June 3, 2008
Eighty-three high school students graduated today from the Chicago Public Schools’ Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy Program. In a year when about two dozen CPS students have been killed in violence across the city, the graduation ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of students who have dedicated two years of their high school careers to future professions in public safety.
The commencement took place at the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive. The 83 students come from 50 CPS high schools and seven private high schools throughout Chicago.
Guest speakers for the program included Jody P. Weis, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, and Raymond E. Orozco, Chicago fire commissioner. Remarks also were delivered by Angela Starks, vice-chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago, and David G. Gilligan, chief officer, High Schools and High School Programs for CPS.
The Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy Program was developed jointly by the CPS Department of Education to Careers, the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Fire Department and City Colleges of Chicago. The program recruits and trains up to 250 public and non-public high school students each year. One of the program’s goals is to provide a pool of qualified applicants for the city’s police and fire academies.
Years one and two of the program are implemented at the Chicago Police and Fire Academies as an after-school program, conducted for about two hours a day, three days per week, from September through June. Years three and four are implemented in the City Colleges of Chicago. This part of the program consists of 65 credit hours leading to the AA degree in public safety. The curriculum includes courses in the core academic disciplines, in public service and criminal justice, and in the behavioral sciences.
The program’s curriculum allows high school juniors and seniors who are Chicago residents to progress from high school directly into any Chicago city college to complete a two-year associate in applied arts degree in public safety. Upon successful completion of the first two years of the program, students will receive a full tuition waiver upon acceptance to any Chicago city college.
In addition to high school and college training, students participate in a paid summer internship to promote a better understanding of all aspects of careers in public safety.
The names of individual Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy graduates and their schools can be obtained from Frank Shuftan, CPS Office of Communications, (773) 553-1620.