MUSCATINE — Eastern Iowa Community College announced a new Criminal Justice program starting in the fall.
“It’s kind of a complement to our long-standing Associate of Arts degree," Johnna Kerres, marketing relations coordinator, said. "It has more of those hands-on type courses that prepares people directly to enter the workforce or go into the Iowa Police Academy.”
Students will have the opportunity to earn a two-year associate degree, a one-year diploma program or a semester-long certificate program, to prepare for jobs in law enforcement and security.
“There’s a lot of options for students,” Kerres said.
Workforce needs drove the creation of the program, she said.
“We’ve been offering a transfer major for quite some time, and there was just a need from local law enforcement's perspective to have a more hands-on type program,” Kerres said.
Quad-Cities and Muscatine area law enforcement agencies will provide job shadowing opportunities for students in the program.
“All of the law enforcement departments we’ve discussed this with are very supportive of the program and have expressed a need for this,” Kerres said, “They’re always looking for more qualified applicants, and they’re hoping that this program will help in terms of recruitment.”
Muscatine Police Chief Brett Talkington said it had been challenging to find good candidates the past few years.
“This program would go a long way in helping students understand what the career looks like with the hands-on approach before they actually get the opportunity to go to the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and become a certified officer,” he said in a news release.
“There’s definitely a lot of opportunities in our area for law enforcement, and this program will prepare people for a variety of jobs in the criminal justice field. It’s not just the Police Academy, they could pursue a job in corrections or security, as well,” Kerres said.
Information sessions will be held May 20, with a Zoom session at 12:30 p.m., and an in-person session at 5:30 p.m. at the Scott Community College Urban Campus on 3rd Street, Davenport. For more information, visit eicc.edu/justice, or call 888-336-3907, or email eiccinfo.eicc.edu.