Drury University’s “Badge to Bachelors” program will offer new scholarships for law enforcement officers looking to improve their career prospects.
The Springfield university’s new scholarship program aimed at law enforcement is intended to attract officers to enroll in Drury GO, the college’s 2-4 year online and evening class program.
Drury’s website states, “Badge to Bachelor’s is a degree completion program designed to give law enforcement officers pathways and resources to continue their college education through Drury GO.”
Qualifying students with a law enforcement background will be able to earn $500 in scholarship aid per semester. Graduates of Drury’s Law Enforcement Training Academy are eligible for $600 dollars per semester.
Drury spokesperson Mike Brothers told Springfield News-Leader that it is common for Drury GO students to be enrolled in one to two classes at a time, with a single course amounting to around $960 per semester. The discounts make the courses more “accessible” in the Badge to Bachelor’s program.
Brothers added that there is a trend during the pandemic to pursue more advanced degrees in the hopes of getting a promotion, not just in the law enforcement profession but all over. “More adults with some college experience already under their belts are looking to get back into school,” said Brothers.
In a news release, Drury said that along with the Badge to Bachelors financial aid, officers can also pursue other sources of aid through federal Pell Grants and Missouri Fast Track funding.
Two Drury programs of particular interest to law enforcement professionals include an associate’s degree and bachelor of science in law enforcement, and an associates or bachelors in criminal justice.
Regional law enforcement leaders were supportive of the program.
Springfield Police Department Chief Paul Williams said, “Any opportunity that enhances an officer’s ability to improve their education is welcomed and appreciated.”
Webster County Sheriff Roy Cole spoke of his own career and academic background at Drury University and the help it has given him.
“Although a degree isn’t always required in a law enforcement position, earning my bachelor’s in criminology and psychology and later my master in business administration from Drury University helped me see the bigger picture in my field and set me up for success as I advanced my career,” he said.