Law Enforcement Apprenticeship Program

NOTE: LEAP will be implemented in Fall 2018. We are currently accepting applications from law enforcement agencies.

LEAP Director

Dr. Carleen Vincent-Robinson

Employment Prospects for Educated Police Officers

Law enforcement has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. There has been an accelerated adoption of new technology, shifts in criminal methodologies, and wide-ranging community demands requiring varying policing styles and accountability. Today’s law enforcement professionals are required to have a technical skill set that allows them to understand and benefit from technology. They also must be able to think critically to quickly adapt to different types of crimes and citizen encounters. Modern police departments need officers who are capable of leading change and who have the capacity to utilize highly developed critical thinking skills that are necessary in an evolving technology-oriented society. Educated law enforcement professionals are essential to the future success of modern police departments. Research consistently finds that college educated police officers demonstrate better overall job performance, have enhanced opportunities for advancement and act with greater discretion, tolerance, and restraint when confronting citizen resistance. Studies further show that college educated officers exhibit heightened levels of creativity and problem-solving skills, which are both advantageous in dealing effectively with the citizenry. By continuing their formal education, police officers make themselves an indispensable asset to their departments and communities.


Apprenticeships have historically been utilized by organizations to develop trades that strengthen the organization by developing workers to be more successful in areas that are critical for the organization. The organization designs a program that provides on-the-job training, mentorship, and potential funding to attend college. The Law Enforcement Apprenticeship Program (LEAP) provides certified police officers with 12 credit hours towards the completion of the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ). Apprentices are provided with on-the-job training and mentorship, while they are enrolled in the BSCJ. Apprentices leverage their advanced education and training to become more successful law enforcement professionals and future leaders in the field.

Program Requirements

1. Certified police officer admitted into LEAP by a participating law enforcement agency.

2. Criminal Justice major with a minimum of 60 credit hours.

3. Completion of a minimum of 120 hours of state‐approved (or equivalent) advanced and specialized training programs, including a 40‐hour mentorship program that matches the apprentice with a command staff mentor.

4. Upon completion of LEAP, the apprentice submits a portfolio, which includes certificates of completion for training and LEAP, to receive 12 apprenticeship credit hours (senior standing required).

LEAP Application

Law enforcement agencies interested in participating in LEAP, please complete the online application.