UST190 - Goals Statement

      Having been a police officer for over 21 years now, I have reached a point in my career where I must look to my future. With the ability to retire at 25 years of service, a major career move, in the not-so-distant future, is a distinct possibility. It is a possibility that I must be prepared for. 
      To this end, I have returned to school with the view in mind of finishing my studies and achieving my Bachelor's degree. When I originally attended the University of Cincinnati, directly after finishing high school, my goal was to become a pilot in the United States Air Force. To further this goal, I joined the Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) and was awarded an academic scholarship to help finance my education. 
      However, when the war in Vietnam began to wind down, the need for pilots in the Air Force Reserve diminished, and as a result, the training programs were scaled back. As a result, my scholarship was withdrawn. As I was somewhat tired of school, I chose to leave the university.
      I obtained employment in a metal fabricating factory, and although the pay was relatively good, I was not satisfied and eventually became a police officer with the City of Brunswick. This proved to be a most satisfactory career move.
     With the police department, I have been able to advance to a supervisory position (shift sergeant) and become involved in all aspects of police administrative tasks, as well as routine police work. This is one advantage of working for a small municipal police department. An officer may be called upon to perform a variety of roles, as manpower resources are not lavish and many tasks must be accomplished in spite of this.
As a result, I have been involved in a number of projects with the police department which provided me with a wealth of experience. It is this experience that I now wish to build upon, in order to provide me with a solid foundation to move forward with my career.
      To this end, I now see that college degree would be a most useful complement to my work experience. Achieving a degree in Public Safety Management from the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs would provide me with the formal educational background that I now lack. Obtaining this degree can only help validate my work experience and prepare me for advancing in my chosen career field.
      I have also found that continuing my education at Cleveland State University has provided me with some other valuable benefits. Classes in this Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs have exposed me to new ideas and, most importantly, to a number of new people. Some of these people, whether fellow students, instructors, or guest speakers, have enabled me to make many contacts which may ultimately proved beneficial in the future.
      I certainly hope to continue to keep my place on the Dean's List and achieve my degree at or near my 25-year career milepost. This then will allow me to consider my future career path more clearly. 
      Currently, to possibly advance within the police department to Chief of Police, the Bachelor's degree I would have meets the minimum educational requirements for the position. Furthermore, as this degree would be in public safety management, I would have to be considered favorably should the position become available in Brunswick.
      Likewise, should a similar position become available in another city or governmental agency, I would be in an advantageous position to consider applying for that position.
      In summary, I see the obtainment of my college degree as providing me with the proverbial stepping stone to the future. It is an opportunity that I should not, indeed, cannot let pass by.
       I am a firm believer that in order to move forward in your life, you have to look back.That may seem contrary to the "Never Look Back" philosophy, but for me, looking back is an educational and historical experience in which I have the leading role. I am not condemning myself to reliving my mistakes, on the contrary; I have to be able to remember my successes in order to plan for my future.
      My future is what has motivated me to return to school and strive to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Directly out of high school, I felt no need to pursue a college education. If my mother could hold a job as a clerical worker, why couldn’t I? After all, I was the fastest and most accurate typist in the Port Clinton High School Class of 1973. That claim to fame carried me through for about five years. Then one day, I applied for a job in which I had no experience and wasn’t even sure what the job was, and a lifetime of public service was born.
      I cannot imagine a professional life that did not involve public service in one shape or another. I have had the good fortune of being promoted time after time into positions that not only helped my resume to grow professionally, but forced me to grow as a person. Working within the field of employment and training programs has offered rewards that, for the most part, cannot be described in words. I have written "creative" resumes for ex-offenders, planned job seeking skills trainings based on attendants that have never worked, and offered hope to heads of households who feared for their families’ well being. Conversely, I have held children that have run away from home until Family Services arrived, counseled youth on how to avoid getting swept away by drugs, and referred 14 year old girls to family planning centers when the suspected that they were pregnant. The employment and training jobs were bases to assist persons in finding employment, but they were also bases for some people to start a life.
      Throughout my work experience, as my resume shows, sometimes public service turned to government and municipal duties. Becoming involved in community projects that promised a safer environment for area residents enhances a community’s opportunity to grow. It was an extremely educational experience to be a part of the process of obtaining funding for a community and enabled it to achieve environmental responsibility and/or visual improvements.
      My future is no different that anyone else’s--it will be what I make of it. My goals are to finish my degree within the Urban Studies Program structure and continue in the field of public service. The award of college credits from Cleveland State University validating my employment experiences accelerates and enhances the opportunity of me reaching my personal and professional goals in two very important ways. First, I believe that having an endorsement in the form of college credits from the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs recognizing my specific employment experiences sends a strong message to potential employers that I have not only knowledge in this field, but practical experience as well. Second, I am not bound for the "world of work" as a 22-year-old college graduate. Though I do have many life experiences and I believe that I can make valuable contributions to an employer, I no longer have the luxury of time that I once had. Obtaining the requested college credits for my work experience accelerates the process in which I will be able to offer my self to employers as a college degreed candidate.
       I have recently held a management position with an employment and training agency that dealt strictly with persons who were referred from the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and determined "job ready." I have always said that a patient, younger people make better case managers. Therefore, because I am now in my mid 40’s and because of recent personal employment changes, my plans including distancing myself from being a direct service provider to a position based within economic development field.
        I believe that by "looking back" on the accomplishments that I have achieved so far in my life and looking forward to the future with a solid work history and the educational validation from the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs of Urban Affairs at CSU, I will be able to clearly determine the career path that will take me into the 21st century that equals, in every way, the career choices that I made in the 20th century.