COLLEGE STATION – Although Texas A&M University Forensic & Investigative Sciences (FIVS) degree students are educated on the importance of DNA, latent fingerprints and other forensic technologies specific to criminal investigations, few are provided opportunities to practice those skills outside of a traditional classroom setting. However, through an innovative partnership established in 2011 between A&M and the Texas Forensic Science Academy administered by TEEX, 10 students seeking a FIVS degree are selected each semester to participate in specialized training courses hosted at the Texas A&M Riverside Campus.
Each course, Crime Scene Investigation and Latent Print Processing, is taught using a “Mini-mester” model and scheduled through FIVS degree staff. Once completed, each student receives elective credit toward the FIVS degree. Students completing both 40-hour courses earn a Forensic Technician Certificate.
Although the program is very popular, enrollment is capped at 10 students per semester selected by FIVS degree staff. Several students, after receiving a FIVS degree from Texas A&M University, have pursued law enforcement careers at the state, federal and local level.
“Although the Texas Forensic Science Academy primarily provides specialized training to law enforcement criminal investigators, this program has helped introduce selected A&M FIVS students to real-world scenarios linked to crime scene investigations and the skills necessary to properly collect and evaluate evidence,” commented Tom Shehan, TEEX Division Director. “These students represent the best of the best; each semester we look forward to meeting the next group of selected students and continue to be amazed at their interest and enthusiasm surrounding the criminal justice profession.”
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is an internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response, law enforcement, homeland security and workforce training and exercises, technical assistance, and economic development. Last year, TEEX served more than 169,000 people from every U.S. state and territory and 79 countries worldwide. TEEX is a principal member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium and home to the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center, TEEX has been a leader in homeland security training since 1998. The agency also sponsors the state’s urban search and rescue team, Texas Task Force 1. It is TEEX’s mission to make a difference by providing training, developing practical solutions, and saving lives. TEEX is a member of The Texas A&M University System.