Date of Award

Spring 2-17-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Robert Kelchen, PhD

Committee Member

Martin Finkelstein, PhD

Committee Member

Katie Smith, PhD


Continuing Education, Police, Incentives, Higher Education, Civil Service, Motivation


This study was conducted to identify the best practices that are being used to promote higher education in both civil service and non-civil service police departments. This study also examined the higher educational incentives/policies that are currently established in municipal police departments to promote continued higher education. Factors such as tuition reimbursement, educational incentive pay, higher education standards for promotion and hiring, and rank and time of service were examined. Based on this examination, policy recommendations can be made to affect the level of education for municipal police officers positively. The organizational analysis provided a look at previously unseen aggregate data related to the levels of education in municipal police departments. This analysis also offered previously unseen educational data regarding civil service and non-civil service police departments and how they may differ. Data related to each officer’s level of education was used to identify subgroups of officers who continued their education towards degree attainment after employment and those who did not. These subgroup levels were then compared to several independent variables which may influence continuing education choices of officers. The results of the binary logistic regression in this study showed that tuition reimbursement, accelerated career path, years of service, and rank at the middle management level had a statistically significant relationship with higher degree attainment by officers. The null hypothesis was retained in the case of all the other predictor variables. Recommendations were made regarding best practices related to creating an environment to facilitate continuing higher education.

Keywords: Continuing Education, Police, Incentives, Higher Education, Civil Service, Non-Civil Service, Motivation