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REF NO.: 251

SUBJECT: Memorial University's new Diploma Program in Police Studies to be offered this fall

DATE: May 11

Memorial University will begin offering a new Diploma Program in Police Studies this fall at its St. John's campus. The new program, approved today by Memorial's Senate, the university's highest academic body, replaces the university's BA in Police Studies. Earlier in the year, the government announced that it would, over three years, train 75 new officers for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC).  The new program will allow them to be trained here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Previously, RNC cadets were trained at Holland College in Prince Edward Island.

The university decided to locate the program in St. John's after an internal study was carried out with input from academics and other experts on the St. John's and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College campuses.  The study was done by Dr. Michael Collins, associate vice-president (academic).

"It's clear that the St. John's area would be the best site for the training of these recruits from an academic, experiential and cost point of view," Dr. Collins explained. "Most of the courses required for the academic component of the diploma are currently available at the St. John's campus. Student recruits can enrol in many regular classes so that they are in continuous contact with regular members of the public and not segregated into separate classes. The RNC's Training Division is also located in St. John's which will make for easy contact between the RNC and their recruits. The field placement component of the diploma would be co-ordinated by the Cooperative Education Services Centre here in St. John's and there is no similar centre at Grenfell. To offer the required courses at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College would entail spending at least an additional $100,000."

Officials at both Memorial University and The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) are pleased with the new program.

RNC Deputy Chief Joe Browne looks forward to the partnership with Memorial. "We are pleased with the quality of the diploma program.  The courses offered are designed to equip recruits for law enforcement in today's ever more complex world, and also gives the RNC the opportunity to train its recruits here in the province."

"We are pleased with the high level of interest shown in this program since the announcement earlier this year," Deputy Chief Browne added, "The details of the program will soon be available on both the RNC and university Web sites."

"We are pleased that this initiative is moving ahead," said Dr. Jim Black, associate dean of arts at Memorial. "The new program will draw on a number of courses offered at the university in related but different fields, including, sociology, psychology, political science and social work."

A diploma is a program taken during or after a first degree, consisting of a set of relevant courses and an experiential learning component. Diploma programs often include an instructional field placement, in this case, of elements of practical police training.

The Faculty of Arts will now spend the summer drawing up a plan of operation for delivery of the courses relating to the diploma. Admission to the diploma will be limited to candidates who have been accepted by the RNC as recruit cadets and who meet Memorial's admission criteria.


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