POLICE Magazine

JUL 2017

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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Page 26 of 60

24 POLICE JULY 2017 fort. "My responsibilities have dramati- cally increased; they started to increase even before I had my degree," he says. "But advancing my career is not the reason I re- turned to school. It wasn't even among my top three reasons for going back to school. I did this for myself." DeCesari is among the thousands of law enforcement professionals who re- turn to college every year for undergradu- ate and graduate degrees. But as this San Diego officer learned firsthand, working irregular hours and balancing work and family with school presents more than a few obstacles. Fortunately, there is a sea of educational options available to to- day's law enforcement professionals. e difficulty arises, however, in choosing an option that fits each individual student's situation. LEARNING ONLINE As executive director of the North- western University Center for Public Safe- ty, David Bradford needs to be aware of the types of education law enforcers need and the best ways to deliver that program- ming. ough he's careful not to place online education over traditional class- room learning, he does note that distance learning often fits nicely into the varied hours of police work. "[For this reason,] we design classes for the individual student who may be in a small law enforcement department, where getting away from work for 10 weeks is going to be a burden on the administra- tion and on the individual," he says. Online education is an option that also fits well with student's home lives. e reality is that many law enforcement pro- fessionals are also balancing full-time ca- reers, families, volunteer responsibilities, and more. "e option to enroll in online courses and work at their own pace gives officers the flexibility they need to pursue their degrees on their own time," says Ja- cob Harris, director of marketing for Co- lumbia Southern University (CSU). As the associate vice chancellor for On- line Learning at the University of Illinois- Springfield, Ray Schroeder has studied and written about the benefits of online education, and is a huge believer in the format. Developments in the technology used to present coursework online have advanced and as such so have student outcomes. Schroeder points out that U.S. Department of Education studies have found that learning outcomes in online freeinfo.policemag.com/755080 Students need to seek out educational opportunities that hit a variety of learning styles. Assessing Your Education Options

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