What is LAPSEN?
In 2002, the USDoE created a Career Cluster called Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security (LPSCS). This cluster provides a framework for secondary and post-secondary schools to create curriculum and career pathways for students interested in the careers of law enforcement, fire services, security and the like. LAPSEN is the leading national organization supporting these efforts with the focus at the secondary school level. It provides and shares LPSCS career education programs, curriculum, certifications and models that help connect secondary students to work and colleges that are cost-effective and can be used by secondary school instructors, their partners and participating states.
In 2017 a number of state government organizations that have responsibilities for improving and overseeing career development programs for secondary schools in their states came together to form LAPSEN. In February 2018, IRS approved LAPSEN’s non-profit status as a 501c3 organization.
To help develop and share LPSCS career education programs, curriculum, certifications, and models that help connect students to work and college that are cost effective and can be used by participating states and other partners.
The Law and Public Safety Education Network will be recognized as the premier support organization for the LPSCS Career Cluster as relates to secondary school education and its connections to post secondary educations and careers in the targeted professions.
Identify needs of the member states, LPSCS instructors and work, using a variety of methods to meet those needs.
Developing ways of communicating with all members and their constituents to share resources including curriculum, certifications, assessments, and related materials.
Sponsor and/or recommend conferences and workshops as deemed useful by LAPSEN members
To the extent practical, include those organizations and agencies supporting education and training related to the LPSCS Career Cluster in decision-making processes related to LAPSEN goals.
Why LAPSEN Was Created
What We Do
To enter the targeted professions, many of the career pathways in the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security (LPSCS) Career Cluster have several obstacles unique to the Cluster including age, physical fitness, and various certification needs. Compounding these are differing requirements within the states. Irrespective of these differences, most states can reduce costs and provide more effective career development initiatives by collaborating in program, curriculum, and certification development to include cost sharing. A number of states established LAPSEN to achieve those purposes.
LAPSEN is set up to serve the needs of secondary schools that have career programs in the career areas of law, law enforcement, corrections, Fire services, security and related fields such as emergency services, emergency dispatch, cybersecurity, and forensics.
The services provided include curriculum development, certifications for both students and instructors, training for instructors, assistance in developing and improving LPSCS career programs, and certifying and assessing current programs for quality and effectiveness.
The structure of LAPSEN consists of the following:
Board of Directors: Each member state appoints of person to represent it on the Board, as well as one alternate. Board membership will be updated on an annual basis. These are the voting members. In addition, certain groups represented in LAPSEN committees, such as colleges and non-profit professional associations may select one representative to serve on the Board as a non-voting member. Executive Committee: This committee consists of the chairperson, vice chair, past chair, treasurer, secretary, and up to three board members.
This committee shall represent the board on day to day matters, plan Board meetings, and oversee projects unless delegated by the Committee. Other responsibilities may be assigned as approved by the Board. The Executive Committee will be elected by the Board of Directors at an annual meeting. The following terms will apply:
Chairperson – A term of two years (after initial two years, the Chairperson will not be as the Vice Chair will automatically assume the position of Chairperson at the end of this year)
Vice Chair – A term of two years but will be moved into the Chairperson’s position at the end of their Vice Chair term (only voted on as Vice Chair).
Past Chair – This position will not exist in the first two years and is not a position voted on by the board. The immediate past Chairperson will serve in this position for two years after his or her term as Chairperson has expired.
Treasurer –A term of two years, may be re-elected once.
Secretary – A term of two years may be re-elected once.
Three Board members – eventually these Board members will serve staggered terms with one board member going off the board each year and one being added each year. Terms will be three years. For first-year elections, one member will be elected for a 1-year term, one for a two-year term, and one for a three-year term.
Special committees and project teams are formed as approved by the board and include the general membership.
Board of Directors and Staff
Dr. David Barbour, Chair
Education Consultant for Trade & Industry at North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Nearly two decades working in technical education.
Learn more about Dr. Barbour: Click Here
Steven Watterson, Vice-Chairperson
Education Associate at South Carolina Department of Education. After a full career as a Naval Officer, service in CTAE for 15 years!
Learn more about Mr. Watterson: Click Here
Dr. Oscar Carter, Treasurer
Director of Skilled Technical Sciences at the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Over three decades working in technical education.
Learn more about Dr. Carter: Click Here
Zena Lowe, State Adviser to Board
Education Consultant at Michigan Department of Education. Three decades working in education. She is truly a "jack of all trades" having served in every level of education!
Learn more about Mrs. Lowe: Click Here
Lisa G. Stange, State Adviser to Board
Education Consultant at Iowa Department of Education. Over four decades working in technical education. Former President of Iowa ACTE.
Learn more about Mrs. Stange: Click Here
Dr. Joseph N. Coffee, Executive Director
Over three decades working with career programs across the nation. 19 years experience working with Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security programs. Formerly worked with the ATF.
Learn more about Dr. Coffee: Click Here
Dr. Thomas Washburn, Digital & Social Media
Program Specialist for LPSCS pathways for Fulton County Schools (Atlanta, Georgia). Classroom teacher at the Cambridge Law & Justice Program (Milton, Georgia). Owner Southern Educational Resources.
Learn more about Dr. Washburn: Click Here
Training and Technical Assistance Group (TTAG)
Whatever training or assistance you might need, we are able to provide support. We have dozens of experts available to help with curriculum, advice, training, resources, program development and just about anything else. Since the start of LPSCS programs, our staff has been at the center of the evolution of the career cluster. If we don't know it, we certainly know someone who does! We should be your first call - because we can do it all!
Why Join LAPSEN?
The reasons for joining LAPSEN typical revolve around the organization you are associated with. The organizations that choose to partner with LAPSEN are typically state education departments, non-profit associations, post secondary institutions, secondary schools, and for profit businesses. Individuals whose organizations have not joined may also become members.
How to Join LAPSEN
State DOE and CTAE Sections - Click Here
Departments of education and CTE units join LAPSEN because they want to partner with other LAPSEN members to develop curriculum and related resources. Such partnering saves money as the cost for development is shared. LAPSEN also offers many free or low-cost resources which are available from partnering states and other members. Each member state also allows all its LPSCS instructors and administrators to become members and thus access curriculum and network with others around the country. There are partnering options for states with varying numbers of LPSCS career programs at the secondary school level.
Post-Secondary Education - Click Here
Post-secondary education institutions join because they often offer LPSCS courses to secondary school students or want to increase what they offer. By partnering with LAPSEN they also can participate in curriculum development and will have access to curriculum already developed. As with all partners they can register their instructors and administrators as members thus making them eligible for an array of benefits.
Non-Profit Professional Associations - Click Here
Non-profit professional associations partner with LAPSEN so that resources of both organizations can be mutually shared. For the partnering non-profit the resources they offer can be made more widely known to LAPSEN members. They also partner so that they too can have input into LAPSEN policy and planning. There is no cost for non-profits as the non-profit and LAPSEN enter into an agreement to share certain resources and information with each other’s members.
School Districts, Schools (public & private) & Career Programs - Click Here
School districts, schools (public and private), and individual career programs typically join when their state is not a member. By joining they too can register their instructors and administrators to receive all of LAPSEN benefits including access to curriculum used a all the LPSCS pathways.
For-Profit Organizations - Click Here
For-Profit organizations join because they believe that they have products or services that would be of use to LAPSEN members--primarily LPSCS instructors and administrators. To become a member, however, at least one state has to sponsor the for-profit and at least two career programs have to be using their products or services successfully.
Individuals - Click Here
There is also an individual option. Individual become members because their state or school has not yet become a member. These individuals want to have access to the same resources that schools and states provide the instructors and administrators that they register.