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Are there any breaks in the academy or is it a straight 20 weeks?
The National Latent Print Examiner Training Academy will be 20 weeks total classroom time, but will last 22-23 weeks due to several week long breaks during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays.

Can family come to visit me at the academy?
Yes, but you should know there is only one queen bed and a small sleeper sofa in each room. There may be additional rooms available in the same facility and there are many other rooming options in Meridian.

What does the price of the academy cover?
The cost for attending the academy is $27,500.00 per student, which includes twenty weeks of instruction (5 days a week) and room and board. Boarding includes 3 meals a day (7 days a week) while at the academy.

Can a break be given on the cost of the academy?
No, the price has already been set as low as possible in order to make the cost feasible. The average cost to an agency for 1 week of external training runs around $2,090.00. If you add that up, at the normal rates, the cost of the academy would run approximately $41,800.00 for 20 weeks. So, the cost of the academy would be a little more than ½ the normal price.

Can meals be separated from the total cost of the academy?
Yes, you can remove the meal cost ($2,240.00) from the total price of the academy if you prefer to use your agency’s per diem. This will make the final cost of the academy $25,260.00. You will have access to many restaurants and several options within walking distance, but you will have to pay per meal. If you choose to buy groceries, there is a microwave, small refrigerator/freezer, and hotplates in the room. Also, there are two full sized grills located on the outside patio.

I have already attended some of the RS&A classes being offered, so do I still have to pay for and attend for those weeks?
Yes, the academy is an all inclusive price and cannot be broken down in any way, except for removing the meals (see above question). Also, testing is not typically required in any of RS&A’s current classes, but is required in the academy. So, graduation from the academy is based on the successful completion of all 20 weeks.

Is the airfare included in the price of the academy?
No, airfare is not included.

What are the educational requirements?
Agencies with forensic laboratories or identification units have specific educational requirements in order to qualify for an interview. RS&A will utilize the most stringent educational requirements for acceptance into the academy. This will ensure that the student can meet the educational requirements of any municipal, state or federal agency, when they graduate.

1) If the applicant has already been hired by the agency, RS&A will waive our educational requirements in lieu of the agency's educational requirements.

2) If the applicant has not been hired by an agency, the educational requirement would be a BS or MS degree in forensic science, natural science or a closely related field, a minimum of 24 hard science hours and a GPA of 3.0 or better.

What are the background investigation requirements?
Agencies with forensic laboratories or identification units have specific security conditions (background investigations) that must be met in order to be hired. RS&A will require the most stringent security conditions in order to be accepted into this academy. This will ensure that upon graduation each student can ultimately pass the necessary background requirements to secure a position with any municipal, state or federal agency.

1) If the applicant has already been hired by the agency, RS&A will waive the background investigation in lieu of the agency's background investigation.

2) If the applicant has not been hired by an agency, a background check will be required. This is to ensure that any student who pays for the academy, will be able to pass a background investigation upon being hired.

What are the visual acuity requirements?
In order to give each student the best opportunity for success in this program, we will be testing for visual acuity. Those that cannot pass the visual acuity test will not be accepted into the academy.

1) All applicants will be required to take a visual acuity test prior to the academy to make sure they have the visual acuity skills to be successful in the academy.

Do you know if RS&A will be offering or providing any financial assistance or student loans?
RS&A can not offer any financial assistance or student loans. It is the responsibility of the applicant / agency to provide the funding required.

What do we need to bring to the academy?
- (2) Magnifiers
- (2) Pointers
- Digital SLR Camera with macro lens
- Laptop Computer

What if I don't have any of the above equipment?
Contact RS&A Academy Director Jon Byrd to discuss equipment rental options and pricing.

What is the dress code for the academy?
Dress code is business casual. (ex. Dockers/polo)
Dress code on the scheduled down days is jeans and a t-shirt. (ex. lab days & clean-up days)
Dress code for courtroom and graduation is business attire.

Will I need a car?
Yes. Travel between the hotel, classroom, laboratory, courtroom, and graduation is required. If you are unable to bring a vehicle, students may also "buddy-up" with other students that do have vehicles.

If I cannot attend in October, will there be another academy?
It will be dependent on the success of the preceding academy session and the number of applicants that did not get in.

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