Select police officers chosen by their agencies and departments will soon have the opportunity to earn their Masters Degree at the University of Virginia. Thanks to a generous donation of $600,000 from the Board of Visitors’ Strategic Investment Fund, the University is set to launch its new Public Safety Masters Program within the next three years.
With cyber security, public relations, and terrorism being only a few threats on the long list of current dangers that Public Safety officials must protect civilians from, new approaches are being developed to adapt to these issues with new strategies. UVa’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies intends to be on the forefront of such developments with its new masters program.
To accommodate the police officers who qualify for the program, many of whom already have demanding jobs, online education opportunities will also be offered. The School of Continuing and Professional Studies already has experience with online learning platforms as it currently offers virtual courses for most of its programs.
Many of the officers in service have already achieved a bachelor’s degree, so the Public Safety Masters Program will mostly target graduate students.
The Public Safety Masters Program is still in the beginning stages of planning and approval. Faculty Senate, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and the Board of Visitors must all ratify the program. Next, a statewide program director must be appointed, and only after necessary curriculums and partnerships are established can the program receive the green light.
With an increase in numbers of police officers being killed, broadened threats of harmful hacks, and the rise of terror attacks, police officers must adapt to the sudden changes, and that is exactly what Public Safety Masters Program aims to do: to provide police officers with the necessary tools to take on new threats and protect civilians.