Degree and certificate prepare you to enter peace officer profession in Minnesota
Inver Hills Community College is offering a new Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer Associate of Science (A.S.) degree and certificate for fall semester 2021. The 68-credit A.S degree gives you the option to navigate toward the professional peace officer route or, more broadly, toward criminal justice studies.
The college’s Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. has the same core values, mission and vision (see below), but the Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer A.S. and certificate lead you toward a career as a professional peace officer.
Public service: Answer the call.
If you already have a bachelor’s or A.A./A.S. degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college/university, you can earn this 28-credit certificate and be prepared to enter the peace officer profession in Minnesota.
Both the Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer A.S. degree and certificate give you the knowledge and expertise you need for a successful career in the public and protective services as a culturally responsive professional peace officer. Completing this degree or certificate along with EMR certification and Skills training qualifies you to take the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Board licensing examination.
More about the new degree and certificate development
Following the murder of George Floyd, Dr. Tia Robinson-Cooper, the college’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, and Michael Birchard, associate vice president of equity and inclusion, established 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, including Leslie Palmer, PhD, 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 with respect to practicing what is learned.
“The title, Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer, represents the intentionality of the program portfolio and its programmatic goals,” Dr. Robinson-Cooper said.
The Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force thoroughly reviewed the college’s Law Enforcement programs (A.S. and certificate) and addressed how the curricula failed to represent the intersectionality of the communities served. CJS and CRPPO faculty then created a portfolio of programs that embodied a culturally responsive framework and prepared students to be public servant leaders exhibiting five core values:
- Cultural Responsiveness
- Interpersonal Communication
Three CJS and CRPPO instructors are active professional peace officers in major county and Twin Cities metro areas. They met with Janica Austad, EdD, associate dean of education, business and public service, to develop the foundational framework for the Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer A.S. degree and certificate and the Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. degree.
Throughout the late summer and fall semester 2020, Collaborative Law Enforcement Task Force members also engaged in local and state initiatives to advance the paradigm shift in Law Enforcement Education Reform. So much so that Dr. Robinson-Cooper and Vice President Birchard were appointed by Dr. Devinder Malhotra, MinnState chancellor, to the Minnesota State Task Force on Law Enforcement Education Reform, whose charge was to examine and advise on issues, initiatives, programming, and priorities relative to an anti-racist law enforcement education.
“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. 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.”
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.
Learn more about the Culturally Responsive Professional Peace Officer A.S. and certificate at Inver Hills by contacting:
Leslie Palmer, PhD
Criminal Justice Faculty