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First Class To Graduate From Rasmussen College Corrections Academy

Partnership with Cass County Sherriff's Office Meets Increasing Demand for Highly-Skilled Officers in the State

FARGO, N.D. (December 16, 2013) Rasmussen College and the Cass County Sherriff’s Office today announced the first Corrections Academy graduating class at the Rasmussen College Fargo campus. Upon completing the Rasmussen Correctional Officer Skills Basic Training program, all students in this first graduating class will be employed with corrections positions in the state of North Dakota.

The Corrections Academy is a collaboration of Rasmussen College and the sheriff’s office in an effort to meet the increasing demand for corrections officers in the state and expand options for future officers to obtain the required training and certifications. This is the first private Corrections Academy to be approved by the North Dakota Peace Officers Standard and Training board (POST). Prior to the launch of the program in Sept. 2013, corrections training could only be provided through the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“Our partnership with Rasmussen College is essential to developing the professionalism of the corrections community,” said Paul D. Laney, Cass County Sheriff. “We now have the ability to have new personnel walk through the door already Corrections Basic Certified. The Rasmussen Correctional Officer Skills Basic Training program gives potential new employees a leg up in the interview process and allows the agency hiring the candidate to put them through a training program and immediately to work without having to send them away for three weeks to a month later. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

At the Rasmussen College Corrections Academy, students participate in a combined 143 hours—or  under three months—of lecture and hands-on instruction. The courses provide graduates the necessary skill set for careers in a variety of corrections positions from admin to field work. The flexibility of the program and course scheduling allows students to work while earning their corrections certification.

“Rasmussen College continues to be at the forefront of community-based collaboration and academic innovation,” said Matthew Petz, Rasmussen College School of Justice Studies dean. “Through the collaboration with Sheriff Laney and the state Legislature, we were able to bring this much-needed program to North Dakota and quickly address the state’s need for a highly skilled, certified workforce.  We hope to expand this offering as the need for officers in the state continues to grow.”

The corrections industry in North Dakota is expected to grow nearly 10 percent in the next five years due to the rapid population growth, dramatic economic development and continued expansion of the oil industry. Currently, there are more than 700 corrections officers throughout the state.

“The partnership with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office helps Rasmussen College provide job training and career connections so our students are employed upon graduation,” said John Smith-Coppes, Rasmussen College campus president. “The Sheriff’s office, in return, can more quickly staff the multiple openings for Corrections Officers as the state infrastructure so rapidly expands. We’re proud and excited to open up the Corrections Academy facilities and resources at our Fargo campus to sheriff’s offices, corrections facilities and police departments across the state to help them meet their ongoing training needs.”

To celebrate its first graduating class, Rasmussen College and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office will host a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. The ceremony will take place at the Rasmussen College Fargo campus, located at 4012 19th Avenue South, Fargo, ND 58103. For further information on the Corrections Academy—including prospective student inquiries or interest in the corrections department partnerships—please contact the Fargo campus at 701-277-3889.

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Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation that is dedicated to changing lives through high-demand educational programs and public service. Rasmussen College offers Certificate and Diploma programs through Associate's and Bachelor's degrees online and across its 24 Midwest and Florida campuses in a supportive, student-centered and career-focused environment. Since 1900, Rasmussen College has been dedicated to being a primary contributor to the growth and development of the communities it serves. As a Benefit Corporation, Rasmussen College is committed to helping change lives through education and making a positive impact on society through public service and a variety of community-based initiatives. For more information about Rasmussen College, please visit

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