12/3/2001 12:00 AM
If you want to become a licensed peace officer, TEEX has just the ticket. Every cadet in the past seven classes at TEEX has passed the state licensing exam on the first try.
In fact, the TEEX Basic Peace Officer Academy has scored more 100 percent passing rates than any other academy in the state. The TEEX academy is one of more than 100 police academies that are licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLEOSE).
The current record started in the Spring 1999, when every cadet in the class passed the TCLEOSE exam. To date, about 145 TEEX academy graduates in a row have passed the state licensing exam.
During March, April and May 2001, 38 academies sent students to take the TCLEOSE exam and 12, including TEEX, had a 100 percent passing rate.
Cindi Anderson, program coordinator for the academy, says several factors have contributed to the academy’s remarkable record.
“We teach from the TCLEOSE curriculum,” said Anderson, who taught in the Austin Police Academy before joining TEEX. “In addition, the students take a 100-question test every Monday over the material covered the previous week.
“Another factor is the small class size. We try to keep our classes to about 20 students. We find doing the practicals are more difficult if you have more students than that.”
In addition, the final exam is structured like the TCLEOSE exam, she added. “I have a proctor administer the exam, and the answers are put on a scantron.
But the real secret to the high success rate could be what happens after the final exam.
After the final exam is given on Friday, Anderson said, the class and instructors get together on Sunday and Monday for intensive review sessions, which can focus on portions of the curriculum the students had problems with on the final exam. On the following Tuesday, the students head out to Austin for the TCLEOSE exam.
Anderson, who serves on the TCLEOSE Testing Committee, said she is optimistic that the academy can hold on to its record, even though the TCLEOSE exam is becoming more difficult.
“The exam is changing this fall from 200 questions to 280 questions, and everything in the curriculum will be testable,” Anderson said. “We will likely have to change our test questions and our review strategy. The exam is going to be more challenging, but all of us, instructors and students, will just have to work a little harder.”