POLICE Magazine

JUL 2017

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PoliceMag.com 27 action with both instructors and fellow students. Our instructors who teach both online and on-ground frequently say they get to know their online students better than their on-ground students because of this deeper sustained interaction." Whatever the format, DeCesari advises potential students to take on the chal- lenge today. Advanced education touches on important topics such as drone po- lices or extracting intelligence from a cell phone or using social media as an investi- gation tool, which helps law enforcement professionals evolve and be more forward thinking. "When I considered going back to school, I thought 20 months seemed like a long time," he says. "But I just fin- ished and looking back it wasn't really that long at all. It is possible to balance work, home, and school; you just need to go back and do it." Ronnie Garrett is a freelance writer based in Fort Atkinson, WI. Garrett specializes in writing about law enforcement and crimi- nal justice topics. through a class online tend to maintain contact at a lot higher rate than those who go to class on the ground." He theorizes that this is due to the fact that students have already exchanged contact information in an online pro- gram, and students are already in the habit of connecting in an online format. "Behavior psychologists tell us it takes 21 days to establish a habit so that it be- comes part of your routine," he says. "Stu- dents have that online habit going by the time they are done." e networking aspect of the online format is one of the things DeCesari says he liked best. "I now know law enforce- ment officials from Florida to California," he says. ough networking is possible in class- room learning too, Harris points out that online programming knows no bound- aries. A classroom setting, he explains, offers a finite amount of time for active student engagement and participation, while online programs are structured to "require a deeper level of ongoing inter- chance to respond and read the responses from the other students." "Online and on-campus programs require intellectual curiosity along with note-taking ability and solid verbal and written communication skills," says Lem- on. "Because online degree programs generally require more writing—both in the weekly written assignments and in ongoing discussion forums with fellow students and instructors—officers will be constantly challenged to sharpen their ability to create logical, compelling, writ- ten arguments to express their ideas." NUCPS' Bradford states that every class the university offers is available online or in the classroom. He notes that when students spend 10 weeks in a classroom with others, they develop a peer network within the class. One of the biggest wor- ries they had when transitioning to online was losing that network. "We found that more networks are developed online and the networks are stronger and more ac- tive after the class closes than they were on the ground," he says. "People who go 2 CONFERENCES 1 TRADE SHOW 1 LOCATION Sept. 21–25, 2017 CRISIS NEGOTIATIONS CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW TAC TICAL OPERATIONS CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW Sept. 24–29, 2017 Sheraton Grand Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ National Tactical Officers Association | 800-279-9127 | ntoa.org fi cer s A sso cia cia tio tio n | 800 - Register Online: ntoa.org/conferences Trade Show – Phoenix Convention Center | Sunday, Sept. 24 and Monday, Sept. 25 Conferences are co-hosted by Phoenix PD and Arizona Tactical Officers Association freeinfo.policemag.com/771155

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