New CRPPO A.S. and certificate programs recognized with MN State system-wide award
The Criminal Justice Studies department at Inver Hills Community College worked with the Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force on Racial Equity in Law Enforcement Education to bring about curricular innovations to the college’s Law Enforcement program portfolio.
The outcome was a collaborative process anchored by college administrators, staff, and faculty to develop a multi-pronged framework that is key to the new Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer (CRPPO) Associate of Science (A.S.) and certificate programs, which were launched fall semester 2021.
Due to these efforts, the Criminal Justice Studies department has received a Minnesota State Academic and Student Affairs Excellence in Curriculum Planning Award.
The 68-credit Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer A.S. degree and 28-credit post-baccalaureate certificate are designed to prepare individuals for a career in the public and protective services as culturally responsive professional peace officers. Graduates of both programs are qualified to take the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Board Licensing Examination.¹
The college’s Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. has the same core values, mission, and vision [see below], but provides students with broad learning within the field of criminal justice studies.
More about the ASA Award
Excellence in Curriculum Programming Award
Excellent programs in this category are those that produce graduates ready to take on the challenges of life after college. They are programs that demonstrate they are in demand by having consistently high enrollments and high graduation rates.
The following criteria was used to evaluate nominations:
- A high rate of employment, transfer, or enrollment in graduate school following
- Effective use of technology in academic programming
- Encouragement of faculty-student interaction in various venues
- High level of achievement of students in academic competitions or examinations
- Generation of extramural support or funding for academic programming
- Collaboration with other college or university departments, employers, or community
- Inclusion of diverse and/or multiple subgroups
Background on CRPPO A.S. and certificate development
Following the murder of George Floyd, Dr. Janica Austad, the college’s associate dean of education, business, and public service, and Dr. Leslie Palmer, criminal justice faculty and professional peace officer education coordinator, along with two former college administrators, the provost and associate vice president of equity and inclusion, formed a Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force on Racial Equity in Law Enforcement Education.
The Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force included Inver Hills faculty and staff as well as community leaders, peace officer professionals, and public servants from Dakota County and greater Minnesota.
“Faculty members on the advisory board included David Bellows, Miles Kensler, Scott Whiteford, Dawanna Witt, Titilayo Bediako, Vicky Knickerbocker, Shane Stroup, Zach Sullivan, and Antonia Wilcoxon,” Dr. Palmer said. “We understood that the original title, Law Enforcement, no longer represented the program’s directionality—in particular, the title’s absence of cultural responsiveness and personal and professional development of future police officers.”
Dr. Palmer added that the Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force agreed that professional and peace officer were key terms that matched well with the educational practices of a culturally responsive program that encompasses developmental education with respect to reflective practice and a scholar-practitioner model focused on practicing what is learned.
“The Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer program title and its curricular framework represent the intersectionality of our program mission, vision, and goals that meet current roles and expectations of future professional peace officers as public servant leaders,” Dr. Austad said.
CJS/CRPPO Mission & Vision
MISSION: We are committed to developing leaders in the public and protective service profession through culturally responsive, transformative education and training.
VISION: As innovators in education, who promote accountability, culturally responsiveness, communication, and integrity; we create public servant leaders who are prepared to work in and support communities.
Criminal Justice Studies (CJS) and CRPPO faculty, three of whom are active professional peace officers in major county and Twin Cities metro areas, met with Dr. Austad to create a portfolio of programs that embodied a culturally responsive framework and would prepare students to be public servant leaders. The CRPPO A.S. and certificate and corresponding CJS Transfer Pathway A.S. and Corrections certificate all include five core values:
- Cultural Responsiveness
- Interpersonal Communication
An important feature to the CRPPO A.S. and certificate programs is the active practice and an integration of learning. Faculty recognized that intertwining the program’s core values required not only repetition, but also opportunities for students to apply their learning through coursework, community outreach, and public service avenues. The capstone of the program is the digital Student Portfolio, which depicts the student’s program-long reflections and community-learning experiences. The Student Portfolio is the living document of their reflective practice as they become public servant leaders.
In addition to the curricular design and development of the CRPPO and CJS portfolio, Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force members engaged in local and state initiatives to advance the paradigm shift in Law Enforcement Education Reform.
“Through their vigilance and dedication, our faculty and the Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force not only helped create the opportunity for Inver Hills Community College to take the lead in Law Enforcement Education Reform, they personify what it means to be public servant leaders,” Dr. Austad said. “For each component in the program portfolio, the Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force researched, reviewed, and engaged in dialogue—and their voice is clearly noted in the final product of the Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer program framework, curriculum, and now programs. Thanks to this hard work, Inver Hills will have the first program cohort of culturally responsive public servant leaders in the protective services and criminal justice fields.”
Learn more about the Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer A.S. and certificate at Inver Hills by contacting:
Leslie Palmer, PhD
Criminal Justice Faculty