Piedmont International University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee, to create a partnership to enable HCSO employees access to higher education.
Under the MOU, HCSO employees will receive one year of academic credit into Piedmont International University’s undergraduate degrees if they have completed a state certified law enforcement training program. Furthermore, employees who have already earned previous undergraduate degrees will receive credit into PIU’s master’s degrees; MBA and MA Leadership. In addition to receiving academic credit for prior professional experience and certifications, HCSO employees will also receive scholarships from PIU. Piedmont’s BA in Criminal Justice is noteworthy for its state-of-the-art curriculum designed to emphasize experiential learning and professional skills.
“This new opportunity will allow HCSO employees to further their education from a nationally renowned university and enhance their knowledge and their capabilities,” stated Sheriff Jim Hammond. “It is a collaborative partnership that will allow our people to have greater access to higher education which will in return benefit them greatly in their career at the HCSO and their personal lives,” he further noted.
Dr Charles Petitt, President of PIU, spoke about the pioneering approach the university was adopting toward competence based education and the recognition of relevant professional experience.
During his remarks, Piedmont University’s Vice Chancellor, Sandeep Gopalan, stated, “This collaboration will provide a direct community benefit. It has the potential to minimize litigation expenses and settlements for civil rights violations and unlawful deaths, bring 21st century digital skills to the community, and build trust.” He further noted, “It enhances promotion opportunities for officers and improves their capabilities and confidence. Sheriff Hammond deserves credit for showing leadership that should be emulated nationwide by other sheriffs.”
The signing ceremony witnessed participation by Dr. Byron Edens, Vice President of Piedmont International University, and numerous HCSO personnel interested in furthering their education.