Rogers State University recent graduate Cody Cole, from Verdigris, has been accepted to the University of Oklahoma’s Master of Criminal Justice program. As a non-traditional student, the fully online graduate program will allow him to continue working full-time.
“Cody is a very bright, conscientious and dedicated young man. Our classes and criminal justice programs have been enriched by Mr. Cole being part of them. I have full confidence in his graduate studies, and he will be a police officer devoted to his community with the highest integrity,” Associate Professor Dr. Diana Clayton said.
Cole earned a bachelor’s degree in justice administration with the collegiate officer program option. The COP option allows students to not only earn a degree, but also gain CLEET certification through the state of Oklahoma.
“Continuing my education has always been a top priority for me. As a future officer, I understand that our work within the community may not be seen this generation, but the relationships we make with the youth will dictate the view of law enforcement for the next generation,” Cole said.
Cole is the first in his family to join the law enforcement community. He completed his internship with the Broken Arrow Police Department.
“It was not until I became a sports official that I really considered law enforcement as a career path. Being an official, I was not always liked and sometimes disliked simply because of the uniform I wore. At the end of the day, I knew that I enforced the rules of the game to the best of my ability,” Cole said.
RSU’s criminal justice graduates have a strong academic foundation that yields a working knowledge of the law on which the criminal justice system is built. Academic peers recognize the quality of RSU’s programs through the standard measures of the percentage of hired graduates and other measures of retention and persistence.
“Our criminal justice degree programs are unique because of a balanced emphasis in both theory and practice as well as the foundations of law and the administration of justice,” Clayton said. “We strive to prepare our students for the challenges within the current societal climate through such courses as Race Based Injustice or Wrongful Convictions. Our goal is for our graduates to demonstrate wisdom while acting ethically and responsibly as they exercise their significant authority as criminal justice professionals.”
Cole was active in RSU’s criminal justice society, a student organization promoting academic excellence to make the criminal justice system and its practitioners more effective and ethical.
He encourages students who are interested in criminal justice to own their story, appreciate each challenge and use it to inspire others.
“Adversity becomes your story and is unique to you. My journey hit full circle when my 3-year-old son recognized The Stratton Taylor Library as we walked past it on our way to graduation. There were many times he accompanied me as I had to utilize the many services offered at the library.” Cole said.
The Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration include options in law/justice, cybersecurity, investigations and the college officer program.