Open enrollment is a program offered through various community colleges in Arizona. Under the open enrollment the student applies to the college to be accepted into the college's police academy. The college itself will conduct a background investigation of the applicant verifying eligibility to participate. In many cases there is a cost advantage to the hiring agency so open enrollment applicants can gain an advantage over other applicants.
Community College academies generally last two full semesters and meet three days a week; usually two week days and a weekend day. Often times there is misconception that these academies do not require the physical training of a full time academy, this is not the case.
Many times persons who are enrolled in this program are able to secure employment with an agency prior to graduation. Graduates who do not seek employment, or are unable to secure an appointment with a law enforcement agency prior to graduation have 12 months in which to secure appointment by an agency without being required to make an additional showing of competency (in regards to basic training requirements). Students who are unable to secure appointment within 9 months must retake the AZ POST Comprehensive Final Examination and all components of firearms qualification, emergency and pursuit driving and the Peace Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT) to complete the certification process. After three (3) years from graduation an Open Enrollment individual will be required to attend another law enforcement academy if he/she has not been appointed and certified and functioned as a peace officer with an Arizona agency. A law enforcement agency has the discretion upon appointment to require an individual to attend another academy of its choice regardless of successful completion of an academy as an Open Enrollee.
Graduation from the Open Enrollment program DOES NOT make you a certified peace officer without being appointed by an Arizona Law Enforcement Agency and being certified by AZ POST. There is no guarantee that graduates will be able to secure employment after graduation.