More Than a Dozen Shiawassee County 12th Grade Students Recently Completed Criminal Justice Academy, Earning College Credits in Advance of High School Graduation
Baker College of Owosso recently graduated its second-ever cohort of Criminal Justice Academy (CJA) students, in partnership with the Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (RESD) and the Owosso Police Department. The CJA is a unique program open to countywide RESD Career and Technical Education students, which provides participants in-depth exposure to the purposes of and career opportunities available in the criminal justice setting.
At a Nov. 13, 2019 graduation ceremony, 13 Shiawassee County seniors – from Corunna, Durand Area, Perry and Owosso High Schools – completed the program and earned official CJA certificates. Students enrolled in the CRJ program partnership with the RESD also earn Baker College credits while attending the program as part of their high school experience. The credits transfer into the associate or bachelor degrees in Criminal Justice at Baker College, or any college or university.
The students met weekly for more than two months with various criminal justice agencies and professionals, participating in interactive classroom training, hands-on experiences and instruction from guest lecturers in the field. In partnership with the Owosso P.D., students gained knowledge and experience in crime scene investigations, traffic stops, K-9 handling, first aid, firearms simulation and more.
“The Criminal Justice Academy is an innovative program that connects our various academic, professional and community resources to students that are interested in and passionate about a future in the criminal justice field,” said Kristina Marshall, Baker College of Owosso social science program director and human services department chair. “These students benefit from hands-on instruction and introduction to professionals, all while earning college credits before they even complete high school.”
Owosso P.D. Lieutenant, Eric Cherry, added, “We have a great partnership with the Baker College Criminal Justice Academy Program available to area high school students through the Shiawassee County RESD. Our instructors from the Owosso City Police Department find it rewarding to work with the high school students interested in law enforcement, and our officers come back with positive comments about the programs’ attentive students.”
Lt. Cherry continued, “With the assistance of the Owosso Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office, Shiawassee County Prosecutor’s Office, Shiawassee Health & Wellness, Michigan Department of Corrections, Shiawassee County Voices for Children, Shiawassee County 911, Shiawassee County Juvenile Probation and Shiawassee County Treatment Courts, we have been able to give the students a wide range of exposure to the criminal justice system through hands-on training, classroom instruction and a Q&A session to conclude each academy.”
Baker College’s criminal justice degree programs prepare students for careers in law enforcement, corrections and the court systems at federal, state and local levels. The Criminal Justice Academy will be available again to those students who are in the second year of the Baker College/RESD Criminal Justice Program during the 2020-2021 school year.