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The Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy (WCPOA) is a State of Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified academy. The academy prepares students to pass all of the required state examinations to become a certified Colorado peace officer. This certification allows the graduate to work for a law enforcement agency anywhere in the state of Colorado.

The minimum age to enroll in this program is 21. Upon completion of this rigorous, one-semester program, the graduate is awarded 31 college credits. Students may combine those credits with other Colorado Mesa University curriculum to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice.

The WCPOA prepares individuals for careers as police officers, deputy sheriffs, parole and corrections officers, wildlife managers, probations officers, as well as careers in Federal and State of Colorado law enforcement agencies. One of Colorado’s best academies, it was jointly founded by the Grand Junction Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Why choose the Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy at CMU Tech?

  • Sixteen-week certificate program
  • Graduates are certified Colorado peace officers eligible for hire anywhere in Colorado after passing the POST exam
  • Only academy in Colorado that articulates to an AAS degree in criminal justice, Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Bachelor of Applied Science in Interdisciplinary Studies.
  • Exceeds the requirements set by Colorado Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST)
  • Utilizes adult learning models emphasizing real-world policing scenarios
  • Each academy has up to 90 different instructors



     The last Friday in March for the following Fall semester

     The last Friday in September for the following Spring semester

The Peace Officer Academy certificate program exceeds the Colorado Peace Officers Standards Training (POST) requirements for peace officer entry-level training. The individual training requirements for arrest control, law enforcement driving and firearms are included in the program. Students enrolled in the program will earn 31 credit hours that may be applied towards associate or bachelor’s degree at CMU.

Academic Requirements for Technical Certificate in Peace Officer Standards and Training

Career Opportunities

  • Municipal police department
  • County sheriff deputy
  • State patrol trooper
  • Community corrections
  • State parole officer
  • State parks service
  • Liquor enforcement
  • Marijuana enforcement

Career Pathways

Career pathway programs prepare students for employment in industries while also providing a stepping stone to an associate degree, bachelor’s degree and beyond. Learn more about career pathways.

Career Pathways Certificate Length of Program
Police Officer Academy 1 semester (31 credits)

Pass rate

During the past five years our graduate have a near perfect pass rate on the final State certification exam.


Credits earned

Students finish the program with 31 college credits that may be applied towards an associate or bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

Program Faculty