Law Enforcement Curriculum and Standards for High School

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Law and Justice

Publication Date



In recent years, many high schools have expanded their vocational and technical programs to include areas such as agriculture, healthcare sciences, and public safety. These new programs are designed to increase student investment in their education by providing curricula that are more applied and directly related to their career goals (Coffee, Waller, Castillo, & DiPietro, 2002; Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School, n.d.). A major goal of these programs is to provide states and the nation with a well-educated labor force in criminal justice, an area for which the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (2003) predicts that between 2000 and 2010, “employment of police and detectives is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations” (p. 347). DOL further predicts that as the numbers of job opportunities continue to grow, there will be an excess of qualified candidates, “resulting in increased hiring standards and selectivity by employers” (p. 347).

Educational research has consistently demonstrated the importance of involving key stakeholders including professionals who currently work in the field in curriculum development projects (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1989; National Education Goals Panel, 1991; U.S. Department of Education, 1994). This article will explore one state’s efforts to include law enforcement professionals in the curriculum-building process and discuss the resulting benefits to students, law enforcement agencies, teachers, and communities.


This article was originally published in Law Enforcement Executive Forum. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Law Enforcement Executive Forum