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Kentucky State, Corrections Department open pathway for degrees

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Jul 09, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Time and money, or a lack of both, are oftentimes the two biggest obstacles preventing people with full-time jobs from returning to school to finish or further their education.

It’s not different inside Kentucky’s Correctional Facilities, which is why Chief Scott Colvin brought his vision to Kentucky State University.

“As we started meeting, I quickly captured the vision of the chief, and here we are today,” said KSU President Dr. Koffi Akakpo.

Dr. Akakpo visited the Fayette County Detention Center on Tuesday to help announce a new certification program that’ll allow correctional officers to earn a 15-credit certificate. This certificate could then be parlayed into undergraduate studies and maybe toward earning a master’s in criminal justice.

“The officers are interested in developing themselves,” Chief Colvin said following today’s announcement. “They want to have a career,” he continued.

In order to do that, often times, furthering their education is critical. As best practices change when it comes to criminal justice and dealing with inmates, the officers, Colvin believes, should have the chance to grow as well.

“There’s the emerging technology, (there’s) changes in the laws that we would rely on Kentucky State’s criminal justice program to make us aware of and educate us,” Colvin said.

“They do such a great job, this is finding a way to elevate them to where they need to be to provide even better service to the community,” Dr. Akakpo added.

The program will offer a considerable tuition discount, which solves one of the problems, and it will be streamlined to allow students to complete their studies in a shorter period of time than a traditional college semester.

“It’s not like the people at division don’t want to possess a degree,” Chief Colvin said, “it’s just that there aren’t enough hours in the day,” he added.

Courses and the certification program will be offered online and in person, giving officers the flexibility to choose which works best for their work schedule and family.