The Basic Corrections Officer Course (BPOC) prepares women and men for service as Corrections Officers in the State of Texas.
The Basic Corrections Officer Course costs $365.00. The state requires a pre-admittance Medical Evaluation ($135.00) and a Psychological Evaluation ($150.00); there’s an additional criminal history check that’s required, done through a Fingerprint ($39.99). The course’s training manual costs $36.00. Tuition can be paid out in installments.
Financial Assistance and
Veterans’ Assistance is available.
The State’s Basic Corrections Officer Course consists of three weeks of instruction totaling one hundred and twenty instructional hours. Dallas College delivers that plus an additional four hours of training in ethics and professionalism, and then polishes off the program with twelve additional hours of practical exercises. Students receive 136 hours of instruction. There are a variety of program start date options. Once one decides on a class, it is best one attend to all the pre-admission particulars as soon as possible. Contact the office for particulars. Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The fulltime classes run Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Qualifications for entrance are:
- One must be a U.S. citizen.
- One must be at least 18 years old.
- One must possess a High School Diploma from an accredited senior high school or equivalent, or a state or military-issued General Education Development (GED) certificate. View information about
foreign education credentials.
- One must not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
- One must never have been convicted of a felony. See additional information.
- One must never have been convicted of an offense involving domestic violence. See additional information.
- One cannot have had a Class A misdemeanor conviction within the past 10 years. See additional information.
- One cannot have had a Class B misdemeanor conviction within the past 3 years. See additional information.
- One cannot be on probation for any criminal offense.
- One cannot have any criminal charges pending or have an outstanding warrant.
- One must be able to perform the
essential functions of a Correctional Officer, with or without reasonable accommodation.
- One must pass a Drug Test.
- You must pass a Physical Agility Test.
- Male applicants, age 18 through 25, must provide proof of Selective Service registration or exemption from Selective Service registration. To register, you may visit the Selective Service System website,
www.sss.gov/register and verify
The Law Enforcement Academy will need the following documents. In some cases, the original or certified copy must be presented.
- Birth certificate or naturalization certificate (For U.S. citizenship, an original or certified copy must be presented; a copy will be made by the academy staff.)
- Valid Texas driver's license (Applicants with an out-of-state driver's license must be prepared to comply with Texas law regarding obtaining a valid Texas driver's license.)
- Driver's History Statement (Applicants will follow directions given by the academy to obtain the correct form.)
- High school diploma or GED (Academy staff will copy the original or certified copy.)
- DD Form 214 (for military veterans only).
- Personal History Statement (Forms will be provided. You will need it filled out before the academy schedules an appointment for your initial interview, as this statement must be completed and presented at your interview.)
In addition to meeting the qualification standards established per the above, every person applying to the Dallas College Law Enforcement Academy must have a bacterial meningitis vaccination. This requirement will be reviewed with you during the initial interview. Exceptions are only made if: (1) You have received the bacterial meningitis vaccination within the last five years or (2) You are 22 years old or older.
Can I become a Corrections Officer if I've made mistakes in the past?
Yes. Dallas College Law Enforcement Academy doesn’t demand perfection and realizes people make mistakes. We realize applicants don’t lead perfect lives prior to making application. Applicants are required to be honest about their situation(s), however, with anything less being grounds for dismissal from the process. You’ll want to discuss your situation when you come in for the required interview. See below and contact the office for more information.
How old do I have to be to be a Corrections Officer?
You must be 18 years old to be hired at a law enforcement agency.
What are the minimum education requirements to be a law enforcement officer?
All Corrections Officer applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalency to enter into the academy.
Interested persons are encouraged to begin the application process as early as possible—usually forty-five days in advance of a class start date. Registration ends two weeks before start dates. Once paperwork is in hand, the academy commences with one-on-one interviews—which are by appointment only.
The first step to applying for federal financial aid is completing a FAFSA form online at
studentaid.gov. Once you have submitted your FAFSA, you should contact the Financial Aid office to obtain a Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) application. Be sure to apply for assistance as soon as possible, as it takes time for financial aid to be processed. For more information on courses for which grant money can be applied, contact the Financial Aid Office at
Financial Aid Office.
How to Apply for Financial Aid:
File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
- Fill out and submit the
TPEG Application for Continuing Education as soon as possible eight weeks before the beginning of the course, or when you complete your CJTC enrollment packet.
- You will receive an email notification stating the status of your financial aid application from the financial aid office.
- Once you have been approved for financial aid, bring your approval paperwork with you when you are notified by the Criminal Justice Training Center to register for the Basic Peace Officer course.
- Though there may well be exceptions, be prepared to pay for the first Basic Peace Officer course phase you enroll in, plus books, uniforms and equipment. It could take some time for the financial aid award to be approved.
Please note: Dallas College charges a higher tuition rate to students registering the third or subsequent time for certain courses, including some Continuing Education courses. For more information, visit the
Third Course Attempt page.
Applying for Veterans' Assistance:
If you are interested in applying for VA benefits, please contact MilitaryDist@dallascollege.edu.
The academy’s certification courses can do more than provide vocational certification. Through Dallas College’s “Pathway Program”, certificate programs can lead to college credits, enabling students to earn college hours toward a degree.
The journey of a lifetime begins with the first step. We realize there are a few steps here and it can be a bit confusing. The academy’s staff is here to assist you with every step in the process, or with any questions you may have before taking those steps. Noted below is a general outline and description of the step-by-step procedure for enrolling.
- Email the academy at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call the academy at 972-391-1084 to schedule an interview and receive the paperwork via email. Paperwork will be sent to you.
- Complete the Personal History Statement you’ll have received.
- Expect to hear from the academy about an applicant interview.
- Applicant must bring their completed personal history statement to the interview.
- Applicant is interviewed by an academy staff member, reviewing their qualifications, academy requirements and exceptions/exemptions, if applicable.
- Applicants will be directed to obtain a student ID Number (if they do not already have one).
- Applicants will be directed to take and complete the reading and writing portions of the TSI (if they haven't yet done so), however:
- Official transcripts from an accredited college or university showing valid TSI scores, or showing a college-level English course with a "C" grade or above suffice for an exemption.
- A transcript showing an Associates, Bachelor's, Masters', etc. from an accredited college or university is also an exemption.
- Applicants must meet the Meningitis Vaccine requirement for the college (if applicable).
- Applicants must satisfy preliminary qualifications — and complete the checklist provided via email when they schedule their appointment, which includes:
- Proof of education (high school diploma, GED or higher).
- A DD-214 with at least 24 months of (full-time) active-duty service AND an Honorable discharge is also accepted.
- DD-214 (if applicable) — cannot have been a Dishonorable Discharge.
- Valid Texas driver's license (applicants with an out-of-state license must obtain a Texas driver's license to enter into a Texas-based Law Enforcement Academy.)
- DPS driver history statement (applicant must follow instruction on their checklist.)
- Proof of citizenship (must be two forms, which include birth certificate, Social Security card or passport –or– naturalization papers)
- "FAST" form fingerprint/criminal history and TCOLE qualification statement (applicant must follow directions provided during their interview.)
- Physical Exam, which also includes a 5-panel (or higher) drug screen. Both the L-2 and the drug screen results must be presented to meet this criteria (applicant must follow directions provided during their interview.)
- Psychological Exam (applicant must follow directions provided during their interview).
- Registration must be done through the academy. Registration is not available online or through the college registrar's office, as those two methods do not prove the applicant has met all the state requirements for registration in a law enforcement academy.