Jaime Peralta did not plan to get a college degree. After graduating from Hooker High School in 2008, he wanted to join the workforce. His parents and girlfriend had other plans for him. Now, Peralta says he’s glad he earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Seward County Community College/Area Technical School in 2010.

After being involved in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or D.A.R.E. program, Peralta said he knew he wanted to work in law enforcement. While he knew what he wanted to do, he did not know how to achieve it. His parents and girlfriend were instrumental in his decision to attend SCCC/ATS.
He said they wholeheartedly supported him.
Peralta says college was not what he expected it to be. “The instructors really cared about my grades, attendance and what was going on in my life,” said Peralta. "They checked on me if my grades slipped and they were quick to offer help if I ever needed it.”
His degree helped him get a good grasp on how law enforcement duties actually work. He had experience gathering evidence and interviewing techniques before he received any training from the police department.
To become certified as a law enforcement officer, Peralta was required to complete his training at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson. KLETC offers training about six times a year.
Affordability and proximity to home were big factors as to why he chose SCCC/ATS.
He said the instructors were very approachable.
His favorite class was Criminal Investigations, because it has so much to do with what he actually does on the job now.
Peralta has worked for the Liberal Police Department for two years. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Liberal.
SCCC/ATS has been celebrating Career and Technical Education Month.