Cowley College criminal justice program signs articulation agreement with Pioneer Tech

From L-R: Pioneer Tech Executive Director Kahle Goff, Pioneer Tech Superintendent Traci Thorpe, Cowley College VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Rachel Bates, and Cowley College Criminal Justice Instructor Frank Owens. Pioneer Tech students are in back along with Pioneer Tech Criminal Justice Instructor Tom Burg. (Photo by Rama Peroo/Cowley College)

The Cowley College Criminal Justice program announced a new articulation agreement with Pioneer Technology Center in Ponca City.

According to a news release from Cowley College Wednesday, Cowley and Pioneer Tech began exploring the possibility over a year ago. Both programs are similar and have instructors who have been in the field and have a passion for making the classroom fun, the news release stated.

Cowley College Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Rachel Bates said she believes this partnership between Cowley College and Pioneer Tech is a testament to Cowley’s commitment to student success and regional collaboration.

“It not only simplifies the transfer process for Pioneer Tech graduates to Cowley College, but it expedites their degree completion and represents significant cost savings for the student, institutions, and the community,” Bates said. “Additionally, it paves the way for additional opportunities for students pursuing careers in criminal justice and strengthens our shared goal of equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in their chosen field.

“We are excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring and the positive impact it will have on our students, institutions, and the communities we serve.”

The college said many potential transfer students coming through Cowley commented on how complimentary the programs were to each other, so it only made sense to seek out some type of partnership.

“We are always looking for opportunities for our students to get their next level of education, and we really appreciate our partnership with Cowley College and their willingness to create avenues for our students to go to that next level,” Pioneer Tech Superintendent Traci Thorpe said.

Pioneer Tech recently started offering CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) classes, which would be the equivalent of the Kansas Academy courses at KLETC (Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center).

“Graduates from Pioneer Tech are usually 18 years of age and have to be 21 to take CLEET courses, so it is imperative to keep prospective students and officers interested, and by coming to Cowley, they can earn a degree and maintain that interest,” the college said.

This articulation allows graduates of Pioneer Tech to transfer to Cowley College with already established benefits between the two institutions but also credits them with nine additional criminal justice hours, allowing them a potentially faster degree completion and save money on their education.

Cowley College Criminal Justice Program Director Frank Owens said he was happy to finally be able to get something official established between the two programs.

“Pioneer Tech truly does seem to have similar philosophies and operational standards,” Owens said. “I really hope this helps students, especially those wanting to work in Oklahoma, establish a solid pathway enabling them to have a clear path from high school to degree to the workplace.”