An online degree by ProQuest


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									By Jonathan Kozlowski

                                                                                                Online programs are
                                                                                                similar to brick-and-
                                                                                                  mortar institutions,
                                                                                                    yet offer unique
                                                                                               advantages scheduled
                                                                                          classes and uncomfortable
                                                                                                          desks can’t

P        osted in the summer of 2009 on,
         in her article “Street Smart vs. Book Smart,”
Michelle Perin writes that in 1973, the National Advisory
                                                                    gone through a number of hours of training, universities do
                                                                    make the appropriate accommodations. A number of credit
                                                                    hours for a degree can be credited pending approval of the
Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals                  university. CSU, for example, allows an officer or deputy to
requested a national minimum education level of at least            “bring in” 21 hours of college credit toward a bachelor’s pro-
a four-year college degree.                                         gram and 12 towards an associate degree. Similarly, Liberty
    “While the number of officers that have degrees today           University Online (LUO), a Christian-based institution,
is not firmly known,” says Louis Mayo, executive director           offers its officers credit taking life experiences into account.
of the Police Association for College Education (PACE),                 “We do what we can to maximize their transfer cred-
“it is estimated between 25 and 30 percent of police offi-          it,” says Wendy Morales, director of Online Marking
cers today have a Bachelor of Arts degree or higher.”               for LUO. “This essentially minimizes the amount of
    A common situation for many working officers is a               tuition they are going to have to pay and helps someone
difficulty to attend class with an unstable schedule, leav-         graduate that much faster.”
ing the online option. Questions can quickly outnumber                  She explains that a student who has gone through
the answers — leaving a blank cursor blinking on your               basic law enforcement training can receive up to 14 cred-
favorite search engine.                                             its automatically, while any federal law enforcement train-
     “I guess you really need to start by understanding there       ing can earn additional credits. Morales adds that addi-
is a difference between training and education,” explains           tional credits are awarded to U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Kim Clay, dean of the College of Safety and Emergency                   Constance St. Germain-Driscoll, director of the
Services at Columbia Southern University (CSU). He sees             Criminal Justice and Legal Studies of the American
training as more of a hands-on learning experience while            Public University System (APUS), explains how the
education leans more toward the theory-based elements.              university’s credit transfer works: “The credit transfer
                                                                    service looks at their work so a student can submit, for
Recognition for your work                                           example, any certificates of courses they’ve taken or
  Understanding the working law enforcement officer has             any programs they’ve been through. APUS also has a

18     Law Enforcement Technology   ■   March 2010   ■
number of articulation agreements              degree and associate degree are              online program may be “easier,”
with police academies, so when                 typically around 120 and 60 credits          Harvey Hedden, executive direc-
they finish training there, we know            respectively, much the same as a tra-        tor of the International Law
that the student has already earned            ditional brick-and-mortar university.        Enforcement Educators and
a certain number of credits toward                                                          Trainers Association (ILEETA),
their degree.”                                 De-scheduling work                           says that “you’re probably going
   In perspective, a full bachelor’s             Dispelling any notions that an             to do more work on your own
                                                                                            than you will in a classroom where

                                                                                            it’s more of a directed lecture. An
                                                                                            online program that has you seek
                                                                                            out information, in some cases,

  EVERY PACKAGE                                                                             helps you learn.”
                                                                                                He continues, “The biggest
                                                                                            benefit from an online program is
                                                                                            scheduling.” Officers will be able to
                                                                      DRUGS                 work on their classes around their
                                                                                            rotating shifts, court days or s
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