Criminal Justice Student Spotlight: Michael Mastin

Posted December 15, 2014 | By csponline

Criminal Justice Student Spotlight with Michael Mastin

If your goal is to advance in the criminal justice field, earning your degree is the best place to start. With Concordia University, St. Paul’s online programs, you can continue working in your current position while earning a flexible, affordable degree on your own schedule. Discover how one student is balancing work and school, and why it’s all worth it. Michael Mastin is not only a police chief: He’s also earning his master’s degree in criminal justice from our online program.

Plans for the Future

Although Mastin already works in law enforcement, he is pursuing his master’s degree to enhance his skills. “I intend to utilize the skills and knowledge acquired to improve my performance as a law enforcement professional,” he said. “Additionally, I hope to be in a better position to pass on my education and experience to new students and others entering the law enforcement profession.”

Choosing a Program

In choosing an online university, flexibility and reputation were important to Mastin. “My choice to enroll in the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership online course was based on peer recommendations and the structure of the complete online course. As a current chief of police, my work schedule is often unpredictable and is not conducive to a traditional class schedule. The online coursework allows me to do coursework, assignments and participate in discussions when my schedule allows,” he says.

For Mastin, the most significant benefit to online learning was convenience. “The program allows for tremendous flexibility,” he says.

Requirements for Success

When he began his online criminal justice program, Mastin found that participation played a much more central role than he expected: “I was very surprised by the amount of engagement among other students in the online cohort. In a traditional classroom setting, students have the ability to disappear and refrain from involvement. The online program encourages, and in some cases requires, participation by all students.”

This high level of student involvement was different from what Mastin experienced in his previous education. “My undergraduate work was completely on-ground coursework. The education in that type of class setting was very much (based on) lecture and tests. The online environment requires participation from all students, which allows for a more worldly discussion on the course topics. Most of us have experience to share, which enhances the learning environment,” he says.

However, Mastin points out that time management is still important: “It still takes dedicated time to complete the assigned coursework. It is imperative that students map out their schedule and habits early in the course to ensure the work is completed. Procrastination can be a detriment to your success if left unchecked.”

Is an Online Criminal Justice Degree Right for You?

A successful career in criminal justice starts with a passion for what you do, but a degree is important to help you reach your full potential.

“I would recommend Concordia’s online programs to any one of my peers (who are) looking to take the next step in their profession,” Mastin says.

Whether you are looking to get started in your criminal justice career with a bachelor’s degree or develop your skills with a master’s degree, we have the program you’re looking for. Learn more about how you can get the quality education you want in an online format that makes sense for your life.