Assessing the Effect of College Education on Police Job Performance

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


The research was designed to assess the effect of college education on police job performance at two law enforcement agencies located in Monroe, Louisiana. Subjects included a sample of 150 police officers from the two agencies including 85 non-supervisory patrol officers and 65 supervisory officers. All 150 police officers and all 85 patrol officers were grouped in three different educational groups: (1) high school or college credit hours completed; (2) no college degree or college degree; and (3) no college education or college degree. Two research instruments were designed to evaluate the job performance of the police officers. The first research instrument, Service Record Performance Measures, was designed to evaluate the job performance of all 150 police officers by collecting data on six job performance related components from each officer's service record for a period of five years from 1978 to 1982. The second instrument, Patrol Officers' Performance Evaluation, was utilized to have the job performance of all patrol officers evaluated by two of their immediate supervisors. Overall performance evaluation of all 150 police officers, obtained from their service record, and the supervisors' evaluation of job performance of all 85 patrol officers were calculated, tabulated, analyzed, and compared with the three different levels of education by utilizing the statistical method of multiple regression. It was found that when measured from job performance related service record components of police officers and from supervisors' evaluations of the job performance of patrol officers, the college educated officers, including those who had baccalaureate and master's degrees, did not perform better than the officers who did not have any college education or had no college degree.