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California Probation Officer Training Program Descriptions

There are seven schools in California that have probation officer training programs. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Aspiring probation officers in California can obtain the necessary education by taking probation officer core courses at one of several public 2-year colleges. Offering many hours of training, the courses allow for classroom- and laboratory-based learning. The courses may culminate with written and practical testing.

Career Requirements

To work as a probation officer for a California county, applicants must hold a 4-year degree in the social sciences. Prospective probation officers must also complete a state-approved 200-hour training course that is certified by the California State Board of Corrections and pass a psychological evaluation. Below is a list and comparison table with the seven California colleges that offer the training course required to become a probation officer in this state.


De Anza College

Located in Cupertino, this college is a participant in the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium (SBRPSTC), a collection of nine California schools that offer public safety training to nearly 2,000 students each year. The Probation Officer Core Course prepares students to enter the work force upon graduation, providing them with the skills required to work as probation officers in the State of California.

  • Programs Offered: Probation Officer Core Course
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): Not available
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Evergreen Valley College

Also a member of SBRPSTC, Evergreen Valley College is located in San Jose. It offers the required 200-hour training course for aspiring probation officers, which includes both classroom lecture and lab instruction.

  • Programs Offered: Probation Officer Core Course
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): Not available
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Fresno City College

This school, located in Fresno, houses a State Center Regional Training Facility with a Public Safety Training Academy. This program offers a probation core course in partnership with local law enforcement agencies that satisfies the state's training requirements for becoming a probation officer.

  • Programs Offered: Probation Officer Core Course
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $46 per unit (enrollment fee for all students), $235 per unit (non-resident tuition)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Gavilan College

In Gilroy, Gavilan College is part of SBRPSTC and provides students with the required skills and tools needed to work as a probation officer in California. This program includes both written and practical testing that verifies that graduates are ready for immediate employment.

  • Programs Offered: Probation Officer Core Course
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): Not available
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; fringe rural

Hartnell College

Based in Salinas, Hartnell College participates in SBRPSTC to offer the state-certified training for probation officers as well as other public safety professionals. It offers the Probation Officer Core Course, broken down into 40 hours of lecture and 160 hours of hands-on practical training.

  • Programs Offered: Probation Officer Core Course
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): Not available
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

Merced College

This college is located in Merced and offers an Adult Correctional Officer Core Academy that includes training required to work as a probation officer in this state. Interested students must be approved by the California Department of Justice prior to enrollment. Approval is granted once students pass a physical exam and criminal background check.

  • Programs Offered: Adult Correctional Officer Core Academy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $46 per unit (enrollment fee for all students), $208 per unit (non-resident tuition)**
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; fringe rural

San Jose City College

This SBRPSTC member-school is located in San Jose. It offers the Probation Officer Core Course with the 200 hours of training required by the state to work as a probation officer.

  • Programs Offered: Probation Officer Core Course
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): Not available
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Probation Officer Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
De Anza College 2-year, public; small city Probation Officer Core Course Not available
Evergreen Valley College 2-year, public; large city Probation Officer Core Course Not available
Fresno City College 2-year, public; large city Probation Officer Core Course $46 per unit (enrollment fee for all students), $235 per unit (non-resident tuition)*
Gavilan College 2-year, public; fringe rural Probation Officer Core Course Not available
Hartnell College 2-year, public; midsize city Probation Officer Core Course Not available
Merced College 2-year, public; fringe rural Adult Correctional Officer Core Academy $46 per unit (enrollment fee for all students), $208 per unit (non-resident tuition)**
San Jose City College 2-year, public; large city Probation Officer Core Course Not available

Source: *Fresno City College, **Merced College.

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