ADRIAN — Active firefighters, emergency medical service and law enforcement personnel are eligible for a tuition discount if they join Adrian College’s new Master of Arts in Public Safety program beginning next fall.
The “First Responders Discount Program” offers active first responders a 50% tuition discount for the first nine credit hours of the M.P.S. program, a news release from the college said. The discount is equivalent to one full-time semester for the graduate student. Guest students would be charged 50% of the tuition rate, currently $300 per credit hour, with no associated fees. Once nine credit hours of the program have been completed in good standing, guest students can then apply for full admission into the program and may complete the program at the current tuition rate, plus any associated fees.
Adrian College Sociology and Criminal Justice Department professor Zavin Nazaretian created the new M.P.S. program with the assistance of Christine Knaggs, Adrian College’s dean of graduate studies.
“We thought it would be a great message to send out as thanks to our first responders for their service during COVID, and also as a recruitment tool,” Nazaretian said in the release. “We do something similar in our Master of Teacher Education program.”
Although the M.P.S. program officially begins next fall, first responders would be allowed to take some classes now as a guest student, with proof of active employment as a first responder.
Nazaretian said a Master of Arts in Public Safety is an excellent degree for first responders who are looking to move up into command positions.
“For the program, we’re also combining public administration type roles,” Nazaretian said. “… If you want to run a police department you need to know these things. Quite a few programs that are included in this one are also part of the other graduate programs in the business department.”
Nazaretian said students could very easily start the master’s program next semester if they wanted to enroll in some of these classes.
According to Nazaretian, public safety is a great career field to get into as baby boomers are retiring, which is creating a vacuum in command positions.
“Unfortunately, with the times we’ve had, there is a lack of people wishing to enter the field of policing in general,” Nazaretian said.
“Things have changed drastically, so the field has a lot of potential,” Nazaretian said.
The M.P.S is a hybrid program with some courses offered exclusively online.
“COVID was a great learning curve for us,” Nazaretian said. “Most classes will be taught in person, but the hope is, I believe we’re already there, where students can use an application to tune into the classroom live if they can’t be there in person.”
Adrian College is in the process of setting up all of its classrooms with video streaming capabilities.
Nazaretian has been published in the Journal of Crime, Law and Social Change, the Journal of Criminal Behavior and Mental Health, and the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. His most recent work, “Perceived threat and officer-involved shootings: Characteristics leading to fatal vs non-fatal instances,” was published last year in Policing: An International Journal. The publication was co-authored by Cedrick Heraux, an Adrian College associate professor of sociology and criminal justice, and David Merolla, a Wayne State University associate professor of sociology.
Last November, Nazaretian and Heraux presented at the American Society of Criminology Conference in Chicago about their recent work. Adrian College graduate students also attended the conference as part of their class.
For more information about the M.P.S., visit adrian.edu or email Nazaretian at email@example.com.