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This program is designed for students who have made the career decision to be peace officers and are planning to enroll in the Basic Peace Officer Academy affiliated with Cuyahoga Community College.  The first year of the degree program is designed to provide foundational career-enhancing coursework in Criminal Justice for students planning to entering Tri-C's Police Academy Program. The majority of the second year coursework requires students to be admitted to the Tri-C Police Academy program (CJ-1380 Police Academy I, CJ-1390 Police Academy II, CJ-2280 Police Academy III, CJ-2290 Police Academy IV.  Please see Age Guidelines for the Academy on the Admissions Requirements tab.  This curriculum encompasses the state-mandated 720-hour Peace Officer Basic Training curriculum.  

Tri-C offers both full-time (40 hours/week) and part-time (24 hours/week) Police Academies.   The full-time academy admits students in both the Fall and Spring semesters.  The part-time academy admits students only in the Fall semester. 

Program contact: Learn more

Learn more about related degrees and training programs.

Related Degrees and Certificates

Related Training and Credentials

Program Admission Requirements

Completion of this degree program requires admission to and successful completion of the College's Basic Police Academy.  Students can work on program requirements that are not part of the Academy required curriculum before acceptance/during the application process to the Academy.  Academy admission requirements are outlined below:

  • Application is required and available here.
  • High School Diploma/GED
  • Pass the Entry Physical Fitness Assessment Exam
  • Apply for and be accepted as a student at Tri-C and be in good financial and academic standing
  • Successfully pass the National WebCheck for Law Enforcement (BCI&I/FBI)
  • Successfully pass the five-panel drug screen
  • Receive a physical exam in good health from their physician
  • Have a valid Ohio driver’s license and currently have full driving privileges in the State of Ohio
  • NOT have a criminal background
  • Be at least 20 years old at the time of acceptance to the Academy*
  • Other Information

    AGE GUIDELINES: There is no age requirement, however, potential Cadets should understand the unlikelihood of being hired / sworn (offered a Commission) with a police department until he/she is 21 years of age. The College also requires that all firearms be transported to and from the range by someone of at least 21 years of age.  The following OPOTC standards are in place and apply to all graduates of the Police Academy regardless of age:

  • The individual has one year after taking and passing the OPOTC State Certification Exam (SCE) to obtain a Commission without having to take any further classes.
  • If hired after the one-year anniversary of having passed the SCE, the individual must have enough time to finish any new OPOTC requirements before the second year anniversary date of the SCE occurs. If the deadline is not met, he/she must repeat the entire OPOTC Basic Police Academy.
  • Note:  The College offers two full time academies, one starting in Fall and one starting in Spring, and a part-time academy starting in Fall.   Once students begin an academy program, the student cannot switch to a different academy program (i.e. start in a full-time academy and switch to a part-time academy). 

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Recognize and practice ethical behavior associated with the criminal justice and public safety professions.
  2. Apply local, state, and federal legal standards, including statutory and case law, to adults and juveniles in civil and criminal matters, in both public and private sectors.
  3. Purposefully adapt oral, written and non-verbal styles and techniques to communicate effectively in diverse professional roles and environments.
  4. Maintain personal health and well-being in carrying out professional responsibilities.
  5. Apply understanding of law enforcement culture to develop and refine skill sets essential to specific law enforcement and public safety positions.
  6. Sit for the Ohio Basic Peace Officer Training Commission Exam.
  7. Apply community policing principles to enhance positive interactions with diverse populations.
  8. Apply laws, theories, and standards designed specifically for the juvenile population. 
  9. Provide supervision including effective communication, personnel evaluation, hiring practices, retention practices, and taking disciplinary and corrective action.   

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
CJ-1000 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
CJ-1120 Criminal Court Procedures 2
CJ-1130 Criminal Evidence 2
MATH-1xxx1000-level MATH course or higher 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I  
Honors College Composition I  
Select one of the following: 3
Computer Applications  
Honors Computer Applications  
 Credit Hours16
Second Semester
CJ-1111 Constitutional Law for Police 3
CJ-2360 Community Oriented Policing 3
CJ-1320 Ethics in Criminal Justice 2
CJ-2300 Juvenile Delinquency 2
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition II  
Honors College Composition II  
Fundamentals of Speech Communication  
Honors Speech Communication  
Select one of the following: 3
American National Government  
Honors American National Government  
General Psychology  
Honors General Psychology  
Introductory Sociology  
Honors Introductory Sociology  
Introduction to Urban Studies  
 Credit Hours16
Third Semester
CJ-1380 Police Academy I 1 6
CJ-1390 Police Academy II 1 6
Arts and Humanities 3
 Credit Hours15
Fourth Semester
CJ-2280 Police Academy III 1 6
CJ-2290 Police Academy IV 1 6
CJ-2990 Issues in Supervision 4
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours63