Community college administrators will work with the MCCA for invoicing and payment processing. Program details including corrections officer eligibility, MDOC credit policies, payment and invoicing, and grade reporting are detailed below. Check back for additional details as the program continues and review the Corrections Officer Grant Program webinar for more program information.
Student/ Corrections Officer Eligibility: Corrections Officers (CO) who are employed by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and who have not earned 15 college credits are eligible for the grant program. COs must complete the education requirement within 24 months of employment with the MDOC or they will be separated. COs are notified by MDOC Recruitment Office if they need to meet this requirement and corrections officers work closely with the MDOC Recruitment Office and their facility human resources office to complete all the necessary requirements.
Other public safety officer eligibility: This program is only open to MDOC corrections officers who are required to meet the 15-credit requirement. Officers working in local jails or other facilities may be eligible for other programs, but not for this program.
Anticipated number of students to be served: The MDOC estimates that approximately 450 currently employed corrections officers need to complete the education requirement. MDOC has a goal of hiring 800 new corrections officers per year. A majority of those officers will likely need to meet the education requirement.
Employment requirement: State statute requires that applicants to the MDOC meet the 15-credit hour education requirement before being hired. However, this policy has been waived and employees now have 24 months from employment to meet the education requirement.
Student guidance: Community colleges should ensure that corrections officers are communicating with their facility human resources officers and the MDOC Recruitment Office who are responsible for working with corrections officers that need to complete the education requirement. The MDOC provides corrections officers with a memo at the beginning of their employment to notify the CO of the education requirement and checks in with COs regularly throughout the first 24 months.
Required courses: Corrections officers must complete 15- credits of 100-level or higher courses. There are no specific course requirements.
Students who have already earned a certificate/degree: The requirement is only for students who have not earned 15 college credits. If the student has a certificate or degree, it is very likely that they have met the requirement. All corrections officers who need to meet this requirement have been notified by the MDOC.
Credit hours authorization: The MCCA, in partnership with the MDOC, will approve corrections officers each semester. Community colleges will not be responsible for tracking eligibility or maintaining completion requirements since the MDOC Recruitment Office keeps these records.
Credit tracking: The MDOC and the local facility human resources office track credit accumulation. Colleges are not responsible for tracking the completion of the education requirement or grant program eligibility. Community colleges should refer students to their facility's human resources office or the MDOC Recruitment Office for questions about meeting program requirements. The MCCA, in partnership with the MDOC, will be responsible for tracking enrollment and the lifetime credits earned in the program.
Credit for prior learning: Colleges can award credit for prior learning, however, credit awarded for the Corrections Academy will not apply to the 15-credit requirement. In the statute, the 15- credit requirement should be completed before a CO enrolls in the Corrections Academy. The 24-month education waiver was not intended to allow the Corrections Academy to replace the 15 credits.
Co-requisite courses: The Corrections Officer Grant Program will pay for co-requisite courses, but courses below the 100-level will not likely meet the MDOC educational requirements.
Expense eligibility: The grant will cover tuition and all fees including course fees, program fees, lab fees, and mandatory fees at the 31 approved community colleges in Michigan.
Out-of-district rates: The grant will cover out-of-district rates.
Required books and supplies expense coverage: The grant will not cover books and supplies.
Other Financial Aid: Since corrections officers are only required to complete 15 credit hours, most will not necessarily be degree-seeking students enrolled in programs that are federal financial aid eligible. The Corrections Officer Grant Program is a first-dollar program and should cover tuition and fees before any other aid.
Records Hold: Once the student is approved, the MCCA will send a record hold request to the community college.
Invoicing: The MCCA will ask community colleges to invoice the MCCA for eligible student's tuition and fees. Invoices should be sent to the MCCA based on the college's academic calendar and likely after the refund period has expired so that MCCA is not billed for refunded classes. Please see the information about course completion and grades to determine when it is most appropriate to invoice the MCCA at your institution.
Payments to Colleges: MCCA will issue payment to colleges within 30 days of receipt of the invoice.
Grade reporting: Corrections officers will submit unofficial transcripts to the MCCA. Corrections officers are also expected to work directly with the MDOC Recruitment Office and the facility human resources office to monitor progress toward completing the education requirement and submit an official transcript. Colleges will not be asked to report grades.
Course withdrawal/failure: MCCA will not seek a refund from students or colleges for withdrawal or failed courses. However, corrections officers are only eligible for a lifetime maximum of 15 credit hours paid by the Corrections Officer Grant Program. Withdrawal or failed courses will count toward the maximum of 15 credits.
Terminated Employment: If a corrections officer is terminated or separated from the MDOC during the semester of enrollment, the MCCA will not seek a refund from students or colleges. The CO will lose eligibility from the program until employment is reinstated and the corrections officer is approved by the MDOC.