University of Michigan-Dearborn becomes first in the nation to join forces with ACA certification.

Author:St. Gerard, Vanessa

On Feb. 18, officials from the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) and the American Correctional Association met at ACA headquarters in Lanham, Md., for an articulation signing ceremony, which made UM-D the first four-year college in the nation to form a partnership with ACA's Corrections Certification Program. This new relationship will allow UM-D students who successfully pass the ACA certification exam and complete the university's degree program in criminal justice to become certified on a provisional basis.

"I think this program will really help our colleagues in the Department of Corrections in the state of Michigan because it offers the opportunity to not only partner in the preparation of well-qualified new entrants into the corrections field, but also ... offers the opportunity to partner with the Department of Corrections to really work collaboratively to bring all employees up," said Robert L. Simpson, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at UM-D.

Representatives from UM-D, the Michigan DOC and ACA were present during the ceremony, including DOC Director Patricia Caruso, ACA Executive Director James A. Gondles, Jr., William W. Sondervan, director of ACA's Professional Development Department, Kathryn Anderson-Levitt, dean, UM-D College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, Kevin Early, director of the UM-D Criminal Justice Studies Program, and Simpson.

"One of the things that ACA has tried to do ... is to create a bridge that spans the gulf between academia and practitioners," Gondles said. "The marriage between colleges and universities, and practitioners and prisons and jails is something that we've really tried to step up. So I'm really, really excited and very, very pleased that the University of Michigan-Dearborn is the first institution to start a formal program with us in this regard."

According to the specifications of the agreement, UM-D graduating students who have studied for a career in a correctional setting may take an ACA certification exam, and upon passing, receive provisional certification. Students can qualify for either an exam at the certified corrections supervisor/provisional (CCS/P) level or the certified corrections officer/provisional (CCO/P) level. Those who pass (75 percent or above) their certification exam, complete one year of full-time professional employment in corrections-related work and receive satisfactory or better evaluations from their immediate supervisor, qualify and receive ACA's...

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