Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Chair

Charles Scheer

Committee Chair Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 2

Joshua B. Hill

Committee Member 2 Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 3

Kimberly Chism

Committee Member 3 Department

Criminal Justice


Police academy training for newly hired officers varies across locations and regions in regard to both training process and training content. The needs and demands of modern-day societies have evolved, and it is very important for police training academies to keep up with the practice of the police profession. Higher education adds value to police training as it reinforces the development of critical thinking skills and the necessary values needed to face the needs and demands of society, particularly in terms of accountability, professionalism, and legitimacy. This research presents a case study of two police training academies located in a Canadian urban province and in the Southern United States. These academies have been selected for the difference in the level of education required prior to attending initial police training at each academy.

The aim of this project is to determine similarities and differences in police training orientations across locations, to assess whether required higher education impacts trainee self-efficacy and motivation to learn during initial police training, as well as to identify whether motivation and self-efficacy are differently affected across locations.

Findings of this comparative case study present similarities among curricula orientations, and in the trainee self-reported motivation and self-efficacy levels. The effect of higher education on trainee motivation and self-efficacy during initial police training could not be accurately assessed.