Correctional Officer Vocational Certificate


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN a career as a correctional officer?

Inside a prison or jail, correctional officers are the front line. As a correctional officer you will enforce rules and regulations and maintain security. Your daily activities include the supervision of inmates, search inmates for contraband, settle disputes between inmates, and enforce discipline. Correctional Officers are the eyes and ears of any institution and must report crimes and prison violations when they are committed.  Do you feel up to the challenge?

What careers are possible with a correctional officer certification?

Correctional officer jobs are available at the state and county levels.

Press Release: April 1, 2016 | FDOC to Hire More Than 4,000 Correctional Officers

  • The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) today announced on April 1, 2016 that the agency seeks to hire more than 4,000 correctional officers statewide before July 1, 2017 to fill existing vacancies and account for projected turnover. A career in corrections offers the unique opportunity to serve and protect our state and communities while making a positive difference in the lives of Florida’s inmates.
  • In addition to the Florida Department of Corrections, companies such as, GEO and CCA hire correctional officers in Florida.
  • There are 67 counties in Florida, and all have jails that need correctional officers.

 Apply now

Contact the Corrections Program Coordinator


WHo is eligible to apply to the correctional officer certificate program?

You must meet the following requirement in order to apply to the Correctional Officer Certification Program at Gulf Coast State College. 

Admission requirements include the following:

  • Citizen of United States.
  • High School diploma or GED (transcript required).
  • Not discharged from Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
  • Good moral character and NOT have been convicted of a felony, or any misdemeanor involving lying or perjury.
  • Physical examination by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant attesting capability of performing essential functions of the officer position
  • Submit to and pass background investigation that includes a fingerprint check.
  • Passing score on the Florida Basic Abilities Test.


  • You'll get a great education with one of the lowest tuition rates in the state.
  • With small class sizes and professors who care, you'll get the personal attention you deserve.
  • More than 90% of our graduates would recommend Gulf Coast State College to others.

How do I apply for financial aid and scholarships?

There are many options available to help you pay for college. Find out more about  scholarships and financial aid at Gulf Coast State College.


How do I apply to the correctional officer certificate program?

  1. You must apply for admission to Gulf Coast State College,which can be done online at\admissions, and enroll in either CORF-VC (the corrections certificate program, if you are paying for your classes yourself) or CJST-AS (the corrections degree option, if you are receiving ANY manner of financial assistance. Additionally, all students new to GCSC must complete the GCSC new student orientation. You can register for the GCSC new student orientation today.
  2. You must complete the corrections academy application packet, available from Daryl White (, in its entirety, inclusive of completing all pages of the application, having the pages of the application that require notarization so notarized, providing all required documentation copies; and, providing a color, passport size (2 x 2 inch), current photo. Incomplete applications will not be accepted; and, will delay your entry into the corrections academy.
  3.  You must successfully complete the CJBAT (Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test) for law enforcement (cost = $39); and, attain a passing score of 70 or above, under Florida law, on the CJBAT in order to enter the academy. The CJBAT is by appointment only, and can be scheduled through  Pearson Vue Testing. Click on the search bar in the middle of the page next to “Ready, set, test” and type FDLE. When Florida Department of Law Enforcement comes up, click the link and then click on Basic Abilities Test (BAT). If you have any questions, please contact the testing center at 850-769-1551 ext. 3336 or at (*Note:  Prior to taking the CJBAT you must present a valid state issued drivers license and your Social Security Card, no copies of either drivers license or Social Security Card will be accepted.)
  4. You must submit to being fingerprinted, and successfully complete, the associated background investigation (cost = $85). If you have ever been convicted of any felony; or, any misdemeanor involving perjury, false statement, or any charge relating to domestic violence, you are ineligible to attend any corrections academy in the State of Florida. Also, if you were convicted of a felony as a juvenile; you cannot be in the constructive possession of a firearm until you are twenty-four years of age and will therefore not be able to attend the corrections academy until said age is attained.
  5. You must submit to, and successfully pass, a physical examination (your cost) performed by a Florida licensed Physician (MD), Nurse Practitioner (ARNP); or, Physician’s Assistant (PA). The academy physical MUST be completed on CJSTC Form 75-B, that is contained within the attached law enforcement academy application. NOTE: If for any reason, medical or otherwise, you are incapable of being exposed to Oleo-Resin Capsicum (commonly known as pepper spray) you will not be able to attend the academy. Additionally, within the first two weeks of the academy you must undertake a physical fitness test comprised of a maximum effort vertical jump, maximum effort push-ups for one minute, maximum effort sit-ups for one minute, a 300 meter run; and, a 1.5 mile walk/run. The exact same test will be administered during the last two weeks of the academy in order to determine if satisfactory physical fitness progress over the course of the academy was achieved.
  6. Complete an pre-entrance interview with Daryl White (, scheduled by appointment only, when you have fully completed all of the corrections academy application materials. This means that you have completely filled out all of the corrections academy application pages, have had the forms that require notarization so notarized, have all of the required documentation copies, have your color passport size photo, have successfully passed the CJBAT exam, have had your fingerprints rolled for the background investigation; and, have had your physical exam. Incomplete applications will not be accepted; and, will delay your entry into the corrections academy. 

Consult the Gulf Coast State College Catalog for specific program and course information.

Program Requirements

2022-2023 Catalog Requirements

Courses CH
=CJD0939, Correctional Officer Capstone 0.5v
 =CJK0031C, CMS First Aid for Criminal Justice Officers 1.3v
=CJK0040C, CMS Firearms 2.7v
=CJK0051C, CMS Defensive Tactics 2.7v
=CJK0300, Introduction to Corrections 1.0v
=CJK0305, Communications 1.3v
=CJK0310, Officer Safety 0.5v
=CJK0315, Facility and Equipment 0.3v
=CJK0320, Intake and Release 0.6v
=CJK0325, Supervising in a Correctional Facility 1.3v
=CJK0330, Supervising Special Populations 0.7v
=CJK0335, Responding to Incidents and Emergencies 0.5v
=CJK0340, Officer Wellness and Physical Abilities 1.0

After completing the correctional officer certification training and passing the State Officer Examination certification, students may continue their education by completing the Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice Technology.

• General Education Core.

+ Prerequisites and/or corequisites required.  See course descriptions.

# Applies to A.S. degree and certificate programs.

= PSAV course.

* Minimum grade of "C" required.

 firing range

firearms qualifications

The Division of Public Safety has five firearms ranges where students practice and demonstrate proficiency.


Department Chair

Bruce Harber
850.769.1551 ext. 5601