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Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program - Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology

Firefighter and Fire Science Education in Canada

Crime and Fire Programs -- Community College Programs


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Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program - Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology

Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology offers a 2-year Diploma in Law and Security Administration/Police Foundations. The Program's first year is designed to provide students with 'a broad theoretical and general base of studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities,' an introduction to the criminal justice system and law, and to evaluate potential career options.

The final year of the Program is geared 'towards specific knowledge acquirement and skill development required for a law enforcement career in either the public or private sectors.' Students in the second year will be able to develop specialization in either Law and Security Administration or Police Foundations. The Law and Security Administration stream is primarily 'designed to prepare graduates for employment in private investigations, security administration and a variety of other private and public law enforcement careers.' The Police Foundations focus, on the other hand, is mainly for students interested in attaining 'entry-level positions in public policing.' Students interested in the Police Foundations concentration will be required to apply for consideration for admission to the latter prior to the completion 'of the second semester.'

Graduates of the Program can pursue employment, career advancement, and/or educational opportunities in various areas of the criminal justice system, especially in law and security administration and/or public policing, or related areas. Career-wise, graduates may apply for employment in government security and law enforcement agencies at the federal and provincial levels, private security, and numerous other employers. For example, graduates have found positions in areas like corrections, customs and customs brokerage, government, industrial and retail security, legal assistance, private and insurance investigations, private policing, and process serving.

Graduates have had a high level of success in finding employment in their chosen fields. About 89 percent of Law and Security Administration graduates of the 2004/2005 class, for instance, 'found employment within 6 months of graduation,' and had an average starting wage of $29,497 annually. Upwards of 95 percent of Police Foundations graduates of the same graduating year 'found employment within 6 months of' completing the Program, and had an average starting salary of $29,817 per year.

Students should be aware, however, that some positions may require further training depending on the demands of the employer. In addition, individuals with a criminal record may find it difficult to find employment in law and security administration, policing, and related fields as, because of the nature of the work involved, employers are often reluctant to hire those with a record. Graduates can also pursue further studies in their respective fields, or related areas, at various institutes, colleges, and universities across Canada, often with advanced standing.

To be eligible for admission into the Program, applicants must either have 'an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent,' or be at least 19 years of age by the commencement of the Program and apply via "mature student status." Applicants must also either have completed 'Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications ' Adult applicants 'with significant life and work experience may apply for credits through' Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR.). Individuals applying for advanced credit 'should first attend a free P.L.A.R. Orientation Workshop offered through Continuing Education.'

Prospective students should note that 'a sound English background is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission process,' and therefore 'English testing may be required.' Applicants should also be aware 'that employers might require a criminal records check' and 'that certain physical, legal driving age and health standards' be met beyond those garnered directly through the Program.


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