Interested in a career where you can make a difference? Consider a career in public service!
The Police Science program prepares you for a career in public service. This degree will enable you to work in law enforcement, corrections, or security; plus lay a foundation for you to work in adult or juvenile probation and parole, or legal work. Our graduates work in many different roles at the city, county, state, and federal levels.
Careers in public service need trainable people who are of good character with limited criminal history and devoted to solving problems and making communities better. An interest in law is helpful, but not required; but prepare to hone your writing, math, and speaking skills.
Next generation public service professionals are people just like you, interested in helping and protecting others, solving problems, advocating for victims, and interacting with their community. All you need to have is a willingness to build your knowledge, physical fitness, technical, and interpersonal skills.
At Hawkeye Community College our curriculum focuses on building your knowledge and skills through classes such as:
- Police operations
- Crime scene, accident, and general investigations
- Critical incident management
- Criminal and constitutional law
- Report writing and testifying
- Physical fitness conditioning
- Safe and legal use of force in defensive tactics and firearms
All Police Science instructors have law enforcement experience, academic training, and are dedicated to mentoring students. Instructors will coach you to ensure you make ethical choices, maintain a clear criminal history, and care for your physical and emotional fitness and resiliency.
Hands-On Learning Opportunities
Crime Scene Lab: Practice legal and ethical evidence collection techniques and analysis.
Indoor and Outdoor Firing Ranges: Learn safe operation of, and care and maintenance of, firearms
Virtual Firearms Simulator System (MILO): Learn and practice decision making skills with scenarios that require you to reason appropriate use of force.
Internship: Gain 128 hours of real-world work experience ensuring you have the skills you need to succeed in your future career.
Graduates, either newly hired or sponsored by a law enforcement agency, are eligible to attend the New Officer 9-Week Basic Level II Certification Academy. Hawkeye is designated as a Regional Law Enforcement Training Facility by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
An articulation agreement allows you to transfer your Police Science coursework to either the Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice program at the University of Northern Iowa or the Bachelor of Applied Science program at the University of Iowa.
If you plan to transfer, work closely with the Police Science academic / college success advisor to ensure courses transfer and you meet program requirements.
As a future criminal justice professional, students need to use good judgment in all areas of their personal, professional, and scholastic interactions and activities; and must keep their records clean. Criminal justice organizations require background checks for internships, volunteer placements, and employment; which will include adult and juvenile civil and criminal issues, official and informal contacts with police, and character references. Employment will also hinge on the successful completion of a polygraph, credit check, and psychological evaluation.
Be aware that character counts and your behavior can sabotage your ability to graduate from this program and your ability to work in the field. Consider what your actions and criminal history says about you….i.e. an OWI conviction indicates that you demonstrate poor judgment by drinking to excess and deciding to drive, which may kill or injure you or another person. Remember your personal behaviors (what you didn’t get caught for) will be revealed during the polygraph, and what you do privately (when no one is watching or supervising) speaks volumes as to the true content of one’s character.
If you want to work in criminal justice avoid these issues:
- Acquiring speeding tickets or safety violation citations.
- Acquiring a suspended driver’s license or citations for driving with a suspended license.
- Participating in underage drinking, using fake ID’s, or buying alcohol for underage persons.
- Use or abuse of prescription drugs, street drugs, club drugs (ecstasy), marijuana, or synthetic drugs.
- Engaging in theft of property, goods, or services.
You will not be employable in criminal justice if you have:
- Felony convictions.
- Domestic abuse convictions.
- Placement on an abuse registry (Sex offender, child/elder abuse).
- Drug convictions, or history of drug use or abuse (methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, etc.) Each agency (city, county, state, or federal) sets their own limits on marijuana use from zero tolerance to a limited amount of use, and factors in how recent the use was.
- Weapons violations.
Ultimately, criminal justice employers will rationalize your behavior by this criteria: If you know or reasonably believe an action is illegal or will cause harm then the best candidate will take responsibility, demonstrate self-control, and not do it.
Lastly, employers will ask our faculty for references. Students need to know that full-time faculty and adjunct faculty members are constantly formally and informally assessing students in terms of academic performance, attendance, honesty, professionalism, social skills, maturity, and appearance so that we can make objective assessments when asked. Your interactions count, and we are here to mentor you.