Florida Police Certification with School Options

Research police programs in Florida, which currently has roughly 64 schools offering programs that prepare students for certification. Read overviews of the degrees and certificates, and get some quick facts, for two Florida schools to decide which program is right for you.

Florida Schools Offering Police Training Programs

Educational programs that prepare students for police officer certification can be found at various 2- and 4-year colleges in Florida. These programs are most commonly found at the certificate and 2-year degree levels, and graduates are prepared to take Florida's State Officer Certification Exam (SOCE). Below are details about two Florida colleges that provide police certification training programs. Get information about specific program options, and learn facts about each school by reading the table.

  • At Valencia College, students can earn law enforcement or criminal justice certificates or degrees. The college is located approximately seven miles west of downtown Orlando.
  • Tallahassee Community College is found about four miles west of downtown Tallahassee. The school's police programs include a certificate in law enforcement and associate degrees in criminal justice technology.

Comparison of Schools

Before choosing a police training certificate or degree program, you might consider all factors of a school offering these studies. Below are helpful facts and statistics regarding each school's population, campus setting, tuition, graduation rate and more.

Valencia College Tallahassee Community College
School Type 4-year, primarily associate degrees, public 4-year, primarily associate degrees, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 44,834* 11,782*
Campus Setting Large city Midsize city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $2,474 (in state)
$9,383 (out-of-state)*
$2,026 (in state)
$8,062 (out-of-state)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 75%* 64%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 100% (open admissions policy) 100% (open admissions policy)
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students began in 2011) 41%* 32%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Valencia College

Through its Criminal Justice Institute, Valencia College offers law enforcement certification programs approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Division of Criminal Justice Standards and Training. Applicants must be at least 19 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED and have no criminal record. Peace officers seeking additional training can enroll in the college's Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice program.

Auxiliary Law Enforcement Officer Certificate

This program is for students looking to work as volunteer police officers. It covers the basics of auxiliary patrol, firearms training, traffic direction and first aid.

Law Enforcement Officer Certificate

Students enroll in this program to be certified for entry-level positions as peace officers. This certificate also qualifies students to work as sheriffs. Students learn about defensive tactics, driving, first aid, the court system and firearms. Coursework also covers criminal investigations and interpersonal communication. After completing the Law Enforcement Officer Certificate program, graduates can take the SOCE certification exam.

Associate of Science in Criminal Justice

Students who earn an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice may transfer courses to a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at other colleges in Florida. Coursework covers management and organization within the criminal justice system. Students also learn about the penal code and police procedures.

Tallahassee Community College

The Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy at Tallahassee Community College offers a basic police recruit certificate program certified by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Those seeking additional police training can enroll in the school's Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology and Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology programs.

Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Certificate

This 770-hour, full-time program covers court systems, weapons, emergency preparedness, medical first responder training and communication. The program emphasizes practical police skills, such as firearms training, fingerprinting, courtroom demeanor and defensive tactics. Upon completion of the program, graduates are qualified to take the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE).

Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology

Detectives, peace officers and corrections professionals enroll in this program for professional advancement. Credits from the Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology can be transferred to the bachelor's degree program at Florida Gulf Coast University or Barry University. Courses explore conflict management, police administration, due process and the penal code. Electives cover rules of evidence, juvenile offenders, forensics and terrorism.


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