training Assessment program work?
Verro: Agencies and training academies participating in the CJTA program provide their students with a tremendous opportunity. Excelsior College assesses curricula and finds many of their criminal justice training courses worthy of college credit. Agencies requiring higher education degrees for promotion or assignment to certain positions may start their graduates off with a significant portion of the required credits, through this program.
Excelsior Life: What should students know about this program?
Verro: For a fee of $270, a graduate can garner up to 44.5 credits documented via OneTranscript®(depending on their assessment). It is a very simple process which involves providing an official copy of their training documentation and filling out an application.
Excelsior Life: Does CJTA provide a summary of college credit for different training programs for law enforcement officials to estimate how much their training was worth?
Verro: Yes. The college provides information not only on the program itself, but on those credits currently assigned to the agencies involved.
Excelsior Life: Can you share an example of training equivalency converting to college credits?
Verro: Let’s take the New York State Police as an example. Their curriculum was assessed in 2004. At that time, they were awarded 33 college credits for their graduates’ training. The courses reviewed ranged from Criminal Procedures for Law Enforcement Officers (3 credits) to Defensive Tactics and Physical Training (2 credits) to Radar Speed Measurement (1 credit). Specialized and advanced in-service training course were also assessed and were awarded 11.5 additional credits.
Excelsior Life: How much can a student save?
Verro: The savings to an academy graduate is astounding. At the present rate of approximately $390 per credit for undergraduate college courses, that would equate to $17,160 if the student took traditional courses, instead of simply transcribing their academy training for a total savings of $16,890! Students may also apply the awarded credits toward an Excelsior College degree or the credits may be transferred to other educational institutions.
Excelsior Life: Where can you find information about this program?
Verro: Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.