Story by Bailey Bussell
There are more than 60 degree programs at Rose State, and with so many options at one’s disposal, it can be overwhelming. The Criminal Justice - Police Science program has been around for at least 20 years, and for the last 15 years it has been managed by Professor of Criminal Justice Arnold R. Waggoner. The program is geared toward students who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement. Though the Police Science program falls under the same category as Criminal Justice, there is a difference between the two majors. The Police Science program follows a different course track than traditional Criminal Justice.
Completion of the Criminal Justice - Police Science program is not just earning an Associate of Arts degree, but it is also certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, a program that provides one way for obtaining the education and training that is needed to become a police officer in the state of Oklahoma. By receiving accreditation from this program, Rose State is able to offer a degree that can help students start their careers shortly after graduation.
“There are over 200 students enrolled in both Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice - Police Science,” Waggoner said.
These numbers, combined with the fact Rose State also has a partnership with OSU-OKC, shows the success of the program. This partnership allows police science students the opportunity to receive the skills training portion of the program, which is not offered at Rose State. Rose State requires students to take a minimum of 12 hours for these skills courses, including: Traffic, firearms, patrol procedures, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operation and survey police sciences.
Once students have finished their hours at OSU-OKC, they can bring their transcript back to Waggoner and he will then incorporate the hours with the student’s current transcript at Rose State. Once all the hours are completed, Waggoner creates what he calls a “package” to send off to CLEET to show the student has taken the required courses. CLEET will then determine whether the student is eligible to take a certification test to become a police officer in the state.
Not only can students who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement earn a degree in this program, but officers who have already started in workforce can also complete the program. After current police officers complete 15 hours at Rose State, they can receive up to 37 hours of college credit for free.
Earning an associate degree in Police Science will also qualify he individual for “pro-pay,” which will raise the pay about $50 per check just from earning a degree. Rose State also gives college credit to already existing police officers who have taken courses through CLEET but who did not receive college credit. Because Rose State is certified by CLEET, the classes taken through CLEET can be transferred as college credits, giving the officer credits for their real-life experience.
Just as with any other degree program, Police Science students are held to high standards. Each student must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and follow a specific dress code when taking courses at OSU-OKC. Once students have completed the hours necessary to earn their degree and their package has been approved by CLEET to take their certification test, the student is able to take their next step into the future.
For more information about the Criminal Justice - Police Science program, contact Waggoner at email@example.com or 736-0238, or Academic Adviser Cathy Ogle at 733-7409 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 15th Street News is a student publication at Rose State College.