Basic Correctional Officer Academy
Management and administration of the Basic Correctional Officer Academy conducted by the DuPage, Peoria and Sangamon County Sheriffs Offices transitioned back to the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois. Contact PTI for information concerning upcoming academies at (217)333-6522.
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A Message to Students - Distinguish Yourselves: Create Your Own Destiny
University students are presented with exceptional opportunities to build their futures. Every course, each semester, presents an opportunity to learn and to develop intellectually as a person. University students must take full responsibility for capitalizing upon their learning experiences. Each student must embrace their opportunities to learn. They must distinguish themselves and make themselves known to the professor.
Lack of focus and failure in applying natural intellectual skills and abilities will ultimately dilute a student’s education, and this dilution may never be reversed. Lackluster application and performance in undergraduate education will invariably result in lackluster career success. Why would one pursue educational development without a commitment to excellence?
As a student enters university study, they must seek to “create their own destiny”; to distinguish themselves as a serious and dedicated learner; and to become intellectually involved in the process of examining, analyzing, and critiquing the history of the profession and contemporary thought.
A professor inherently wishes the best for their students and hopes that their students seek to reach their full potential. This is the motivation for becoming a teacher. But, that wish and hope is not enough without an individual commitment from each and every student to do their best. Each student alone must make the self-determined effort to succeed as a student. As professors we can encourage, but we cannot create student commitment and resolve.
Then, what can a professor offer? Knowledge, hopefully; motivation, certainly; as well as perspective, experience and life lessons. The most important teaching points a professor can offer in class are not about professional knowledge or subject matter, but about the latter four mentioned involvements.
Universally, a professor’s hope for all students is that they will “distinguish themselves.” As students of Criminal Justice preparing to enter the field with new ideas, students should be confident in their ability to improve the system.
Careers in criminal justice are noble and deserving of respect. Criminal Justice students should have a sense of pride in knowing that they are a part of a helping profession, that they have chosen to dedicate their life to helping people.
So, the message is that Criminal Justice students should create their own destiny and should be proud regarding their choice in professional involvement. In so doing, they will become self-fulfilled. This is the greatest accomplishment one can ever achieve.
Albert Schweitzer once said, "I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those of you who have sought and found how to serve."
Robert McCracken said the following:
"The most infectiously joyous men and women are those who forget themselves in thinking about others and serving others. Happiness comes not by deliberately courting and wooing it but by giving oneself in self-effacing surrender to greater values."
In the movie Dead Poets’ Society, Robin Williams, as a teacher in a boy’s prep school, emphasized the term Carpe diem. Carpe diem translates into “Seize the day.”
The message for Criminal Justice students is Carpe diem. “Seize the day,” and recognize and know that the path that you are on is correct, noble, and respected. Make you and your professors proud as you go forward; and know that we are your biggest fans.
Thomas J. Jurkanin, PhD
*The opinions expressed in this Editorial solely represent the views of the author and are not intended to represent the views of the Law Enforcement Executive Forum or associated entities or agencies.