In 2014, FIT Spaceport launched a pilot program targeted toward bringing graduate education in public administration to public service and public safety personnel where they worked. That inaugural cohort graduated last summer—law enforcement personnel from a variety of local agencies who earned their Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree through the program’s hybrid on-site/online format hosted at Rockledge Police Department.
[pullquote]“The hybrid program was essential to our success,” explains Sergeant Christopher Crawford ’16 MPA who graduated from the inaugural cohort. “It allowed for the students, most of whom work shift work, to attend class once a week but still achieve the required contact hours. A traditional college schedule would be very difficult.”[/pullquote]
On the heels of that success, the site has four additional cohort programs under way—for Titusville Police Department, Melbourne Police Department, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and Brevard County Fire-Rescue.
The 11-course program, completed in lock-step fashion in two years, helps prepare officers for advancement and leadership in their community.
“The community gets better trained and better educated police officers, most of whom are, or are going to be, in supervisory positions,” says Crawford. “This allows for these officers to affect positive change throughout their organization and city with the goal of providing the best service to the community possible.”
Anene Nnolim, director of the Spaceport site, expects continued growth of program with current partners and hopes to expand to new organizations in the future.