11/22/2010 12:00 AM
STEPHENVILLE - An agreement signed by officials with the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and Tarleton State University will improve the training of forensic technicians and investigators in Texas, while providing an opportunity for some to earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration.
TEEX Director Gary Sera and Tarleton State University President F. Dominic Dottavio signed the agreement that will provide college credit for courses completed through the Texas Forensic Science Academy (TFSA), which is operated by TEEX. Tarleton State University and TEEX are both members of The Texas A&M University System.
"This landmark agreement is beneficial to the university, TEEX and the state of Texas," said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio. "Tarleton is proud to work with TEEX to continue its tradition of producing highly-qualified and highly-trained criminal justice students."
Under the agreement, students who successfully complete forensic science courses through the Texas Forensic Science Academy will now be eligible to earn college credit toward a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences from Tarleton's Criminal Justice Program. The forensic science courses are offered throughout the state as part of the TEEX Law Enforcement Extension Training.
"The goal of the Texas Forensic Science Academy program is to bring research and training together to support improvements within the criminal justice system,” said TEEX Public Safety & Security Director Tom Shehan. “The agreement with Tarleton State helps to move Texas closer to establishing formalized training standards for forensic technicians and investigators, with the ultimate goal of providing better justice through better science for all.
"This landmark articulation agreement provides law enforcement professionals who possess an associate's degree the ability to pursue a baccalaureate degree," he added. "This agreement is the first of its kind for the Texas Forensic Science Academy, the only comprehensive technical training program of its kind in Texas."
The Forensic Science Academy provides the foundational knowledge necessary to support improvements in crime scene investigation, evidence collection and preservation, analysis, and courtroom testimony. Comprehensive program certificates are offered for Forensic Technician (80 hrs.) as well as Forensic Investigator I (200 hrs.) and Forensic Investigator II (200 hrs). The majority of the courses are approved for continuing education by the International Association for Identification (IAI).
About the Texas Engineering Extension Service
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized, first-responder training, homeland security exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. Since the 1940s, TEEX has been one of the primary trainers of Texas peace officers and is recognized as the oldest statewide law enforcement extension training agency. In addition to law enforcement training, TEEX programs include fire services, homeland security, public works, safety and health, search and rescue, and economic development.