CCC partners with UNK for criminal justice pathway program

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Law enforcement agencies everywhere and in Central Nebraska are struggling to bring in new recruits, especially women and people of color.

“Recruiting for law enforcement is difficult and recruiting a officer that looks as diverse as our community is even more difficult,” said Grand Island Police Department’s Capt. Jim Duering.

Central Community College (CCC) and the University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) are joining forces to help with recruitment efforts, not just for law enforcement but for all areas within the criminal justice system.

“There’s a need for professionals and quality degreed individuals in all of these careers and the community college provides a wonderful pathway for a number of students to come through here,” said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen.

They’re creating a pathway between the two criminal justice programs through what they are calling a 2+2 plan. This will allow students to easily transfer credits from CCC to UNK to continue on with a Bachelor’s because sometimes students have trouble in this area when they’re applying to four-year colleges.

Michael david / criminal justice instructor - central community college

“We don’t want our students to retake courses. I mean it’s expensive it’s time consuming and so with this 2+2 agreement, UNK will take everyone of my credits and then two more years and they can get their Bachelor’s Degree.”

People looking to become police officers have to wait until they are 21 to apply for the police academy. Capt. Duering believes getting a degree in criminal justice while they wait is a great way to prepare them for the future.

“If you’re preparing for a career, you want to prepare for the end of your career, not just the beginning and this gives students a pathway to do that,” Duering said.

Recently, CCC was awarded $100,000 from the band Metallica’s All Within My Hands program and led by the American Association of Community Colleges. They will be giving the funds to women and minority groups in the criminal justice program.

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