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Question regarding 2 and 4 year degrees in LE

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  • Question regarding 2 and 4 year degrees in LE

    Well, for MN you need to possess a 2 year LE degree to be POST certified, but my Police and Communities instructor has suggested that getting a 4 year degree is probably best. I've read around on here and found a couple of threads that state a 4 year degree is optimal, and I agree 100% with that.

    My question is will I be able to explain (either on the application or interviews) that I am planning on continuing my 4 year degree while I am hired? I plan on trying to get hired as soon as possible, so I'm wondering if this will really hurt my chances if I try to get hired asap with a 2 year. I think I read on the Minneapolis Police website that a 2 year is only needed, and education will not be looked at? Not sure if it was stated exactly like that.

    Thanks in advance guys.

  • #2
    It will not matter that you are planning on getting your degree after you are hired. It only matters at the time you are applying. You can tell the department that is your intention but that will not make you stand equal or above a person with a 4 year degree.

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    • #3
      I am sure there are plenty of officers working in MN with a two year degree. If you can get hired with the minimum, good for you. "Planning" to get a BA/BS doesn't mean anything.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sigcopper View Post
        It will not matter that you are planning on getting your degree after you are hired. It only matters at the time you are applying. You can tell the department that is your intention but that will not make you stand equal or above a person with a 4 year degree.
        That makes sense. It's just that currently I'm sitting in a bit of a strange place regarding employment. I recently left a decent job to focus on school and to get a CSO position or volunteer as a reserve, so that's mainly my concern for trying to get my degree fast. I'm not sure if I got the expenses to cover 4 years of schooling, which is why I am trying to wait till I get hired.

        Hopefully I can tell the department during one of the interviews, I feel education is important, hopefully I can tell them that and not make it look like I'm done after a 2 year degree.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by just joe View Post
          I am sure there are plenty of officers working in MN with a two year degree. If you can get hired with the minimum, good for you. "Planning" to get a BA/BS doesn't mean anything.
          That's true. Also I was wondering, if I were to get a BA/BS, I'm sort of confused on that note...maybe will go talk to someone at my school.

          I was wondering, if I get a 2 year in LE, does that mean I get another 2 year degree to make it 4? Or just do another 4 year for a total of 6 years of schooling? Before deciding on LE I was working on generals, so I was pretty close to getting my Associate of Arts. Will I be able to combine the AA + my LE degree for a 4 year?

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          • #6
            Another 2 year degree will give you two two year degrees--not one four year degree.

            Assuming the school you are at is accredited, you should be able to transfer most or all of your credits to a four year institution and only have to take 2 to 2 1/2 years to finish your BA/BS. You will probably need to take extra Gen Ed classes to satisfy the four year institution's requirements, as well as upper level CJ classes. An advisor at either institution can explain it to you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by just joe View Post
              Another 2 year degree will give you two two year degrees--not one four year degree.

              Assuming the school you are at is accredited, you should be able to transfer most or all of your credits to a four year institution and only have to take 2 to 2 1/2 years to finish your BA/BS. You will probably need to take extra Gen Ed classes to satisfy the four year institution's requirements, as well as upper level CJ classes. An advisor at either institution can explain it to you.
              Ah alright, I think I sort of get it. I think I will go in later today before class and ask. Just confused because I did schooling at a University before I came to a community college, and did about 2 years of Gen Eds there, so for the most part the Associate of Arts is finished, and after my LE degree is done I'm confused whether I can combine that and make it a 4 year.

              So what have some of you in here that have 4 year degrees studied? Just curious

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              • #8
                No, you cannot combine it and get a four year degree.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by just joe View Post
                  No, you cannot combine it and get a four year degree.
                  Ah, alright. Thank you for clearing that up. This really bites because basically the 2 years of work I did prior to doing Law Enforcement is all going down the drain

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Twinks View Post
                    Ah, alright. Thank you for clearing that up. This really bites because basically the 2 years of work I did prior to doing Law Enforcement is all going down the drain
                    No it's not.

                    You REALLY REALLY need to sit down with a academic counselor at a school.

                    Having a 2 year AND 4 year degree I'll do my best to explain this.

                    You get a 2 year degree primarily with your core classes or some may call general studies. Every degree has electives or a major you can focus on. Like my 2 year degree is an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. The credits it took is considered a two year degree.

                    The 4 year DOES stack on top. But my degrees were designed that way. You need X amount of credits to get a 4 year degree and the core, general, and elective classes you took for the 2 year count. But you have to take more core classes, general, and electives to get to the 4 year.

                    Generally your best bet is to stay with the same school that you earned your two year with. If you transfer the other school is under no obligation to accept your credits from another institution.

                    Clear as mud right?

                    Better break down:

                    2 year degree requires 60 semester hours (sometimes different if you have a quarter system)

                    4 year degree requires 120 semester hours.

                    The school is going to have a list of classes that they require in order to reward you with a degree.

                    If you have class X, Y, and Z then you don't need to retake them to get the 4 year, but you will have to take A,B, and C.

                    So yes, in a sense you can stack degrees but you can't get credit for the same class twice.


                    One more thing. The 4 year classes are going to be higher level classes that don't need to earn a 2 year and vice averse.
                    Last edited by wirefire2; 10-13-2009, 07:26 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wirefire2 View Post
                      No it's not.

                      You REALLY REALLY need to sit down with a academic counselor at a school.

                      Having a 2 year AND 4 year degree I'll do my best to explain this.

                      You get a 2 year degree primarily with your core classes or some may call general studies. Every degree has electives or a major you can focus on. Like my 2 year degree is an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. The credits it took is considered a two year degree.

                      The 4 year DOES stack on top. But my degrees were designed that way. You need X amount of credits to get a 4 year degree and the core, general, and elective classes you took for the 2 year count. But you have to take more core classes, general, and electives to get to the 4 year.

                      Generally your best bet is to stay with the same school that you earned your two year with. If you transfer the other school is under no obligation to accept your credits from another institution.

                      Clear as mud right?

                      Better break down:

                      2 year degree requires 60 semester hours (sometimes different if you have a quarter system)

                      4 year degree requires 120 semester hours.

                      The school is going to have a list of classes that they require in order to reward you with a degree.

                      If you have class X, Y, and Z then you don't need to retake them to get the 4 year, but you will have to take A,B, and C.

                      So yes, in a sense you can stack degrees but you can't get credit for the same class twice.


                      One more thing. The 4 year classes are going to be higher level classes that don't need to earn a 2 year and vice averse.
                      Ah, alright. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain that. I will definitely need to meet with my counselor and go over this stuff. The only issue about going back to the same school to retake classes is that the school is located down south of the state, about a hour and a half drive, so I'll probably have to transfer those credits to a University close to the cities where I am.

                      I have a general idea now thanks to you guys. For some reason this has never come to mind, but I'm glad I am aware of it now. Hopefully I can get this knocked out this week, after I drop off my app for a CSO position

                      Thanks again guys.

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                      • #12
                        If you need more information go to www.post.state.mn.us It's the MN post board web site. It has all the information on becoming and an officer in MN and a list of POST accreditted schools for Law Enforcement.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tick View Post
                          If you need more information go to www.post.state.mn.us It's the MN post board web site. It has all the information on becoming and an officer in MN and a list of POST accreditted schools for Law Enforcement.
                          Thank you for posting that. After a few minutes of browsing, I was able to figure out how to navigate the site--was a little confusing at first.

                          I read around and I see this program listed at Metro State, and it said:

                          Track 3: Peace Officer Completion Track (48 semester credits)

                          This program is designed for licensed peace officers interested in completing a bachelor's degree in law enforcement on campus. Students interested in enrolling inthe online program should go to http://www.metrostate.edu/msweb/expl...ogramreqs.html.

                          This then can be used to complete my 2 year LE degree into a 4 year correct? If so, this is awesome news, as I have heard that hiring in MN is a little down at the moment, so I will definitely have this as a back up plan if all else fails.

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