Ohio Police Academies and Schools with Program Overviews

Ohio has more than 60 schools that offer police academy programs. Learn about the degree programs and certificates, tuition information, and program options for the 10 largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Ohio has more than 60 state-approved training facilities where prospective peace officers can complete the required police academy training to qualify for employment. Some facilities provide a stand-alone training course that is designed to meet the requirements set forth by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC), while other programs are part of a more comprehensive degree, like an associate or bachelor degree in criminal justice. To apply for enrollment in these programs, prospective trainees must meet certain eligibility requirements: these include approval from an academy commander, a moderate to high level of physical fitness, no felony, domestic violence or drug abuse convictions, and a valid Ohio driver's license.

Columbus State Community College

Columbus State Community College offers 4 separate degree programs in its criminal justice department, one of which includes basic police academy training. All degrees in this department are available on-campus or online. For students hoping to complete OPOTC certified training, there is a 2-year associate degree plus police academy training program, which culminates in the state certification exam conducted by the OPOTC. The program provides approximately 640 hours of technical skill and classroom training, which covers physical fitness, self-defense, firearms, emergency vehicle operation, and first-aid/CPR. Currently, this school does not offer a stand-alone police academy course, but embeds official peace officer training in its Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice: Police Academy program. Furthermore, in addition to the tuition charged by the school, uniform and training equipment costs are estimated to be $500.00. If attending full-time, the A.A.S. program in criminal justice, including police academy, should take 5 semesters to complete.

Cuyahoga Community College

Located in Cleveland, a large city in Ohio, Cuyahoga Community College offers more than 140 programs and serves more than 52,000 students each year in its credit and non-credit courses. The Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement offers three options: the basic police academy option requires the completion of 73 units and can be completed in 4 semesters. This program aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to sit for the OPOTC exam, and to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary for Ohio peace officers.

Kent State University

The basic police academy training course at Kent State University covers 612 hours of OPOTC approved course-work in firearms training, defensive driving, interrogation, and other required subjects geared towards training prospective peace officers. An accelerated summer program is also available for veterans, college students, conditional hire police officers, and high school graduates with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. Though undergraduate tuition and fees for in-state students are more than $9,000 for the 2012-2013 school year at Kent State, the police academy training course costs $3,600, which includes the required uniform for all participants in this program, but does not include additional equipment that may be needed. The B.A. program in criminology and justice studies with a concentration in policing also includes the basic police academy training and may prepare prospective officers for upper level jobs in policing.

Lorain County Community College

Lorain County Community College is located in Elyria, a small city in Ohio. The Police Training Academy at Lorain aims to qualify students to take the peace officer certification test and provides 640 hours of OPOTC approved instruction. Students in this program will earn 23 credits at LCCC. Tuition for this program includes some of the required gear, but uniform pants, shoes, handguns, and other equipment must be purchased by the student.

Owens Community College

Perrysburg, Ohio is home to Owens Community College, a 2-year public college. Students at OCC have 2 training options when seeking the police academy training required for a career as an Ohio peace officer. For an associate degree with academy option, a total of 68-71 credit hours are required, or students may earn 18-21 college credits for completing the academy alone. The basic training academy program covers 582 hours of coursework and is offered in cooperation with the OPOTC.

Sinclair Community College

Sinclair Community College is located in Dayton, Ohio - a mid-size city. This school offers day and evening academy courses to satisfy the requirements of the OPOTC for all candidates seeking employment as a Peace officer in the state of Ohio. Sinclair's Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, or OPOTA, is offered twice each year and includes more than 582 hours of training. Tuition and fees for out-of-county residents are approximately $5,200, and Montgomery County residents receive a tuition discount of $1,200. Students who want to enroll in the academy must be in good standing with the college and must also declare criminal justice science with law enforcement as an academic major.

Stark State College

Stark State College is located in North Canton and offers two police academy options. The Certificate in Law Enforcement Academy requires 36 units of coursework, whereas the Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Academy requires 69 units. Some of the credits earned in the one-year certificate program may later be applied to the A.A. degree. Both programs include an OPOTC certified academy course and additional classes like report writing and student success seminar.

University of Akron

The University of Akron has over 200 degree offerings, which include a certificate, A.A.A.S., minor, and B.S. in criminal justice. Students hoping to pursue peace officer training in a state approved police academy can enroll in the stand-alone, 1-semester police academy to qualify to sit for the OPOTC exam. However, students who want more academic experience, are seeking upper level positions, or who seek career advancement in the criminal justice field may also take advantage of the other degree and certificate programs in this department. The application fee for the police academy program is $200 and the cost of the program is $3,600, which differs from the regular tuition for this school.

Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University is named for the small city in which it is located. The Peace Officer Training Academy program at YSU includes courses that aim to prepare students for the OPOTC exam, and to begin careers as peace officers in Ohio. It includes 12 semester hours of course-work, which includes a minimum of 558 hours of training. Qualified completers will receive a letter signifying the successful completion of the OPOTC course-work. Additionally, credits earned in this program are applicable to upper level degrees in the criminal justice program.

Career Requirements

The OPOTC requires that prospective peace officers complete a minimum of 569 hours of training, pass a physical fitness test, and sit for a comprehensive exam administered by the OPOTC. Read about the 10 largest schools in Ohio to offer OPOTC approved police academy training programs and get the details in the school comparison table.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Peace Officer Training Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Columbus State Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice - Police Academy $3,808 in-state
$8,430 out-of-state*
Cuyahoga Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement: Basic Police Academy $3,136 in-district,
$3,953 in-state,
$7,648 out-of-state*
Kent State University 4-year, public; large suburb Basic Police Academy,
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Justice Studies (Policing concentration)
$10,112 in-state,
$18,212 out-of-state*
Lorain County Community College 2-year, public; small city Police Training Academy $3,077 in-district,
$3,679 in-state,
$7,302 out-of-state*
Owens Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Basic Peace Officer Training Academy,
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice: Academy Option
$4,233 in-state,
$8,236 out-of-state*
Sinclair Community College 2-year, public; mid-size city OPOTA Peace Officer Basic Training,
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Science and Law Enforcement
$2,476 in-district,
$3,604 in-state,
$6,868 out-of-state*
Stark State College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate in Law Enforcement Academy,
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Academy
$3,686 in-state,
$6,794 out-of-state*
University of Akron 4-year, public mid-size city Police Academy,
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
$10, 509 in-state,
$19, 040 out-of-state*
Youngstown State University 4-year public; small city Peace Officer Training Academy $8,317 in-state,
$8,557 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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