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The Senator Tommy Burks Victim Assistance Academy

The Academy is conducted by the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence in partnership with the UTC Criminal Justice Program. The purpose of this Academy is to provide basic level training to victim advocates. The 40 hour curriculum will encompass a variety of subjects including: Victims’ Compensation, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Child Victimization, Impact of Trauma, Bystander Programming, Primary Prevention, Ethics, Collaboration, and Cultural Competency.


Can I get college credits?

Yes.  UTC students may attend and receive 3 hours undergraduate or graduate credit.    Others attending the academy may choose to be admitted to the university and attend for credit as well.  Additional course work is required for students getting academic credit. It will will be done via distance learning during the first summer session at UTC.  Once you are accepted in the Academy, you will receive syllabus information.  Also, P.O.S.T. credit hours, and National Organization for Victim Assistance provisional credentialing are available upon completion of the 40 hour training course (for additional fees).


When is the Academy?

The next Academy will be held June 2019.   The Academy will be held on the UTC campus. Students must attend all Academy sessions which normall run 9-5 during the face to face week. Applications will be made available to UTC Students Spring 2019.

What does it cost?

There is no fee for attending the academy. Normal tuition rates apply for students taking the course for college credit. 

Why attend?

The Academy will address issues specific to Tennessee crime victims and offer opportunities for people who are fairly new to the field of victim advocacy to learn from experts and each other. Attendees will be able to expand their knowledge and skills in Tennessee law and advocacy issues.  Participants in the Academy may also be eligible to receive national provisional advocate credentials through the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) for an additional fee.  This certification is increasingly being recognized as an important credential for entry level victim advocacy work nationwide.

Who should attend?

The Academy is designed for individuals who have less than two years experience assisting victims of crime and demonstrate a commitment to victim service. The training is appropriate for individuals working in victim advocacy programs, prosecutor’s offices, law enforcement, probation, corrections, domestic and sexual violence programs, child advocacy centers, and other victim service agencies.  It also is appropriate for students who wish to pursue careers related to victim advocacy.  Participants must commit to attending the full week of classes, complete home work, tests and pay all fees associated with the Academy. The Academy will be limited to 50 participants and you must be admitted prior to registering for classes.

How to Apply:

Applications will be available for UTC students in Spring 2019.  Completed application must be submitted to  by April 20, 2019.  Other participants need to contact the Coalition for admission.  For more information contact Dr. Policastro.


Application Form