Developing a Comprehensive Diploma to Degree Online BA/BSc in Policing at Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfrid Laurier University
L. Eisler
V. Clement
As per the Request for Proposal originally submitted to the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), this project sought to develop a proposed comprehensive diploma-to-degree program for students who had earned a Diploma in Police Foundations from Algonquin, Cambrian, Canadore, Confederation, Durham, Fanshawe, Georgian, Humber, Lambton, Loyalist, Mohawk, Niagara, Northern, Sault, Seneca, Sheridan, St. Lawrence, Fleming or St. Clair College. Laurier had planned to develop a 2-year curriculum that admitted students who had demonstrated the core competencies outlined in the Police Foundations Program standard and who had subsequently been employed by a policing department or division in Ontario. Laurier undertook extensive discussions and hired a consultant, BD MacKnight Consulting, to conduct interviews with police leaders across Canada. Between the feedback received through these avenues, as well as with the difficulty incurred trying to include science- based forensics courses into the limited space for curriculum in this 2+2 degree program, it was decided that changes were required to the degree program as originally proposed. As such, the new proposal that Laurier has developed and is bringing forward to its Senate in April 2015 is for an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Policing. This will be a 20.0 credit undergraduate degree delivered in the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences (FHSS). Students admitted to this program must be serving police officers and have successfully completed a related College diploma program. Due to the entry requirements for the program, all incoming students will be granted 10.0 transfer credits. The specialized program will be delivered fully online in order to meet the demands of students’ work schedules, as well as to make the degree available to officers across the country. The program learning outcomes were developed using the Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations (UDLEs) as a framework to ensure that students who graduate from the BA in Policing will successfully meet the UDLEs. Although a diploma in Police Foundations, specifically, is not required for entrance into the BA in Policing program, the learning outcomes were developed so students can build upon the vocational competencies, general education competencies and essential employability skills that are taught in the Police Foundations program. Using the program learning outcomes, a set of 20 courses was developed that will introduce students to a broad variety of concepts in Policing, specifically targeting the areas of concentration where police leaders believe further training is required. Examples of courses include PD100 – Models of Policing, PD101 – Communications for Policing, PD200 – Police Psychology, PD201 – Intercultural Communication in Policing, and PD202 – Leadership and Career Development in Law Enforcement.