Student Connections

Correction Officers at NYS County Facilities Can Earn 14 College Credits at No Cost in New Partnership with College

By David Henahan, director of communication, Office of Communications and Government Relations

April 24, 2014

New York State SealCorrection officers serving in New York state county facilities will be awarded 14 college credits upon completion of the New York State Municipal Police Training Council Basic Course for Correction Officers and enrollment at SUNY Empire State College.

The opportunity, which comes at no cost to correction officers, is the result of a newly established partnership.

The New York Corrections and Youth Services Association, the state chapter of the American Correctional Association, in collaboration with the Empire State Law Enforcement Training Network and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, first engaged Empire State College to perform a professional learning evaluation of the basic course for correction officers for academic credit.

Subsequently, the four organizations entered into an agreement which provides correction officers with the opportunity to earn, or complete, their college degree at a reduced cost.

Qualifying officers enrolling with the college also will receive pre-enrollment advisement at information sessions tailored to their needs, a waiver of the college orientation fee and a modest scholarship and may study at one of the college’s 35 locations throughout the state, online, or through a combination of both.

More information about the program is available at http://choose.esc.edu/lp/partnerships/municipal-police-training-council/.

“We are proud to partner with the New York Corrections and Youth Services Association, the Empire State Law Enforcement Training Network and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association to help their members achieve their personal, professional and educational goals,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “We value and respect the learning that takes place as a result of the training of some of the state’s most dedicated public servants. Empire State College’s flexibility around when, where and how to study suits those who work shifts and manage changing schedules and have family, community and other life commitments. Expanding access and opportunity, reducing costs and accelerating degree completion is what Empire State College is all about.”

“As a Dual Member Chapter of the American Correctional Association, NYCAYSA is committed and dedicated to individual advancement and professional development of all working members in the fields of corrections and criminal justice through participation in quality training and educational opportunities,” said Michael Graziano, state chapter president of NYCAYSA. “The credit-bearing partnership with SUNY Empire State College is a working example of how NYCAYSA will initiate partnerships and collaborate with other system stakeholders to create innovative mechanisms to accomplish goals that further the mission of the American Correctional Association and NYCAYSA.”

"On behalf of the Empire State Law Enforcement Training Network, it was a gratifying experience working with NYCAYSA, NYSSA and SUNY Empire State College to develop this initiative, which validates the educational content of the current training requirements,” said Mark Rosenzweig, president of the Empire State Law Enforcement Training Network and a lieutenant with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. “Now, under the guidance of a mentor, students have the potential to develop their existing skills, as well as acquire additional intellectual and cognitive attributes that they can apply on a daily basis to the workplace and, in so doing, make themselves an attractive candidate for promotion and other leadership opportunities.”

“The Sheriffs’ Association is very happy with the decision to grant college credit for correction officer training,” said Christopher J. Moss, president of NYSSA and Chemung County sheriff. “We know that our officers are professional and dedicated workers, often doing a very difficult job. The substantial training that they receive requires many hours of study, which enables correction officers to properly perform their duties 24/7, year-round. We appreciate the recognition for the quality of the correction officer training, as reflected by the awarding of college credits.”

The Municipal Police Training Council, which is staffed by New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, developed the basic course for correction officers and sets minimum training requirements for officers who work in facilities operated by municipalities.

“DCJS is pleased to support the efforts of these professional organizations and Empire State College to provide correction officers with credit for what they have learned through their training,” said Michael C. Green, DCJS executive deputy commissioner. “We will provide officers who successfully complete the course with the documentation they need to obtain credits from Empire State College toward the degree of their choice.”

The course is taught by MPTC-certified instructors from local correctional facilities throughout New York State.

The MPTC also sets minimum training requirements for newly appointed police officers, a course of training for police officers appointed to supervisory positions; recommends rules and regulations for minimum standards for law enforcement, correctional training programs and instructor certifications; and develops and approves model policies.

About the MPTC Basic Course for Correction Officers

The state requires all county-employed correction officers to complete the four-week, 156-hour basic course for correction officers. Course topics include, but are not limited to, ethics in law enforcement; legal issues, constitutional law, civil law and courtroom structure; criminal procedure law; penal law; effective communications, conflict resolution, interview and interrogation; and suicide prevention.

In addition, correction officers take classes and receive training in first aid and defensive tactics. If officers carry firearms in the course of their duties, they receive firearms training as part of their basic training. They also must complete a correction practicum, which is the in-service, field-training component, as part of the program, as required by their employer.

A complete listing of the basic course for correction officers’ curriculum is available in Appendix A of the “Basic Course for Correction Officers Administrator’s Guide” at http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/ops/docs/training/pubs/basicpeace/basi...

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Article Contributors

Danielle Benedict

Helen Edelman

David Henahan

Melissa Sterling

Lue Turner