Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA)

The Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA) program provides training for students interested in careers in public safety, law enforcement, criminal justice, and fire science. The 2-year program was developed jointly by the Chicago Public Schools’ Department of Career and Technical Education (CTE), the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Chicago Fire Department (CFD), and the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). The program recruits and trains up to 250 public and non-public high school students each year.

The CPFTA program fulfills the two career education or elective credits that all CPS high school students need in order to graduate. The CPFTA curriculum allows juniors and seniors who are city residents to progress seamlessly from high school directly into any City College of Chicago to complete their Associate’s degree.

In addition to high school and college training, students have the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship between the junior and senior year to promote a better understanding of all aspects of careers in public safety. After completion of the two years in high school and two years at a city college, students will have met the minimum educational requirements to take the Chicago Police and Fire Department examinations for entry into their respective academies.

For information about the Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA) click here.

Police Cadet Program

The Police Cadet Program provides an opportunity for individuals interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement to obtain valuable work experience in a law enforcement environment. Cadets are given rotating assignments flexible with their college class schedules while working within the Chicago Police Department (CPD).  While becoming a Chicago Police Cadet is not a prerequisite for employment as a Chicago Police Officer, it is a paid part-time position which introduces young Chicagoans enrolled in college to the exciting and fulfilling career of public service.


  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 21 and enrolled in a nationally or regionally accredited college or university that grants Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees.
  • Individuals selected for the program must maintain an academic schedule of a minimum of 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours per year and a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0/5.0 or 2.0/4.0.

For information about the Police Cadet Program click here.