About Randy McAlister '10
MA – Criminal Justice Leadership
Being a night-shift police sergeant, Randy McAlister had to find a way to return to school that fit his schedule. Concordia’s online Criminal Justice Leadership program provided not only an answer, but a place to interact.
Randy was part of cohort, a learning group of 10-20 students that stays together throughout the program, which he says made it easier to share his ideas.
"The cohort model seems to encourage deeper, more meaningful participation than the traditional classroom model," Randy said. "It created an atmosphere where we felt more comfortable to share opinions and to critique each other."
Although the cohort model was valuable, the most important feature of the program was flexibility.
"The online program made it much easier to return to school," Randy said. "I was able to accommodate my work and family schedules more easily. Without it, I doubt I would have been able to return to school for an advanced degree."
Randy also applied concepts he learned in class to real issues he faced in the workplace.
"Through research I did as part of the program," Randy said, "I found a new area of need in law enforcement: targeted violence threat assessment. As a result, I am developing expertise in this area and hope to use it to affect significant changes within the criminal justice system in the way we assess and manage threatening and violent situations."