Saint Joseph’s College and Portland Police Department sign agreement for educational partnership

Through a new educational partnership between Saint Joseph's College and the Portland Police Department, police officers and all other employees of the police department can obtain college credits or earn their degrees at lowered tuition rates.

Under the arrangement, employees can enroll in online degree programs or take individual online courses and certificate programs through the college's online Division of Graduate & Professional Studies. Application fees will be waived and employees will receive a tuition discount each time they enroll.

"Continuing education keeps us current and contemporary as an organization," said Portland Chief of Police James Craig. "It's never too late to learn. As someone who has been a lifelong learner, I encourage all employees to take advantage of this new partnership with Saint Joseph's."

"We had a great response when we held our informational session," said Clarkson Woodward, personnel director for the police department. Under the partnership arrangement, each police officer is eligible for 15 semester hours of credit based on their Maine Police Academy training.

Saint Joseph's offers online bachelor's and master's degree programs, including a general studies major with a concentration in criminal justice.

"We all know how important it is to maintain a well-educated staff," said Lynn Olson, director of the Graduate & Professional Studies at Saint Joseph's. "We also know that one of the best ways to retain employees is by offering the means to achieve their educational goals. By joining with Saint Joseph's, the Portland Police Department has shown the foresight to do just that."

The adult students can take courses online, while maintaining their job and family responsibilities. The partnership is the newest in the Education Partners program of the Graduate & Professional Studies division.

August 12, 2010 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail