Get the skills you need to prepare for a rewarding career as a police officer.

The Pre‐Police Academy Certificate Program will provide critical weapons and skills training to newly hired local law enforcement officers and will provide students interested in a law enforcement career the opportunity to prepare for the police academy.

In addition, the program will be available to local law enforcement agencies for the continuing education and regular critical skills training of law enforcement officers.

The Program

The Basic Pre-Police Academy certificate program consists of courses exposing students to the components of the criminal justice system, physical fitness, defensive tactics, criminal law, investigations, and firearms.

The physical fitness courses will focus on developing a life-style change within the students.

Defensive tactics will provide students with the methodologies and tactics for solving critical incidents that law enforcement must face, such as the arrest process, handcuffing, and felony car stops. Although the firearms course focuses on the trajectory, each student will have an opportunity to qualify on an academy certified firearms course. This will provide them with the understanding of firearm safety, dynamics of firearms, and perfect their shooting skills. In addition, students’ critical thinking skills will be challenged through an interaction firearms simulation system. Through this system (i.e. Meggit’s FATS L7 or VirTra’s V-100), students will face “shoot or don’t shoot” type scenarios. In each of these scenarios, students will interact with the system to make the best decision. This type of system will assist the Technical College of the Lowcountry with providing students with good critical thinking skills.

Finally, each student will have an opportunity to obtain a concealed weapon permit.

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  • Quick Facts


    Graduates will be marketable and competitive for the job market.


    Curriculum directed by the advisory committee with input from local law enforcement agencies.


    Get hands-on experience through in-person and virtual simulations.


    Technical College of the Lowcountry is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Technical College of the Lowcountry may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org). 


    Total Program Tuition: 17 credits x $214 per credit = $3,638.*

    Remember, this is before S.C. Lottery Tuition Assistance and other financial aid, which could drop your costs by more than half. In fact, after financial aid, many TCL students attend for free. See more about paying for TCL.

    *Based on Fall 2022 in-state, in-service-area tuition. Your actual cost may differ. Does not include fees, books and other costs. Qualifications vary; all subject to change.

    Educator of the Year


    “A degree from TCL gives you an edge for landing a great career in criminal justice.

    Michael Ricks

    Program Director

    Program Dean

    Laura Dukes

    Vice President, Business and Industrial Technologies


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 2, Rm. 235


    Michael Ricks

    Interim CE Director/Criminal Justice Instructor


    Beaufort Mather Campus, Bldg. 16, Rm. 124