TULSA, Okla. — A new program at OSU-Tulsa is working to get more students Bachelor's degrees and on the police force.
OSU-Tulsa and the Tulsa Police Department are working together to create a pipeline for students to get a Bachelor's degree and go straight into the force after graduating. As a result, the university has launched the College of Professional Studies.
"The goal of it is to create workforce responsive degree programs. And as part of that, we have created the Bachelor of Professional Studies in public safety," says Beverly Morris, director of academic advising at OSU-Tulsa.
The new program is a joint effort between the school and TPD working together to create the curriculum that's taught in the classroom.
"We worked with their leadership to choose course work that would be things they would want their officers to have as part of the academy they learn the police training so this course work focuses on, communication skills, cultural awareness," says Morris.
Before enrolling at OSU-Tulsa, students should have an associate's degree or at least 45 credit hours from another institution.
Students will complete about 40 hours of classroom coursework at OSU-Tulsa. Then, they’ll complete the rest of their hours at the Tulsa police academy. Once they complete the program, they will have earned a degree in Professional Studies and be able to enter into the force.
"It allows us to show the applicant that if you do this curriculum and you make good choices that you will have a career with the Tulsa Police Department," says Tulsa officer Jesse Guardiola. "That is a game-changer for people looking at college because they now see a job attached to the work they’re working towards."
Guardiola says this program is not only encouraging young Tulsans to go to college and get a degree, but it's also helping the city of Tulsa as well.
"We are really excited about this being able to elevate our local talent and our workforce so that they go through this. Not only do they get a public safety individual on the back end but we are elevating communities that normally wouldn’t have gone to college," says Guardiola.
Guardiola also says this program ensures that local talent becomes educated and stays in Tulsa. In turn, the future TPD workforce becomes educated and lifts up the city.
The program is now open for enrollment. If you are interested in the program, check out OSU-Tulsa's website for more information.
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