Law Enforcement

South Texas College offers two degrees in Public Safety: Associates in Applied Science- Law Enforcement (AAS-LE) and a Certificate in Law Enforcement (Texas Peace Officer). Each degree helps students jump start their careers with federal, state, and local governmental entities.

Basic Peace Officer Certificate:
This program is designed to prepare students for a profession in law enforcement. Police academy students will learn the role and responsibilities of a law enforcement officer and become knowledgeable in Texas Criminal and Traffic law. The police academy will prepare students for peace officer certifications according to the standards from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education.

Law Enforcement AAS:
For those persons who hold a Texas Peace Officer Certification, upon successful completion of two core curriculum courses, they will be granted 23 hours of college credit upon review of their TCOLE training transcript, which they may apply toward the Associates of Applied Science- Law Enforcement degree. This degree offers the educational opportunity for working professionals already in the field to expand upon their knowledge base and professional development in a well established educational setting.

Potential Jobs

Associate Degree

Law Enforcement (AAS-LENF)

Staff Faculty Resources

Name E-mail Phone Location
Garcia, Mary Ann mgarcia_0203 956-872-5674 Pharr Teaching Center - 185
Name E-mail Phone Location
Vela Jr., Robert rvela_3613 956-872-5670 Pharr Teaching Center - 189
Valdez, Victor vvaldez18 956-872-5671 Pharr Teaching Center - 193

Please contact the department for information about Adjunct Faculty

Admission Requirements

For certificate program (Police Academy):

  • Must be 21 years old upon completion of program
  • U.S. Citizen, honorable discharge from the military (if applicable)
  • Never been convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor or above
  • Never been convicted of a Class B misdemeanor within the last 10 years
  • GED or higher, urine analysis
  • Polygraph exam
  • Physical fitness exam
  • Comprehensive medical and psychological screenings

An application for the police academy also needs to be filled out in addition to the application to South Texas College in order to be considered for the program.

Screening Exams

The combined cost of all the screening exams (polygraph, L2, L3 & fingerprints) is $560. The entire screening process takes between 4 to 6 weeks. The deadline to submit all of the screening documents is June 2, 2017.

Additional Program Notes

The police academy will be open enrollment for those who wish to attend the police academy and apply financial aid, G.I. Bill, or other scholarships toward their tuition. For those persons who are currently employed by a state, county, or city law enforcement agency as a full-time peace officer, tuition waivers apply under Texas Education Code 54.208.

As with the Police Academy Program, Texas Peace Officers who are full-time employees are eligible for tuition waivers under Texas Education Code 54.208.