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Blinn Criminal Justice Program offers top-notch training through partnership with TEEX

Alumna says attending police academy was the best decision of her life

Martinez Family

February 13, 2015

A selfless wife and loving mother, Vanessa Martinez put her dreams of becoming a public servant on hold for years so her husband and two daughters could live theirs.

Once her daughters were old enough to attend school, Martinez knew it was time to focus on her goals.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I just knew that I had to go back to school,” Martinez said. “I put a lot of thought into it and decided I wanted to be a peace officer.”

Martinez was already working toward an associate’s degree in criminal justice when she learned that she could apply 20 hours of academic credit toward her degree by completing Blinn’s Police Academy, a partnership between Blinn and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Central Texas Police Academy. Not only could she earn her associate’s degree, but she could simultaneously obtain the hands-on training and education required to become a public servant.

TEEX Central Texas Police Academy students pay $4,500 for the 18-week intensive course. By completing Blinn’s simple enrollment process before attending the academy, students receive 20 hours of academic credit at no additional charge. These credit hours can be applied to an associate’s degree in the College’s Criminal Justice Program.

Although most law enforcement departments don’t require that police officers earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, Blinn’s partnership with TEEX gives students a competitive advantage in landing a job or advancing their career.

“With an associate’s degree under your belt, you make yourself a more attractive candidate,” said Criminal Justice Instructor Janet McNutt. “You also set yourself up for an opportunity to apply that credit to a bachelor’s degree.”

During the 18-week police academy, students receive classroom training in preparation for the State Peace Officer Licensing Exam. The academy also offers hands-on training, including self-defense techniques, crime scene investigation, firearms training, emergency vehicle operation and physical fitness training.

“The hands-on, physical aspects of the course were incredibly beneficial,” Martinez said. “The simulations really put you in that high-stress environment where you have to think quickly and act according to what you’ve been taught.”

Students take the State Peace Officer Licensing Exam within two days of completing the 18-week academy and consistently rank among the highest in the state with a 98 to 99 percent pass rate.

Martinez completed the police academy and graduated magna cum laude in December with her associate’s degree in criminal justice and law enforcement technology. Earlier this month, she landed a job as a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“There were moments where I wasn’t sure if I would make it or not, but I’m thrilled that I did,” Martinez said. “It was tough, but if you really want it and you try hard, anything is possible. Coming to Blinn was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

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