Criminal Justice Graduate Interviews

Interview with Joshua Tison, York City Police Department, York, Pennsylvania, Master of Criminal Justice Graduate:

Why did you choose to pursue a degree through an online program?
With my current work schedule, convenience and flexibility were important. Boston University offered a program that satisfied my educational requirements and offered the ability to access the course according to my schedule. It would have been impossible for me to attend class in a traditional classroom setting.

What made you choose the Boston University online program as opposed to other universities?
There were several reasons why I chose Boston University over other universities. Boston University offered a comprehensive 40-credit program that could be completed in 20 months. Most other programs require a longer commitment, and do not have the prestige and history of Boston University. The program is spread over ten classes and covers an important range of information crucial to modern law enforcement. BU’s course schedule is fantastic! Because I take only one seven-week class at a time, I am able to devote my full energy to each course. Boston University also offers a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. I feel that a master’s degree from Boston University will create opportunities for my career that otherwise would not have been available to me.

Have you ever taken an educational course online before this?
This was my first online course; however, I was able to view several other online courses. My wife completed one online course while pursuing her master’s degree in School Counseling, and a close friend also participated in a course for his MBA. Neither of the other courses I viewed offered such a dynamic and organized format as the one provided by Boston University. Everyone that I show the format to is highly impressed.

How does this online course compare with a traditional academic degree program?
I feel the interaction via the online program is excellent between student and professor. In some ways I feel like I am receiving individual attention. Because each class is four credits and offered in a seven-week time frame, each course is very intense and comprehensive. The degree requires just as much work as a traditional program, but the flexibility of when the student has access to the course material allows for convenient and personalized learning.

How does this course compare to your expectations?
So far it is going smoother than I thought it would. As a student, one must have good time management skills to balance work and studying.

Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered?
It took a short time to get used to the online format, but the demo course addressed most concerns.

Do you think there is a profile that fits most online degree candidates?
I think what attracts most candidates to the online program is the ability to fit the course into a personal schedule. The travel time prohibited my enrollment into a master’s program at other universities. It does not take a computer expert to participate in the online degree program, but it is important to be comfortable with word processing and sending e-mail.

What would you say to professionals considering taking an online degree program?
You will not be disappointed. The classes are stimulating and challenging, and provide a focused educational base.

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