PENNYSLVANIA (WHTM) — On Monday, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris announced that the state will drop its college credit requirement for prospective state troopers.
Since the 1990s, cadet applicants were required to have 60 college credits.
“Policing is noble profession, and this is the finest law enforcement agency in the nation. We need to show those who want to serve that this door of opportunity is open – and we want you on our team,” Shapiro said. “Our State Police Academy trains highly capable public servants who work hard to make our communities safer. Our Administration has worked to emphasize skills and experience in Commonwealth hiring practices, and now the PSP have dropped the college credit requirement for state troopers to empower those who want to serve their community and open even more doors for Pennsylvanians to chart their own course and succeed.”
The change comes as municipalities across the state are facing police shortages. According tothe governor’s office, the decision to remove the college credit requirement will also be re-evaluated pending the results of multiple application cycles.
“Filling the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police with women and men dedicated to serving the people of Pennsylvania is of utmost importance,” Paris said. “The elimination of the college credit requirement will open the door to a rewarding career for many who would make exemplary troopers but would not have otherwise had the opportunity.”
Pennsylvania State Police cadet training lasts approximately 28 weeks and includes coursework in Pennsylvania’s crimes and vehicle codes, law enforcement principles and practices, firearms and special equipment training, and physical fitness.
Cadet applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and a valid driver’s license from any state.
Applicants must be at least 20 years old at the time of application, and between 21 and 40 years old upon entry into the training academy. By graduation, Cadets must be a Pennsylvania resident and possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license.
Applicants who meet eligibility requirements will also need to pass a qualifying written examination and have a polygraph examination, background investigation, physical readiness test, medical screening, and psychological screening done before training at the academy.
In an update sent to abc27, since removing the college credit requirement on Monday, PSP stated they received 297 total applicants, and that 137 of them would not have met the college credit requirement.