Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Command College a reimbursable program?
Yes, Command College is a Plan IV program covering travel, lodging and per diem. Check with your Training Manager to see if your agency is a reimbursable agency.
2. How long is the program?
The program consists of six one-week bi-monthly sessions with a final culmination session occurring about 6 months after the sixth session. In sum, it is about a 14-month program.
3. What are the prerequisites for admission into the program?
You must have taken an approved Management Course and be currently employed in a management position or higher in an agency in the POST regular or specialized program. Please see our other program requirements.
4. Is there someone I can speak with who is a graduate of Command College?
Please review the list of recent alumni.
5. How much work will I have to do between sessions?
Recent graduates estimate they spend a minimum of 350 hours outside of the classroom working on assignments.
6. Where do I get an application and when is it due?
You can view the requirements and start your application process online. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Unless otherwise noted, they are usually due in February for the class beginning in May and in August for the class beginning in December.
7. Where are the sessions held?
All sessions are held in San Diego, California.
Article Submission Questions
1. Why do I have to do the research required in the Command College?
The Command College is intended as a capstone experience for those aspiring to upper management and executive positions in law enforcement. The coursework allows students to develop significant independent knowledge on a selected futures issue through the research requirements, then to publish their findings to enrich the professional community. The skills gained from completing the research process (discerning futures issues, identifying trends in the social, political and technological environment, strategic planning, transition planning, etc.) have been found to be valuable enhancements to the skills of previous attendees of the program.
2. Why do I have to complete and submit a professional article for publication?
POST and its participating agencies devote substantial sums of time and money to the Command College with the expectation that graduates of the program will give a significant “Return on Investment” by virtue of the leadership and service as they rise through the ranks of their departments. One of the most direct potential benefits of the program is to identify futures issues and bring a new perspective to the ongoing effort to lead law enforcement past obstacles to seize opportunities as they arise. Publishing the findings of your research enhances your standing in the community, provides a forum for the discussion of issues of importance and adds to the dialogue regarding the future of our profession.
3. Yes, but why do I have to actually submit it to a periodical?
It has long been said that the best way to learn anything is to teach it. Your article represents your thoughts and conclusions, and it will serve as a means by which others will learn the concepts you will present. The process of submitting the article allows you to receive an impartial critique of your writing. The angst writers feel when they know their work will face the editor’s scrutiny has also been shown to be a great motivator to improve one’s writing style and clarity.
4. How will I be able to get the article done? I’m not a writer, and have never thought about doing something like this.
The guidebook, “Writing Your Command College Article (pdf)" contains a short job aid noting the steps you will need to take to complete a suitable article. The rest of the guidebook discusses each step at length. It also contains space for you to practice your work, and to keep notes as you construct the article.
5. What writing style do I have to use?
Most popular magazines will ask you to write in the Turabian style, while academic and research publications may require APA, MLA or another style. The guidebook has a section that discussed the merits of each style. Students will be asked to check the submission requirements of the periodicals they are considering for their submission and conform to those requirements. The most important thing to remember is to choose a style, use online or text style guides to ensure conformance, then stick with it (don’t blend them or change mid-stream). Talk to POST's Course Manager about style issues if you are still concerned.
6. Who will work with me to get this done?
The Course Manager teaches the segment entitled “How to Write Your Command College Article” in Session Five and is also available throughout the course for advice and assistance regarding written skills. The Futures Portfolio Manager will also edit and provide assistance with written skills as they relate to the Futures Portfolio. Finally, you will learn of various online writing guides, writing labs and similar resources to help you construct professional finished documents. The article process is iterative, and will involve you submitting full or partial drafts for formative editing. This normally takes 4-6 cycles between you and the editor. This process will help you refine your focus as you construct the article, and help both of you achieve the goal of submitting quality work to a professional periodical that is worthy of being published.
7. What if I don’t get the article done?
The submission of the article is a requirement for graduation from Command College. If you elect to refrain from completing it, you will not be allowed to graduate. If you complete it beyond the time allowed for submission, your graduation may be delayed until you satisfy all requirements of the course.