NASHVILLE – In an ongoing partnership with the Tennessee Department of Correction and Tennessee State University, personnel from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation now have a new option to pursue an advanced degree to better hone their leadership skills and career development.

In recent years, TSU worked with the Department of Correction and the TBI to develop a unique certificate program, known as the Public Administration Executive Leadership Certificate or “Command College”. The program is an 18-credit course of study designed for working professionals in the TBI, Department of Correction and Office of Parole and Probation. So far, more than 35 individuals received the certificate, which trains participants in successful leadership skills necessary for carrying out the business of government based on proven methods of managing human and budgetary resources in complex organizations.

Upon completion of the Certificate, students may transfer up to four of the courses and 12 credits toward the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) or to the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. However, in an effort to better address the specific needs of law enforcement, TDOC, TBI, and TSU worked together to develop an Executive format that better fits the demanding schedules of law enforcement professionals. The first group of students to take advantage of the new program began their accelerated coursework over the weekend.

“The certificate and the Master’s degree provides participants the opportunity to maximize their potential and enhance their capacity,” said Dr. Michael Harris, Dean & Professor of the Tennessee State University College of Public Service and Urban Affairs. “It contributes to increased individual performance and makes a significant contribution to the top services provided to the state and Tennesseans.”

As part of the ongoing partnership between the agency and TSU, Dean Michael Harris was recently named a consultant (volunteer) for the TBI.

“We have worked with Dean Michael Harris for over two years and know that his expertise and experiences bring an added value to the TBI,” said Director Mark Gwyn.