University of Phoenix Student Profile: Making the Grade in Criminal Justice

Katherine Lawrence, Texas Lodge #323, M.S. Administration of Justice and Security January 2011


Why did you decide to pursue a degree in criminal justice?

I have been a part of the criminal justice field as a part of my education as well as my career field for over 21 years. I live and breathe this field in all aspects and areas…. It has become my lifelong concentration to explore and gain knowledge, and to also teach the skills that I have attained over the years to others that are pursuing this interest.

Describe your experience with online learning.

While attaining this master’s degree, I worked the night shift on my job, so I did not have to make any changes to my work schedule to accommodate school and that worked out great. Fortunately in my work area, I have access to the Internet and I am allowed to utilize the computers while on duty to assist me with getting my class work done and perform my regular duties as well.

Of the courses you took, what were some of your favorites and why?

One of the courses that I can recall was Crisis Management, which dealt with investigative work, and we were given an assignment to work as if we were in the Secret Service. The assignment was for us to get a high-profile suspect to a court hearing without him [being] assassinated while en route. It was so exciting and we had to really think on our feet to accomplish this task because we had several difficult obstacles to deal with. Another course dealt with diversity in the criminal justice field, and I felt that this was a very important and necessary course because the law has no color and each situation has to be dealt with accordingly.

What was your favorite aspect of the program?

My favorite aspect of the program as a whole would be that each course was unique and it allowed me to think outside of the box. In each of my studies I was given the opportunity to venture deep into several areas of the criminal justice field in order to attain the knowledge and understanding as to how each entity can be separate [but] they all work to accomplish a common outcome [of] fairness and justice.

What would you say to other FOP members who may be considering pursuing a criminal justice degree?

I can honestly say that…attaining this particular degree in criminal justice has yielded me the best GPA (3.86) that I have ever earned during my entire educational studies. Hard work and dedication will take you wherever you desire to go.

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