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East Central Community College partners with Highway Patrol for preferred candidate program

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East Central Community College is partnering with the Mississippi Highway Patrol for a preferred candidate program.

Under the terms of the agreement, enrolled individuals can pursue either an A.A. or A.A.S. degree in criminal justice at the community college. Enrollees will have the opportunity to engage with an MHP recruiter and apply for the preferred candidate program, allowing them to receive favorable candidacy when applying to work for the patrol.

To successfully graduate from the preferred candidate program, students must complete two or more semesters of the MHP candidates on rapid entry curriculum, obtain an associate’s degree from ECCC, fulfill the C.O.R.E. Patrol School PT requirements, and undergo an MHP application and background check.

The C.O.R.E. program is tailored for students focused on a criminal justice degree, offering a direct path to employment with MHP.

Recruiters will collaborate with ECCC’s instructors to introduce a two-semester curriculum, including topics such as trooper responsibilities. The C.O.R.E. program will serve as an additional credit course attached to select Criminal Justice classes, overseen by a class instructor.

MHP C.O.R.E. Instructors will also administer a weekly PT program for C.O.R.E. candidates, preparing them for cadet school.

Additionally, recruiters will visit classes and host recruiting tables during the spring to attract students to the program. Students must register for the MHP C.O.R.E. program, meet specified requirements, and sign a waiver before participating in the semester curriculum.

Upon completion, sophomores will be encouraged to submit an MHP application upon graduation from ECCC.

“East Central Community College is thrilled about this collaboration with the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Based on studies and other community colleges in Mississippi with this program, completion of a college degree significantly enhances the knowledge and skills of officers across various domains. We are excited to be part of this program in central Mississippi,” ECCC President Dr. Brent Gregory said.

ECCC’s criminal justice technology is a comprehensive two-year degree program offering specialized training in various aspects of law enforcement.

This agreement is effective for 2024 and automatically renewable for successive 12-month periods.

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