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Students earning a criminal justice degree at Lakeland College can get better prepared for the post-graduation job market thanks to a new agreement between Lakeland and Lakeshore Technical College.
Beginning in the summer of 2013, Lakeland criminal justice students who meet program eligibility will earn a spot in LTC's 12-week Police Academy. For Lakeland students who hope to work in law enforcement, it's an opportunity to complete academy training prior to graduating with their four-year degree.
Lakeland students can attend the academy the summer between their junior and senior year or, if they prefer, the summer after graduation. They'll live on Lakeland's campus, which is located approximately 12 miles from LTC's Cleveland campus.
"This agreement creates a seamless transition between students' coursework at Lakeland and the skills students learn at the academy," said Katie Culotta, Lakeland College assistant professor of criminal justice.
"We're excited to welcome Lakeland students into our program as for many years we have had LTC criminal justice students take advantage of transfer agreements to earn their bachelor's degree at Lakeland," said Ryan Skabroud, LTC dean of public safety. "This collaboration allows Lakeland students to experience one of the most unique and successful Police Academy Training programs in the state and will prepare them for immediate employment upon completing their degree."
Culotta said many police departments are cutting professional development budgets in the tight economy, making officers who have graduated with their four-year college degree more attractive hires.
"In the eyes of employers, this agreement is the ideal combination for students preparing for careers in law enforcement careers," Culotta said. "The high-quality facilities and instruction at LTC combined with the four-year liberal arts degree from Lakeland will give these students a balance of tactical police training and the academic background. Those are the skills needed for future promotion to supervisory roles."