The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has announced the opening of nominations for the 70th Academy. Applications will be accepted until Monday midnight.

OHP also announced a new way to get the college requirement to apply for the academy. By state law, applicants must have a minimum of 62 semester hours.

A bill making its way through the legislature will allow applicants to apply with just 24 credit hours and then earn the other 38 during the academy.

Academy applicants need only have 24 college credit hours to apply or 2.5 years of active or honorable reserve military service, or a combination of college hours and military service.

“We are looking for 70 cadets to start the 70th OHP Academy,” said DPS Commissioner Tim Tipton. “Troop numbers are down statewide, and we’re looking to recruit, train, and deploy professional troopers to provide public safety across the state.

“We are grateful to the Legislature for working with us on the college requirement. This will open up the application process to many more men and women who may have wanted to apply before but have not met to this requirement.”

The academy will begin on August 15 and last approximately 18 weeks with a graduation date of December 23.

Anyone interested in applying can complete an application and learn more at jointheohp.com.

OHP changed the fitness test from this academy. Candidates will perform a 500-meter row, 40 overhead squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups and a one-mile run.

Cadets reside at the Robert R. Lester Training Center Academy, 3600 N. Martin Luther King Blvd. in Oklahoma City, for the duration of the academy.

The academy is structured. During training, cadets will be challenged academically, physically and mentally.

Evening hours are used for lesson studies, completing homework, practical exercises and preparing for the next day. Working days vary from 12 to 18 hours.

Cadets entering an academy are encouraged to be in excellent physical condition.