ETBU Approved By the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement As An Academic Alternative Training Provider
MARSHALL, Texas (1/02/14) – Students at East Texas Baptist University can now complete a four year university Bachelor degree and become a licensed Peace Officer in Texas. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) has approved the ETBU Criminal Justice program as an Academic Alternative peace officer basic training provider. This new alternative licensing eligibility program is being added to the existing concentrations at ETBU in Public Safety Administration and Offender Rehabilitation. Upon graduation, students completing this option immediately will be eligible to test for a Basic Texas Peace Officer’s license without the need for additional police academy training.
In the past, students who graduated with either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from ETBU had to continue their training by attending a certified law enforcement academy elsewhere for licensure. With the new program beginning in Fall 2014, ETBU will be the only four-year institution as well as the only faith-based university in Texas awarding baccalaureate degrees that offer a TCOLE Academic Alternative licensing program.
“The ETBU Criminal Justice program had to be examined, approved and licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to be able to offer this option,” said Dr. Lynn New, Dean of the ETBU School of Natural and Social Sciences in which the Criminal Justice program is housed. “The program had to demonstrate the ability and the commitment to meet all of the standards for law enforcement training and education within the state of Texas.”
ETBU received approval from TCOLE on Dec. 5.
“The university has an exceptional opportunity to develop faithful servants of Christ that will provide public safety services to the communities they serve,” said Dr. William Griffith, a former Chief of Police in Texas and professor in the ETBU Criminal Justice program. “No similar program is available within Texas and, as far as I can determine, the nation.” Successful students will be able to complete all the requirements of a traditional police academy while completing a four year university Bachelor degree.
“I have full confidence that students completing our program will be successful when they take the final licensing exam to become a licensed peace officer with the State because of our planned course curriculum and rigor,” Dr. Griffith said.
The ETBU program will exceed State requirements in several areas, including classroom contact hours, internship requirements, physical fitness and skills training. Several regional law enforcement agencies, including Tyler, as well as state agencies, such as the Texas Game and Fish Department, have expressed interest in having ETBU students do an internship with their department.
“The student, while still working on their degree, will have the opportunity to actually work within an agency and be seen,” Dr. Griffith said. “I really feel most of our students will move directly from our program into full-time positions after graduation.”
As a faith-based institution, ETBU’s program also will strengthen ethical and social areas of law enforcement and order maintenance. Students with 60 hours of credit can enter ETBU’s program after passing all the same background, medical and psychological exams required for any officer entering a department or training program.
The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science faculty includes Dr. Griffith and Dr. George Day. Dr. Griffith holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of North Texas and has 40 years of experience within public service. This includes 27 years within active law enforcement and additional years providing advising and consulting services within law enforcement and public safety.
Dr. Day holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and has more than eight years experience with the Texas Youth Commission both as a juvenile correctional officer and administrator. Day is the director of the Criminal Justice program at ETBU.For information on the ETBU Alternative Licensing Eligibility program, call 903-923-2251.