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American Correctional Association Online Corrections Academy: Addressing Corrections Professionals' Educational Needs

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 64 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2002 Pages: 82-84
Michael Kelly
Date Published
July 2002
3 pages
This article discusses the Online Corrections Academy (OCA), a new resource for correctional professionals.
Education and training in corrections play a major role in ensuring safety for staff and inmates. The American Correctional Association (ACA) has conducted educational and training programs to promote the professional development of corrections professionals for decades. Because new practices and evolving technology are constantly changing, the ACA’s OCA offers online courses that provide education and training for all corrections professionals. The first set of courses explains what is expected of correctional officers using the most current information. It will help correctional officers carry out responsibilities more effectively and with more confidence. Many new courses will continually be added online to serve the needs of the corrections profession. OCA students will receive training in basic concepts, offender management, security, special needs offenders, and professionalism in corrections. The courses tackle standards and accreditation issues, lawsuits and liability, and effective communication. It is delivered in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-use format. With OCA courses, corrections practitioners can learn wherever and whenever it is most convenient, without having to take time off from their jobs. Accessibility and flexibility are important features of the courses. The OCA will work with students and correctional departments to deliver assistance to make these courses more effective as training for a particular correctional department. The course content is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. The Executive Education Review Panel, consisting of trainers, line officers, supervisors, and directors of training departments, is helping develop OCA’s curriculum. OCA addresses more learning styles and allows individuals to proceed at their own pace. It can be accomplished while maintaining a full-time position and result in the ability to apply for promotional positions upon completion. The online training bridges the gap between the most current national thinking on important topics with the convenience of learning at the computer.