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Field Notes; Student interest in NRM’s new 2+2 program continues to grow

Field Notes; Student interest in NRM’s new 2+2 program continues to grow

Texas Tech’s Natural Resources Management Department groundbreaking 2+2 program is adding up to success. Technically knows as a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Law Enforcement, it’s the first of its kind in the region.

Approved in January, the 2+2 program incorporates a criminal justice associate’s degree from select community colleges with two years of coursework and internship from Texas Tech. A total of seven students from two colleges have been admitted this year.

“I’ve had nothing but great reviews,” said Mark Wallace, chairman of Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management. “The program is just getting its feet off of the ground, but interest is widespread. I’ve got students from all over Texas and even some from other states calling us.”

The initial agreement for the innovative program was between Tech and South Plains College. Now, Tech has since begun signing agreements with additional community colleges, including McLennan Community College in Waco. There are more than 35 community colleges in Texas that offer a criminal justice associate’s degree, all of which could eventually pipeline into Tech’s program.

“The program was a great experience, but not an easy one,” said Corey Smith, a 2012 graduate of the 2+2 program. But once it’s done, the New Home native believes the training offers an advantage when it comes to the game warden hiring process.

In addition to their law enforcement training, 2+2 program students complete a broad swath of academic coursework at Texas Tech ranging from criminal justice classes to tough natural resource management classes like ecology and wildlife conservation, as well as policy and planning. The years at Texas Tech represent 60 to 62 credit hours.

Written by Faith Jurek

CONTACT: Mark Wallace, Chairman, Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-1983, mark.wallace@ttu.edu

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