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Cleary University’s first graduates of the Leadership, Diversity, and Public Safety degree programs will celebrate at Little Caesars Arena Saturday, May 21

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Cleary University will celebrate with the Detroit Police at graduation ceremonies for more than 100 officers who completed their bachelor’s degree or master’s degree through the university. The celebration will take place Saturday, May 21 at 11 am at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Cleary partnered with the Detroit Police to develop innovative degree pathways for sworn officers and civilians with a bachelor’s of business administration concentration in Leadership, Diversity, and Public Safety, and a master’s concentration in Leadership. These pathway programs, launched in the fall of 2021, were designed specifically to credit officers and staff for previous course work toward a degree, for life and work experience, and for other completed certifications and training. This prior learning assessment process helps veteran police officers complete a bachelor’s degree in only 12 months at Cleary.

The 100 officers at the Little Caesars Arena ceremony on Saturday are the first graduating class for the degree completion pathway program.

“We are extremely excited to work with Cleary University to enhance the educational paths of our valued officers and staff,” announces James E. White, Detroit Chief of Police. “We are especially happy that in less than one year, more than 100 individuals from our department were able to complete their degree.”

Lt. Mark Young, a veteran Detroit police officer and president of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, recently completed his master’s degree from Cleary in Culture, Change and Leadership. At the university’s commencement exercises for all 280 graduates on Saturday, May 7 at Cleary, Lt. Young received the Graduate Students Leadership Award.

“Influence, hope, purpose, vision, relationships … these are attributes of a great leader,” he announced on stage after he received his award. “Cleary helped me, and my fellow police officers, gain a better understanding of the importance of relationships, and of bringing vision into our lives. I received a life-changing opportunity at Cleary; it is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Cleary has allowed me to be the best I can be, to discover the possibilities life has to offer. I represent heroes, but the real hero is Cleary University’s founder who gave us all a reason to be Cleary proud,” he said to his fellow Detroit police officers and all graduates.

“An educated police officer is a more effective police officer,” Police Chief White says. “Education benefits everyone in our great city of Detroit. I’ve always been a strong advocate not only for the pursuit of higher education but also its accessibility. Wearing this badge is an absolute honor and a privilege. It certainly is not a right. But the honor and privilege of wearing this badge means we work with policing excellence, and the foundation of that excellence is education,” he announces.

Alan Drimmer, PhD, president of Cleary, says, “We are honored to support the men and women of the Detroit Police Department who bravely protect our community. It has been a dedicated vision of Cleary University to create programs that specifically meet the needs of workplaces and civic organizations, and we are so proud that this first program, in partnership with the Detroit Police, already is overwhelmingly successful.”

Few universities award credit for corporate training and life experience in the way Cleary has. Our faculty developed this degree program to ensure it would be quickly achievable, affordable, and convenient so our students would be successful,” Dr. Drimmer adds.

Most students can complete their degree in only 12 months. They attend class in person one day a week at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters, and online simultaneously. Cleary also offers a dedicated team of professors who provide tutoring, mentoring, and advising to ensure all students have every opportunity to graduate on time.

“The support we have received from Cleary University faculty and staff has been unmatched, and their commitment is to be highly commended,” Lt. Young says. “Officers at all levels now can gain valuable and necessary skills, while advancing their career within the Detroit Police Department.”

To learn more about The Degree Completion Pathways Program for the Detroit Police Department, visit www.cleary.edu/detroitpolice or call 313.800.4145.


About Cleary University
Founded in 1883, Cleary University is a four-year, world-class accredited university, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees from a unique Business Arts curriculum, driven by a faculty of thought leaders with deep, practical experience in their industries. Providing on-campus and online education models, Cleary provides a robust athletic program and a rich
residence life with nearly 200 students living on the quiet, rolling 50-acre campus. Cleary graduates tend to land jobs faster than their peers and with higher earning salaries at the start of their careers.

Cleary University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a proud member of the HLC Standard Pathway, and an approved institution by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. A nonprofit university, Cleary’s campus is located at 3750 Cleary Drive, Howell, MI 48843, (800) 686-1883 with an education center within the Durfee Innovation Society at 2470 Collingwood St., Detroit, MI 48206.