Northwestern Establishes New Microcredential Program Targeting Corrections Officers

May 24, 2023

Northwestern Oklahoma State University officials have announced a new microcredential to increase training for corrections officers within the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) system.

This microcredential consisting of two criminal justice courses and one sociology course, will be housed in the social sciences department.

Dr. James Bell, vice president for academic affairs, and Jeff McAlpin, instructor of sociology/criminal justice and Bill Johnson Correctional Center administrative director, developed the program with input from ODOC and Northwestern criminal justice faculty to accommodate employees needing additional training.

“Having worked hand-in-hand with correctional professionals for 17 years, the corrections professional microcredential now offered by Northwestern will assist new correctional officers entering the field of corrections in the development of basic knowledge and skills necessary to interact with inmates and fellow staff professionally, as well as further their knowledge of the field they are entering,” McAlpin said. “It also opens the door for these new officers to further their careers by continuing their education in the future.”

Courses could be taken in-person or online, which allows for flexible and accessible accommodations for the student.

“This program is part of a continuing effort by Northwestern to provide educational opportunities for employees in critical needs occupations in Oklahoma,” Bell said. “We are excited to offer this microcredential that builds and expands our partnership with the department of corrections.”

For more information regarding the microcredential program, visit  and click on the grey tab stating “Corrections Professional Microcredential.” Questions can also be directed to Bell at (580) 327-8406 or email at, or to McAlpin at (580)327-8517 or email at


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