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Minnesota Police Education Requirement: A Recent Analysis

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 79 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2010 Pages: 17-21
Susan M. Hilal, Ph.D.; Timothy E. Erickson, M.A.T., M.S.E.
Date Published
June 2010
5 pages
This article reviews key findings from a 2008 study which assessed the Minnesota Police Education Requirement.
The Minnesota experience seems to suggest that some sort of minimum education requirement beyond the high school diploma or its equivalency is a viable option for policing standards. The Minnesota model appears to have successfully increased the education level of all officers and support for higher education is favorable among Minnesota officers. Further investigation is recommended to replicate the most recent of the Minnesota studies in other States and compare the current education level of those States' officers with that of Minnesota officers. For more than 30 years, the State of Minnesota has had a 2-year degree requirement for entry-level police officers. Two statewide studies were conducted of the education levels of its police officers with the most recent in 2008. The 2008 study assessed the effect of the 2-year degree requirement on overall education levels of current officers over the nearly 20 years that have elapsed since the first study. The study also examined officer perceptions of the issues related to and associated with the formal education requirements. This article presents a discussion that reviews the key findings of the 2008 police education study. 1 table and 4 endnotes