MU Police Academy to provide free on-campus housing and a guaranteed scholarship to all cadets
MANSFIELD, Pa. – The Mansfield University Public Safety Training Institute (MUPSTI) received a $209,000 grant from the Emergency Response Training & Certification Association (ERTCA) to enhance training opportunities for future and current public safety practitioners.
The grant was presented during a press conference at Mansfield University’s Alumni Hall on Tuesday.
“Today is another giant leap forward for the incredible work being done by the Mansfield University Public Safety Training Institute and the Emergency Response Training & Certification Association,” explained Dr. Bashar Hanna, interim president of Mansfield University. “We know the power of partnership allows us to multiply our impact on the students and the communities we serve. By combining the innovation of ERTCA and its corporate partners along with the strong instructional background of the University’s Public Safety Training Institute, Mansfield can serve as a regional and national hub to advance important public safety training and research.”
U.S. Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) added “This is an investment in our communities from all the organizations here today. Making sure (law enforcement practitioners) are prepared and have the educational knowledge they need is going to start right here in Mansfield. And we’re going to continue to build on that and be the pioneers in public safety.”
MU’s Public Safety Training Institute (MUPSTI) is a regional training center providing initial and continuing professional education for criminal justice practitioners, first responders, public safety professionals, and the public. The Institute includes Mansfield University’s Act 120 Municiple Police Academy, which begins its next class in May 2022.
The ERTCA grant will expand MUPSTI’s offering of training courses and allows Mansfield University to provide free on-campus housing at its modern, suite-style residence halls for Police Academy cadets and other trainees through MUPSTI. The grant also supports additional scholarship funds for MUPSTI students, including a minimum $2,500 guaranteed scholarship for all Police Academy cadets that will reduce the cost of attendance by 45%. The most cadets will pay for the nine-month municipal police training, including housing, will be $3,000. Graduates from the academy will also have the opportunity to stay for another five weeks to attend an EMT certification course, which will be provided at no additional cost
“This is by far the most affordable option in the Commonwealth for an individual interested in law enforcement to receive their Act 120 Academy certification,” explained Dr. Josh Battin, Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “Not only is tuition thousands lower than any other academy, Mansfield University also provides free housing for cadets. We hope this opportunity will attract more highly qualified and motivated individuals to the law enforcement profession.”
Additionally, the press conference included the presentation of a $1 million Pennsylvania Department of Education grant to the Emergency Response Training & Certification Association. ERTCA is a 501C(6) non-profit organization made up of members who are stakeholders and educators in the emergency response and communications fields.
ERTCA will use the Department of Education funding to develop a center for public safety research and training at the former State Police barracks in Mansfield, renamed the Erick J. Coolidge Center for Public Safety Training, Education, & Innovation. The 7,000 square foot facility, donated by the Roy W. Piper Charitable Trust, provides a space for emerging technologies and techniques in public safety to be researched and tested. The Coolidge Center is named in honor of current Tioga County Commissioner Erick Coolidge.
MUPSTI will partner closely with ERTCA to provide the training side of the innovation occurring at the Coolidge Center by credentialing practitioners in proven technologies. The partnership also provides opportunities for Mansfield University students to engage with existing and emerging technologies used by ERTCA.
The grant along with sponsorship from AT&T and WRAP Reality allows ERTCA, in partnership with MUPSTI, to create the Mobile Virtual Reality Experience (MVRE) that will travel throughout the Commonwealth to provide free virtual reality training for public safety practitioners. The MVRE allows organizations and practitioners to access important VR training modules that are not currently available to them. The traveling VR unit will also expose high school students to careers in public safety.