E-learning designed for correctional staff provides college credit.

Author:Brooks, Tonya M.
Position::Professional Development Update

Technology has not only had an impact on individuals' personal lives, but also on their work environments as well. In the corrections field, technology has changed the way business is done, from security to communications to training. With more corrections personnel wanting to expand their careers, and with more training departments offering training in a cost-effective and efficient manner, e-learning is becoming the solution to addressing these issues. Even though a greater number of e-learning programs were designed for K-12 students, most colleges and universities are using the e-learning method for their adult students. It is appealing to college students and adults because it is convenient, affordable and challenging.

That is why the American Correctional Association's Online Corrections Academy (OCA) has decided to provide college credits to its participants. Since its debut more than two years ago. OCA has been a good resource of high-quality, online training and education for hundreds of corrections personnel by offering training that meets pre-service and in-service training requirements; providing asynchronous (individual self-pace) and synchronous (instructors to control and navigate student instruction) e-learning; offering conveniently accessible training (24 hours a day, seven days a week); and providing affordable training to both individuals and agencies.

Currently, individuals use OCA's training not only to obtain pre-service and in-service training, but also to acquire continuing education units from the University of Maryland or continuing medical education units. While some individuals have enrolled in the courses for self-enhancement or to gain additional knowledge in a particular subject, agencies have used OCA as a way to save scarce training dollars, supplement learning programs for pre-service and in-service training, and track staff training records.

Guidelines of Eligibility For College Credits

As a result of partnerships established by ACA with various colleges and universities, individuals who successfully complete OCA courses can earn academic (college) credits. Students who wish to apply for academic credits must complete the online courses as well as the assignments outlined below. Course subjects range from ethics and ethical behavior to correctional supervision and female offenders.

The "Ethics in Corrections" series was specifically designed for correctional officers working in jails and prisons at all levels. The concepts...

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