University’s challenging Criminal Justice program will help meet need for an educated, highly trained, diverse workforce

November 7, 2014

BenU Police Mesa, Arizona ~ Do you have a background in fields such as psychology, accounting, social work or political science? Or perhaps you are multilingual? Have you always been interested in criminal justice or law enforcement?

Today’s criminal justice field not only includes police at local, state and federal levels, but a myriad of non-enforcement positions with work as vital as the crime scene technician or police detective.

Benedictine University recognizes the growth in the criminal justice field and the demand for well-trained and educated workers who can adjust to the constantly changing field. The University also understands that individuals seeking such positions are most often working adults who need an affordable option toward career advancement.

That’s why Benedictine’s National Moser Center for Adult Learning now offers an affordable Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice in Southwest Arizona. Adult students admitted into the program will receive a discounted tuition rate of $335 per credit hour – nearly a 60 percent savings.

The U.S. Department of Education indicates nontraditional students – those older than 22 – have surpassed the traditional undergraduate student population and are expected to increase another 23 percent by 2019, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for law enforcement and criminal justice professionals will grow by at least 10 percent through 2018.

“The criminal justice field has changed more in the past 10 years than over the past 75 years. With the advancement of technology in law enforcement and the move to intelligence-led policing, police agencies across the state are seeking those potential employees who possess higher education,” said John Meza, assistant police chief for the Mesa Police Department. “From the patrol officer on the beat to the DNA analyst in the forensics lab, public safety is also becoming a highly competitive field where skilled and educated individuals hold the edge. In addition, higher education is a requirement for promotion and advancement as we look at developing the leaders of the future.”
In a Benedictine University survey of professionals working in the criminal justice field, 100 percent of respondents indicated that a degree in criminal justice has value for their organization when considering new hires or career advancement for existing staff.

“The bottom line for in-service practitioners (administrators, department heads and chiefs of police) is that they are relying more and more on their first-line supervisors,” said Michael Salatino, chief of police at Benedictine’s main campus in Lisle, Ill. “And to be competitive and meet the challenges they face, supervisors must have a college degree. Certainly, a degree in criminal justice is advantageous.”

Career changers, returning military veterans and working adults all bring a wealth of practical life experience, but they still need a formal education to be able to keep up with the advances and changing nature of the criminal justice field, Salatino said.

“This degree will boost their opportunities, even though they bring a host of skills through experience,” he said.
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that nearly 40 percent of the nation’s higher education students are adults who are looking to accelerate their careers or change jobs. The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice is one of several programs Benedictine provides to make higher education more affordable to working adults. The Center earlier this year launched a $10K M.B.A. program in Southwest Arizona and has been continually starting new groups.

The National Moser Center was established to make Benedictine’s strong values-based education available to more nontraditional adult undergraduate and graduate students. It promises to provide adult students throughout the country with accessible, affordable and applicable private higher education opportunities.

For more information about the National Moser Center and a full listing of its programs, please visit



Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Education and technology blog edcetera named Benedictine University at Mesa among 10 universities in the nation on the cutting edge of tech for 2013.

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