DECJA: Dual Enrollment Criminal Justice Academy

Mission Statement

The Academy is designed to encourage area high school students into the criminal justice professions by providing college course-work and opportunities that will motivate, educate, and prepare students for higher education in the field of criminal justice. With the support of the local law enforcement professionals, the Dual Enrollment Criminal Justice Academy (DECJA) will promote and participate in efforts that will reinforce the schools' and communities' commitment to prepare students for careers in criminal justice.

What is the Dual Enrollment Criminal Justice Academy?

DECJA is a two year-round dual enrollment program developed for high school juniors and seniors of the Starr County and Pecan Campus area who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice.

DECJA participants will be offered:

Opportunities to participate in community service activities in their community, in addition to the following:

  • A year round Seminars Series program to expose and increase the students' knowledge of professional skills
  • Ongoing guidance, tutoring and counseling relating to academic and career choices
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Test taking skills development workshops
  • Opportunities to mentor
  • Presentations by law enforcement and criminal justice professionals which provide students with information on educational and personal preparation required for pursuit of criminal justice careers
  • Field trips educational institutions in and out of the Rio Grande Valley
  • Summer part-time volunteer work
  • Continued student support throughout the program's college course-work

All DECJA extra-curricular activities will be held at night, Friday afternoons, during the weekend, or during the summer, unless agreed to and in cooperation with the activity providers.

Who can participate in DECJA?

  • High school students in grades 11-12 (students may apply at the end of 10th grade year)
  • Students should be enrolled in the DAP curriculum
  • Students must have serious interest in pursuing a career in criminal justice
  • Students must complete a DECJA application which includes writing a brief essay