OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The first day of the 70th Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy kicked off Monday. 

Cadets can endure intense training all while earning college credits, for the first time,.

“The thing that we’re excited about the most is that this is the first academy that will be able to take advantage of the new state law,” said Trooper Eric Foster. 

Cadets can now enter the academy with just 24 college credit hours instead of the previous 64-hour requirement. 

Under Senate Bill 338, cadets can now earn the credits needed during training.

“This is the first step to hopefully something great,” said Cadet William Jacobs.

Jacobs is one of 53 cadets hoping to become a Highway Patrol trooper, but that’s if he can survive 18 weeks of intense training.

“There’s no downtime,” said Trooper Foster. “They’ll get right into it and go for long hours and sleep little.”

Fifty-three cadets entered the doors at Robert R. Lester Training Center around 8 a.m. Monday morning.

“This is home for 20 weeks. It’ll be close and tight,” said Trooper Foster

The cadets will live, breathe, and sweat together.

They also receive training in using force, communication skills and de-escalation tactics, firearms, driving, criminal interdiction, and physical fitness.

“We love the training of the High-Stress Academy,” said Foster. “We can create stress in a controlled environment so that when they’re out on the road, working in an uncontrolled environment, they have the confidence to know that they can handle that stress.”

The cadets will also undergo 18 weeks of intense training on traffic and criminal law, arrest procedures, accident reconstruction, first aid, and Spanish.

Jacobs, like many, is excited to hit the ground running. 

“I want to be part of the best of the best. And hopefully, I can work with those guys hand-in-hand and help them become better.”

Following December’s graduation ceremony, cadets will enter the ‘break-in’ training phase.

They will ride with another trooper for 13 weeks before going out on their own.