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Higher education for LEOs

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  • Higher education for LEOs

    I'm not sure if this topic fits in this forum, so if I missed, please move it.

    I dabbled in college before becoming an LEO. I took a year majoring in Civil Engineering and another majoring in Nursing. I then acquired 30 hours while attending Police Academy. In total I have 92 semester hours, kind of a hodge-podge of classes all in all.

    I am planning on starting online classes in the next 6 months to finish a degree and have been thinking about a BA in English. I did find an online college that would accept all of my credit hours and as soon as I hit 120 hours would issue a BS in "Interdisciplinary Studies," or more accurately, a BS in B.S. While having the piece of paper saying I accomplished something would be nice, I'd prefer to have a degree that was actually focused in a specific area.

    My question is this: Those of you in LE with 4-year degrees, how did you arrive at your degree choice? Did you select your degree knowing you were headed to LE, or did you wind up here as the result of a mid-life crisis? If you finished a degree after becoming an LEO, what led you to your degree choice?

    The reason I am choosing English is this: I enjoy writing (Grant Writing, policy, proposals, etc), and I feel good written communication skills are invaluable in LE. I also enjoy teaching, and feel this degree choice would enhance my teaching skill, both in and out of LE work.

    I'm also interested in the Literature aspect of an English degree as well, but that is more for personal enrichment then professional.

    For those of you with post-graduate degrees, did you earn your degree before or after becoming an LEO, and what drove you to pick the path you took? I plan on getting my masters (part of the 5-year plan), and this degree would more then likely be focused in an area that better enable me to work my way into administration, which is where I would ultimately like to end up.

    Thank-you in advance.

  • #2
    I have a BS I recieved before getting into LE. I got it because it was in something I enjoyed, IT. The bubble burst the year I graduated and never worked in the field. After I get some more time in I'll go for a masters in something LE related.

    If I was in your shoes I would skip the English degree and obtain a degree in something that will help you down the road. Public Administration or something of the like will come in very handy down the road if you have aspirations of being upper brass.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was a nontraditional student. I don't have a college prep high school diploma, and I never took the SAT or ACT. I was determined that I wasn't going to college.

      Four years after high school, I enrolled in classes simply because I had nothing better to do at the moment and it would allow me to go back on my parents' health insurance. I enrolled at a junior college. and figured I would go for one quarter and then go back to work somewhere. Ended up doing very well and decided to keep going.

      I decided that I would get certified to teach middle school social studies and English. I finished my AS and then moved on to a university for my bachelors. After a year in the college of education, I realized that the bureaucracy involved in simply getting the degree was just a prelude into how actually working for a school system would be; so, I decided to change majors for purely academic enjoyment.

      I was closer to a polisci degree than anything else; so, I ended up with a BA in polisci with a minor in history. I applied for a police job shortly prior to graduating from college and started the academy two weeks after finishing undergrad.

      I went to work for a PD that paid tuition, and I ended up going to a top three ranked graduate program earning a MPA degree. I still take an occasional online class just for a dose of self-punishment. I sometimes teach as an adjunct faculty member at the junior college where I first took classes.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have that very same B.S. in B.S. although I got it by attending class in person at the college age. There are two reasons I chose that degree; 1) I couldn't decide what I wanted to major in, and 2) I wanted to graduate early so I did.

        That said, it was all wasted time, and in hindsight I still have no clue what I'd major in. For that reason, I'm almost always taking some kind of class out of interest. That's my problem. I have too many interests.

        I graduated college, got a job teaching science, went through a "seminar" that resulted in me getting a state teacher's license, and I stuck with that for two miserable, hair pulling years.

        Now, I always try to encourage people to do two things. Most importantly, get a degree in something useful. I agree that college is all about education, but using that time to develop something career worthy is a very good thing. Secondly, never become a teacher under any circumstances no matter how dire. While I was teaching I obtained some funding to take some graduate courses, and I did pertaining to education. My intent was as to get as close to a M.Ed. in school administration as I could and then slip into that side of things as soon as I could. I eventually just gave up all of it and really could care less.

        If you've got the ability you ought to continue on with engineering. If I were good at math, which I make no claim to be (beyond algebra anyway), I probably would've chosen engineering. When I was in college I took an afternoon commute to a community college and there attended an evening paramedic program so I was actually enrolled at two colleges without one knowing of the other which allowed me to be a full-time student at both. As a result, I got my B.S. and paramedic credentials at the same time, and I did that as a side job for several years until finally realizing that I valued my free time. I've often thought if I were in college again I'd get a BSN/RN because I like that type of information although I know I wouldn't like being a nurse so although it'd be a useful degree and a body of knowledge of some interest to me I'd actually hate the work. I love medical stuff, physiology, and most things biological.

        As a useless degree I've thought about a B.A. and M.A. in geography since I think the physical aspects of that are interesting as well. Biology is also cool to me, but the math thus physics and chemistry prevented me from pursuing that albeit I'm signed up for another chemistry class this summer, lol. The last several classes I've taken have been more biology on top of the umpteen others I had in college.

        So as you can see I can't give you any credible advice other than use caution before paying for your degree. I'd skip the B.S. in B.S. and the B.A. in English. If you like literature you can always read the book. That's my take on liberal arts now. Instead of majoring in history just read the books. I don't think you'll get anything extra from a history major than than you would from a degree in something else plus hobby reading in history. I have over 220 semester hours and only one B.S. degree, however, many of those are paramedic hours and many more were earned after getting my B.S. in B.S.



        Originally posted by operator81 View Post
        I'm not sure if this topic fits in this forum, so if I missed, please move it.

        I dabbled in college before becoming an LEO. I took a year majoring in Civil Engineering and another majoring in Nursing. I then acquired 30 hours while attending Police Academy. In total I have 92 semester hours, kind of a hodge-podge of classes all in all.

        I am planning on starting online classes in the next 6 months to finish a degree and have been thinking about a BA in English. I did find an online college that would accept all of my credit hours and as soon as I hit 120 hours would issue a BS in "Interdisciplinary Studies," or more accurately, a BS in B.S. While having the piece of paper saying I accomplished something would be nice, I'd prefer to have a degree that was actually focused in a specific area.

        My question is this: Those of you in LE with 4-year degrees, how did you arrive at your degree choice? Did you select your degree knowing you were headed to LE, or did you wind up here as the result of a mid-life crisis? If you finished a degree after becoming an LEO, what led you to your degree choice?

        The reason I am choosing English is this: I enjoy writing (Grant Writing, policy, proposals, etc), and I feel good written communication skills are invaluable in LE. I also enjoy teaching, and feel this degree choice would enhance my teaching skill, both in and out of LE work.

        I'm also interested in the Literature aspect of an English degree as well, but that is more for personal enrichment then professional.

        For those of you with post-graduate degrees, did you earn your degree before or after becoming an LEO, and what drove you to pick the path you took? I plan on getting my masters (part of the 5-year plan), and this degree would more then likely be focused in an area that better enable me to work my way into administration, which is where I would ultimately like to end up.

        Thank-you in advance.

        Comment


        • #5
          I knew I wanted to be a police officer wince I was a young teenager. I majored in Criminal Justice at a state university. The day before I turned 21, I walked for my Associates, and was hired 2 weeks later. Now, almost a year, I will have my Bachelor's in Criminal Justice once I finish the 13 week academy (March 31st).

          I wish I had minored in LE and majored in eduction, business, biology, or Accounting-- something to fall back on in case the patrol officer gig doesn't work out.

          So, I am going to try and get at least a 2 year in biology or similar wildlife sciences.

          Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            34 years after high school-a BS in CJ Management...cause I are one
            It's not the will to win that matters...everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
            Paul "Bear" Bryant

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all the input. To answer some questions/address some comments:

              I'm not interested in a Public Administration degree as I want something more geared to my interests and teaching...at this time anyways, which is why I've chosen English. I SUCK at math, which is why engineering is out. That major lasted a very, very short time. I finished out my freshman year just taking generals.

              I thought about a CJ degree, but I feel it is pretty much useless outside LE, and I'd rather have something that is a little more well rounded.

              Thanks again for the input and sharing, keep it coming.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by operator81 View Post
                My question is this: Those of you in LE with 4-year degrees, how did you arrive at your degree choice? Did you select your degree knowing you were headed to LE, or did you wind up here as the result of a mid-life crisis? If you finished a degree after becoming an LEO, what led you to your degree choice?
                I never had law enforcement in mind when attending college. I intended on working in the telecom industry or perhaps in IT.

                For those of you with post-graduate degrees, did you earn your degree before or after becoming an LEO, and what drove you to pick the path you took? I plan on getting my masters (part of the 5-year plan), and this degree would more then likely be focused in an area that better enable me to work my way into administration, which is where I would ultimately like to end up.

                Thank-you in advance.
                I'm considering going back to school and getting my masters in the near future after I figure out my ultimate career goals. I have a strong desire to study Computer Science, or telecommunications even though I no longer work in that industry because they interest me. One day I will retire from law enforcement, or I may just desire a nice M-F 8-5 desk job at some point. It would be nice to have something to fall back on.

                Oh and I didn't end up in law enforcement due to a "mid life crisis".
                What is Perseverance?
                -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                BOP - BPA - ICE

                Comment


                • #9
                  I got my BA in CJ while a police officer. I'm working on my MA with a dual major in CJ and history. Why? Because I find it interesting. If Eng and Lit are interesting subjects to you, go for it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Do you want to teach/train LEO's or be a school teacher?

                    I tend to think the degree system is broken.
                    Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

                    nom de plume

                    This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have my BS in Public Admin, I finished it over the last 10 years on the Air Force.

                      I also have an AS in Criminal Justice, and an AS in Information Systems Mgmnt.

                      I am currently working on my MA in Unconventional Warfare/Mil Hist.

                      I suggest people not look at College as a box to check, but as a way to constantly know more about the world around you. The more broad your education, the more likely you have some kind of connection to the people you interact with, which makes talking to people easier.

                      I'm reasonably certian that none of us are going to go to our deathbed wishing we knew a little less about everything.

                      M-11
                      “All men dream...... But not equally..
                      Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
                      but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
                      for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

                      TE Lawrence

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by M-11 View Post

                        I am currently working on my MA in Unconventional Warfare/Mil Hist.

                        Now that sounds especially interesting... I didn't know there was such a thing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Smartest cop I ever met had a GED

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I majored in CJ cause I thought I was going to commission as an officer in army. I never did commission but stayed with CJ. If I could do it over again I would do history or ag science.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by M-11 View Post
                              I suggest people not look at College as a box to check, but as a way to constantly know more about the world around you. The more broad your education, the more likely you have some kind of connection to the people you interact with, which makes talking to people easier.
                              I have been telling people this for years. I met a tattoo artist in 1995; he told me that he was a graphic design student at Southern Illinois University. I inquired if he was doing the tattooing to put himself through school. He told me that he was going to school to make his tattoos the best.
                              “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

                              George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

                              Comment

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