Law Enforcement Academic Certificate and Law Enforcement Skills Certificate

Our Law Enforcement Academic Certificate and our Law Enforcement Skills Certificate provide the academic knowledge and the physical skills required for students with an Associate’s degree from a POST Board-approved college or university to qualify for Minnesota police officer licensure.

View courses and cost per credit for our Law Enforcement Academic Certificate and our Law Enforcement Skills Certificate. 

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Course listings are subject to change. Please see our course catalog and/or addendum for most current listings.


Law Enforcement Academic Certificate Course List

Law Enforcement Academic Certificate

Major and Core Courses

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Policing in America
  • Crime Scene to Conviction: Critical Skills in Documentation
  • Criminal Law and Procedures: Crime and the Courtroom
  • Domestic Violence
  • Juvenile Justice: Delinquency, Dependency, and Diversion
  • Practical Psychology for Law Enforcement
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice
  • Minnesota Criminal Code
  • Minnesota Traffic Code

An introductory course designed to provide students with a general foundation of knowledge in the criminal justice field. Course participants will explore the different parts of the criminal justice system, their interrelationships, and the role of each in the criminal justice process. Students will examine the historical basis for the contemporary American legal system, policing styles and the evolution of crime prevention, the structure of the judicial system and its professional participants from pre-sentencing through post-conviction, corrections strategies for criminal offenders, and special considerations for juveniles in the criminal justice system.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: J100
Credits: 4


Students will examine the theoretical underpinnings of police work in the United States, including its historical roots, its current status, and the trends that will shape its future. They will explore the problems and solutions facing citizens, patrol officers, administrators, and agencies. They will also cover contemporary practices such as Community Oriented Policing, Problem Oriented Policing, and Directed Patrol. In investigating these topics, student will develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving. For residential only, this course includes a fieldwork assignment.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice

Course ID: J120
Credits: 4


Students will master the skills of both oral and written communication. They will examine grammar and the mechanics of writing. They will also explore special communication issues, such as communicating with crime victims. They will develop skills for proper report writing, including such documents as search warrants, police reports, and case documents. Students will evaluate the impact of proper report writing, communication, and documentation on the outcome of legal proceedings, and review the importance of effectively translating written work into courtroom testimony.

Prerequisite:Policing in America

Course ID: J122
Credits: 4


This course provides an examination of substantive and procedural criminal law. Students are introduced to the Federal and State courts systems. The concepts of evidence sufficiency, standards of proof, and due process are explored. Statutory defenses, mitigating factors and circumstances which may excuse criminal responsibility, and common law principles are examined. For residential only, this course includes a fieldwork assignment.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice or Introduction to Law and the Legal System.

Course ID: J131
Credits: 4


This course examines violence in the family; social and legal relations within families; theories and solutions on family violence; survivors and the consequences of victimization; legal responses; the role of the police; when law enforcement responds; recognizing child abuse; recognizing elder abuse; associated crimes and stalking and domestic homicide.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice

Course ID: J200
Credits: 4


An overview of the juvenile justice system including the nature and extent of delinquency, explanatory models and theories, the juvenile justice system, juvenile court practices and procedures. The role of law enforcement and juvenile correctional officer will be explored as well as juvenile training schools, probation and aftercare treatment.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice or Introduction to Human Services

Course ID: J213
Credits: 4


Students will examine how principles of psychology relate to law-enforcement work. They will explore fundamental concepts from a policing perspective, focusing on the real-world effects these principles produce on peace officers, their families, and the citizens they serve. Students will apply ideas from psychology to create effective victim- and witness-interviewing strategies, offender behavior-modification approaches, and officer coping methods. They will review the short-and long-term physiological and psychological effects of stress, trauma, and occupational experiences unique to the profession.

Prerequisite:Policing in America

Course ID: J222
Credits: 4


This course provides a strong theoretical foundation for solving ethical dilemmas. Students will gain a realistic picture not only of what ethical questions arise in criminal justice, but also of how sound moral decisions are made in response to them.

Prerequisites:Policing in America; Criminal Law and Procedures: Crime in the Courtroom

Course ID: J255
Credits: 4


Students will examine Minnesota criminal code and related statutes to gain a thorough understanding of peace officer responsibilities under Minnesota law. They will review specific Minnesota crimes and their elements, levels of offense, and the proper handling of suspects involved in various crimes. Charging, defenses, and sentencing will also be explored.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE240
Credits: 2


Students will explore motor vehicle laws and statutes related to traffic enforcement in Minnesota. They will examine rules pertaining to driving, equipment, motor vehicle insurance, and driver licensing. They will identify unique circumstances and vehicles in traffic law, including commercial motor vehicles, implements of husbandry, boats, and all-terrain vehicles. Students will also review alcohol and drugs impairments to driving, and enforcement of related laws.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE245
Credits: 2

Total Certificate Credits: 36

Law Enforcement Skills Certificate

Major and Core Courses

  • Traffic Enforcement: Managing Traffic Violators
  • Firearms I: Fundamentals of Armed Police Response
  • Firearms II: Tactics for Combat Gunfighting
  • Use of Force I: From Empty Hands to TASERs
  • Use of Force II: Winning Violent Confrontations
  • Crime Scene Response: The Real CSI
  • Minnesota Criminal Code
  • Minnesota Traffic Code
  • Patrol Practicals: Handling Calls in Progress
  • Law Enforcement Capstone

Students will learn the skills for legal, effective, and safe traffic enforcement on city streets and major thoroughfares. They will examine implications of traffic codes and relevant court decisions through practical application. They will explore criminal and drug interdiction strategies through effective traffic enforcement, and special considerations in impaired driver enforcement. They will learn to operate enforcement tools such as speed detection devices and alcohol sensory equipment. Students will examine the writing and articulation of enforcement decisions, and potential court outcomes of enforcement actions.

Prerequisites:Ethics in Criminal Justice; Practical Psychology for Law Enforcement or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE210
Credits: 3


Students will learn the fundamental principles of marksmanship for firearms competency, and will progress to police-specific skills needed for proficiency in firearms use. They will practice the care and maintenance of firearms.

Prerequisites:Ethics in Criminal Justice; Practical Psychology for Law Enforcement or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE219
Credits: 2


Students will build upon fundamental principles of marksmanship to gain firearms skills unique to law enforcement and officer survival. They will examine considerations related to use of force and deadly force, focusing on decision-making in force levels and articulation of force decisions. They will implement tactical considerations throughout training, including combat firearms skills and mental preparation for use of deadly force. Students will experience scenario-based and simulation training to help them synthesize shooting skills with proper use-of-force decisions in real-time situations.

Prerequisite:Firearms I: Fundamentals of Armed Police Response

Course ID: LE220
Credits: 2


Students will learn fundamental fighting principles, including technical and psychological aspects of physical combat. They will use tactical positioning, command presence, verbalization skills, and interpretation of body language in confrontational situations. Compliance and control techniques will be taught, ranging from empty-hand techniques, ground defense, and weapon retention to application of common police officer tools such as handcuffs, chemicals, batons, and electronic control devices. They will explore concepts of physical fitness and mental survival.

Prerequisites:Ethics in Criminal Justice; Practical Psychology for Law Enforcement or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE227
Credits: 2


Students will build on fundamental police defensive tactics to synthesize physical knowledge with use-of-force decision-making. They will learn decision-making skills in ambiguous use-of-force incidents, demonstrating their ability to assess situations, respond appropriately, apply reasonable force, and articulate their reasoning. They will use practical application exercises and scenario-based training to maximize training effects.

Prerequisite:Use of Force I: From Empty Hands to TASERS

Course ID: LE228
Credits: 2


Students will examine the investigation processes for crime scenes and crashes. They will explore issues of scene security, evidence collection, handling, and processing, and documentation. They will discuss legal issues of crime scene processing, and review basic investigation and reporting forms and the reporting requirements established by statute and policy.

Prerequisites:Ethics in Criminal Justice; Practical Psychology for Law Enforcement or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE233
Credits: 3


Students will examine Minnesota criminal code and related statutes to gain a thorough understanding of peace officer responsibilities under Minnesota law. They will review specific Minnesota crimes and their elements, levels of offense, and the proper handling of suspects involved in various crimes. Charging, defenses, and sentencing will also be explored.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE240
Credits: 2


Students will explore motor vehicle laws and statutes related to traffic enforcement in Minnesota. They will examine rules pertaining to driving, equipment, motor vehicle insurance, and driver licensing. They will identify unique circumstances and vehicles in traffic law, including commercial motor vehicles, implements of husbandry, boats, and all-terrain vehicles. Students will also review alcohol and drugs impairments to driving, and enforcement of related laws.

Prerequisite:Introduction to Criminal Justice or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE245
Credits: 2


Students will synthesize learning from all areas of training. They will respond to realistic calls for service and apply their knowledge of law enforcement to achieve resolution of a variety of common policing scenarios. They will discuss fire, arson, and explosives response. They will learn principles of good judgment and decision-making, and will articulate their enforcement choices and the potential legal implications of each. Students will also learn fundamental driving principles for routine and high-speed pursuit driving, and will apply these principles in laboratory exercises. They will discuss the legal and policy aspects of police pursuits and effective call response.

Prerequisites:Use of Force I: From Empty Hands to TASERS; Firearms I: Fundamentals of Armed Police Response; Traffic Enforcement: Managing Traffic Violators; Crime Scene Response: The Real CSI or enrolled in Certificate

Course ID: LE284
Credits: 4


Students will examine the future of law enforcement by reviewing the topical areas of law enforcement required for success in the field. They will discuss current employment opportunities, certification requirements, and application and hiring processes. They will review specialty areas for successful certification and licensing, and discuss the potential ethical, legal, social, and political ramifications for the future.

Prerequisites:Students must be enrolled in the Law Enforcement program and in their last or second to last quarter

Course ID: LE290
Credits: 2

Total Certificate Credits: 24

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