New Online Program and FOP University Selection, UI&U’s Criminal Justice Department Educators Anticipate a Successful New Year
CINCINNATI – Advancements this year in Union Institute & University’s criminal justice programs in the Miami center and others, continue to strengthen the already popular degree track – considered by most law enforcement professionals as one of the most practical and respected programs for continuing their education.
In April, the Ohio Board of Regents approved UI&U’s BA in criminal justice online program, designed to help officers earn degrees while accommodating their unique work schedules.
“In Miami and throughout Florida it is becoming in law enforcement to have a college degree,” says Chief Roland Pandolfi, an advisor and faculty member for UI&U’s criminal justice program. “(UI&U) provides the structure and flexibility police officers need to go back to school. The new online program is learner centered and challenging academically.”
Colonel James Smith of the Pierce Township Police Department in Cincinnati is currently finishing his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice through UI&U’s online program.
“This is the only way I could finish my degree,” said Colonel Smith. “My work schedule is too demanding and there is no way I could go back to school on certain days or even evenings.”
Colonel Smith attended the University of Cincinnati, and finds UI&U’s online program just as challenging. “When I get on the computer late at night – sometimes as late as five in the morning – I am amazed that my professors are online, ready to help me,” said Colonel Smith.
UI&U President Roger H. Sublett sees the new program as a continuation of what it has done for more than 40 years. “Union Institute & University has historically focused on adults seeking relevant and meaningful education that not only fits into their busy lives, but also provides them with the knowledge and confidence to advance in their careers,” he said.
The new online program promises accelerated degree completion, “but not at the cost of engagement with faculty or with current trends in law enforcement,” said Sublett. “By working with professional organizations like the FOP, faculty advisors honor the police officer’s busy work schedule, expertise, and experience, all while fostering an officer’s ability to make a difference in his or her community.”
Dr. Ellen Marshall, coordinator of UI&U’s criminal justice online program, said that, unlike other criminal justice online programs offered at universities, every member of UI&U’s faculty is either a retired, or current law enforcement professional.
“We’ve been there,” says Marshall, of the faculty. She earned three degrees (including her doctorate) from UI&U while serving as a police officer in Delaware. “We know what the learners are going through so we can provide great advice and great guidance.”
Also in April, Union was selected by the National Fraternal Order of Police as one of only ten higher learning institutions to become a member of FOP University – a consortium of universities and colleges that provides FOP members with multi-varied leaning programs in both traditional and non-traditional forums.
“Out of the ten schools, Union is the only one that can offer baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral programs that can be tailored to the law enforcement community,” said Dr. Tim Mott, associate provost of distance learning for UI&U. “Being one of only 10 schools in that network helps us stand out in a very crowded field.”