Private Security Academy 

The Private Security Academy (PSA) is designed for individuals either currently employed or seeking employment in the private security field, loss prevention, assets protection and other police functions.

The academy satisfies the state-mandated Unarmed Security licensing requirements. Students will also participate in additional specialized training which will enhance their skills, providing greater career opportunities. An emphasis will be put on internal and external communication skills, report writing and observation skills. Students will also utilize the college’s Learning Management System – Canvas - for weekly assignments, discussions and resources. Using Canvas will allow students to learn skills in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), internal communication skills and time management.

Students who successfully complete the Private Security will earn 8 college credits, applicable toward the Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice at Highline College. Students will also receive First Aid/CPR certification and a Washington State Flagger Certification.

Program Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years old at the time of acceptance to the Academy
  • Must complete and pass a Washington State Patrol (WSP) Background check
  • Must commit to meeting the course attendance requirements
  • Must be level 4 ESL

Academy Costs 

$649.00 per person* (funding may be available – please see Workforce Education Service (WES) information below)

Instruction Includes: 

Report writing - exploring the legal aspects of writing reports, as well as the composition and pertinent information to include in a legal document.

Defensive tactics - 16 hours of instruction from military and law enforcement professionals focusing on the use of collapsible batons, handcuffs, pepper spray, and non-lethal self-defense.

Customer service - utilizing guidelines developed by an industry leading organization, students will be able to effectively communicate with customers as well as diffusing hostile behavior.

Human behavior and terrain analysis - develops a deeper understanding of human behavior, non-verbal communication, and situational awareness with training used by the US military.

Legalities and use of force - students will need to understand the applicable laws, federal and state, to work effectively in the security industry. The PSA further clarifies state law and gives guidance of the appropriate use of force pepper spray training.


What is included in the cost? 

  • 80 hours of instruction taught by industry professionals
  • Course supplies and materials
  • CPR/First Aid Certification
  • Washington State Flagger Certification
  • Gear - including:
  • Polo Shirt
  • 5.11 Tactical Pants
  • Side Zip Boots
  • Handcuffs/Handcuff Case
  • Expandable Baton/Baton Holder
  • Training Spray

Career Pathways 

Upon completion of the Private Security Academy, students will be able to find potential career paths through a variety of private security companies that service:

  • Retail Loss Prevention
  • The Entertainment Industry
  • County, City and State Fairs
  • Maritime Infrastructure
  • Casinos and Card Houses
  • Trademark and Piracy Investigations
  • Uniformed Static Posting
  • Surveillance
  • Loss Prevention Apprehension
  • Internal Theft Investigations

*Workforce Education Service (WES)

The WES department at Highline College can provide tuition assistance and support services for some CE short-term certificates and professional/technical AAS programs if a student meets funding and program eligibility criteria. Please visit to see if you pre-qualify for an invitation to attend Highline’s free education planning workshop through the WES department. If invited, it will be determined at the workshop whether you are eligible for funding. For general information, please visit or contact the WES department at 206-592-3802.


To find out more information or when the next session will be held, please call Continuing Education at (206) 870-3785 or email

Available Course(s)

Action Course ID Item # Course Name Instructor Room Number Dates Time Days