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What School did you attend?


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  • What School did you attend?

    Hey Deputies, Troopers, Officers, and aspiring students. I was wondering where you guys studied for your degrees in crimminal justice? I had my heart set on Madison Area Tech. I planned the whole two years academics et cetera then take the academy they offer. Well I had a member message me and urge me not to attend matc. Can anyone attest to this? What school did you attend? I reside in Columbia County, 35 miles north of Madison so Matc is an easy drive. Any suggestions or specific reason I should attend a specific school. I plan on getting my associates (60 credits).

    Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.


  • #2
    I doubt that you will travel this far, but....


    • #3
      Deputy Zee, I'd rather keep it in Wisconsin. Maybe 100 miles from Baraboo/Portage area.


      • #4
        This is where I did my Wisconsin academy...


        • #5
          Deputy Zee, Now I'm trying to figure this out. Did you do your academics at Blackhawk as well?

          Maybe I can make this easier by asking, can I do my classroom courses at one school then attend another for the academy portion? Or does the academy have an effect on credits? So say could I do Matc for the next two years get my classes done like psychology, english, math. Then attend Fox Valley or Blackhawk for the academy portion?


          • #6
            What I did:

            I went to Ferris State for a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

            I then went to Blackhawk Tech for JUST the LE academy

            From there it was straight to the job market.

            So as long as you have the required credits for the academy, you can go to whatever one you want.


            • #7
              I got an Associates from UW Colleges Online & am currently enrolled in the NTC Police Academy. Two more months & job market, here I come!
              Individual Responsibility
              If found, please return to society.


              • #8
                NWTC in Green Bay. Awesome instructors who are willing to work with you and do whatever they can to help you get through training. Bob Willis is perhaps the best DAAT instructor in the state!
                "My faith, my country and my family will guide me; nothing more, nothing less" -Gen. Tommy Franks


                • #9

                  If you decide law enforcement isn't for you or you get hurt, maybe just don't want to do it anymore you will have something else to fall back on. On the other hand once you retire you'll have a second career to go into should you need or want to.

                  Instead of having to take the time to go back and get a bachelors degree you'll have it. Some will argue that you could make your department pay for your bachelors. You could, but from experience I can tell you it's tough to juggle work, home and school. Besides, why not make your department pay for your masters? Some departments like Madison PD have an educational incentive that give you additional pay depending on your degree.

                  If I were to do it over again, I'd wait until I was older (25-30ish yoa) before I got into law enforcement. I'd have had more life experience to fall back on helping make better decisions. Besides, if you're 25 yoa when you start and spend a 25 year career you're 50 yoa upon retirement. (Many departments have a 53 - 55 yoa minimum retirement age.) By that time you'll have experienced plenty to fill a closet of full of memories. Besides, once you're that close to retirement why take the chance of getting out of the squad, slipping on the ice and suffering a debilitating injury that forces you into retirement.

                  For sake of argument we'll stick with 50 yoa at retirement. You can now use that bachelors or masters degree to go into a second career making as much or more than you did in law enforcement for the next ten or fifteen years. You'll have a second pension to draw from and by that time who knows where health insurance or social security will be and you may need that extra money.

                  My other advice is to start a 401K NOW. Even if it's $10.00 a week you're still building toward retirement and it's money you'll have in the future and won't miss today.

                  What other kind of degree will benefit you? Running a police department involves managing people, budgets and resources just like a business so I would recommend anything business management related. Where from? Any accredited school will do you well, especially the UW system.

                  Good luck.
                  He who makes no mistakes, usually makes nothing at all.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the message. I agree about the 401K. Now you say I should get a bachelors in something else. If I have a bachelors in architecture, something I've also had a passion for could I still be an officer?

                    Say I apply at department X. I have a degree in Architecture bachelors to be exact. Wont they overlook me because my degree isn't LE?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JTBanks
                      Thanks for the message. I agree about the 401K. Now you say I should get a bachelors in something else. If I have a bachelors in architecture, something I've also had a passion for could I still be an officer?

                      Say I apply at department X. I have a degree in Architecture bachelors to be exact. Wont they overlook me because my degree isn't LE?
                      I suppose that depends on how your application looks, personal history, any testing, answers to interview questions, how you present yourself and a specific departments ideas on education. While I don't know much about Madison PD, I do know from looking at their hiring info several years back they were interested in people with various backgrounds to add to diverse ideas and points of view. Could you be passed over because of a less "main stream" degee, I suppose but I think your chances of getting hired are just as good simply because you have a degree. Many job annoucements read a degree in police science, criminal justice or closely related field. If you were interviewing candidates what questions would you ask of someone who has a degree in Architecture and why they are pursuing LE? How can you relate an education in architecture to law enforcement? Are you able to minor your Arch. degree with business minor (someting close to LE)? I work with a couple of guys who have no specific degree but are well over 60 credits. Simply put, you just have to have 60 credits to make the State minimum standard. You just have to explain why you haven't finished a degree.

                      From WILENET regarding education:

                      This says nothing about a specific course of study...

                      • Law enforcement or tribal law enforcement officers employed after February 1, 1993, shall possess either a 2 year associate degree from a Wisconsin technical college system district or its accredited equivalent from another state or a minimum of 60 fully accredited college level credits. Only colleges and universities that are accredited by an accrediting agency or association that is acknowledged by the United States Secretary of Education are acceptable to the Law Enforcement Standards Board as a source of college credit. School accreditation can be checked at the following U.S. Department of Education website: An applicant who has not met this standard at the time of employment must meet the standard by the end of their fifth year of employment. Applicants for employment as jail and/or secure detention officers need only possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.

                      Looking over the current job annoucements here is a random sampling of the educational requirements of the named departments:

                      Appleton: minimum 60 semester credits at an approved university, college or technical school

                      Baraboo: High school diploma; 60 college credits;

                      Eau Claire: High school diploma; 60 college credits;

                      Platteville: High school diploma; Bachelor degree;

                      Milwaukee PD & Kenosha PD: High school diploma; (of course you'll have to have those 60 credits w/in 5 years or you'll lose your certification)

                      Menasha Twp: High school diploma; 60 college credits;

                      Of the current departments that are hiring, if any of them interest you, call around and talk to the HR or those responsible for hiring asking if your architecture degree will be acceptable and that will be your answer. ( I guess I could have said that and elminated the rest of the stuff)
                      Last edited by ray55; 09-11-2009, 06:32 AM.
                      He who makes no mistakes, usually makes nothing at all.


                      • #12
                        Great posts Ray. Remember, those are MINIMUM qualifications to get your application considered. They will do next to nothing to get you hired, real world. The guy next to you probably has a BA or BS plus experience of some sort - that's how you need to be thinking when you apply.

                        That's why a BA or BS is so powerful. And in something other than Law Enforcement because I am here to tell you, it is VERY hard to get hired on full time. Heck, it's very hard to get hired on part time. Besides that, there's life outside of the job too - though that is hard to fathom when you're first starting out!

                        As far as your question, I did my 2 year degree at Fox Valley Tech in Appleton, and then did the recertification course at Northeast Wisconsin Tech in Green Bay. Both were excellent programs.
                        For every one hundred men you send us,
                        Ten should not even be here.
                        Eighty are nothing but targets.
                        Nine of them are real fighters;
                        We are lucky to have them, they the battle make.
                        Ah, but the one. One of them is a warrior.
                        And he will bring the others back.


                        • #13
                          Thanks, SSGT Elmer. I'm hoping to get into a jailer job so that way I have some experience working for the county when a deputy position comes available.



                          • #14

                            I have a bachelors in Natural Resource Management. Has nothing to do with LE... although my minor was in Environmental Law Enforcement and... that does. I got that at UW - Stevens Point

                            That said, I went through the academy at Mid-State Technical College based out of Wisconsin Rapids. It was actually required to get my minor, too. They put on a good program with some darn good instructors.

                            Also, a degree in anything is better than no degree. With a degree you'll bump yourself up in the list quite a bit. But you'll still have to fight to get a job in Wisconsin since the competition is so tough.


                            • #15
                              I went to MATC (in Oak Creek) and went on to be hired an an LEO.

                              Don't know why someone would advise you against it.


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