A&M-Commerce and Austin Police Department Establish Preferred Path to a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice

The College of Innovation and Design at Texas A&M University-Commerce and the City of Austin, Texas, have partnered to establish a preferred pathway for Austin Police Department officers to earn their Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in law enforcement leadership.

The Lucky Lion mascot holds a sign saying "We Appreciate Austin Police"
A&M-Commerce mascot Lucky the Lion shows the university’s appreciation for the Austin Police Department. Photo by Matt Strasen | Texas A&M University-Commerce Office of Marketing and Communications.

The competency-based program empowers working professionals with a flexible, affordable option to elevate their careers without traveling or forgoing work or family obligations. Courses are offered asynchronously online, allowing officers to work at their own pace in accelerated, seven-week terms. Additionally, a newly created success team supports students with personalized attention from initial inquiry all the way through graduation.

Faculty and staff representing the College of Innovation and Design attended the Austin Police Association's February meeting, where Jimmy Womack, coordinator and instructor for the university's competency-based program, shared details with members of the department.

A multitude of police cadets sit at long tables listening to a presentation.
Representatives from the A&M-Commerce College of Innovation and Design present details to Austin Police Department cadets about the university’s competency-based program to earn their Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with Law Enforcement Leadership emphasis.

Associate Program Director Angela Woodruff was on hand to meet with officers and administrators to ensure a smooth and expedited admission process.

“Joining the College of Innovation and Design has been very rewarding, including redesigning our student support team to accommodate the unique needs of adult learners and working professionals,” Woodruff said. “Our partnership with the City of Austin promises to benefit A&M-Commerce and Austin Police Department officers. We look forward to developing similar partnerships to extend educational opportunities across the state of Texas.”

Retired detective and program alum George Sumner attended the event.

“This partnership provides an opportunity for police officers to continue their education with guaranteed admission and all tuition fees covered,” he said. “I'm honored to help establish this partnership that will benefit law enforcement for generations.”

The College of Innovation and Design offers six competency-based programs in a variety of workforce-aligned fields, from health care to teacher preparation. Explore available programs at tamuc.edu/CID.