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Couple earns degree from Cleary together

“We were able to maintain work and family life balance.”

– Erica Frederick

“Your dream can become your reality; it happened for us!” announces Detroit Police Sergeant Erica Frederick. After many years had passed since Erica and her husband Roland were in college, they decided to complete their bachelor degrees together from Cleary.

“We always said we wanted to go back to school, but it had been so long, and it was so expensive,” Erica points out. When they heard about the degree program Cleary offered, “how could we pass up the opportunity?” reflects Roland, who is a lieutenant with the Detroit Police Department.

The couple would receive tuition reimbursement and credit for their years of service on the police force, classes took place only once a week in person at Detroit Police headquarters, all remaining courses were online, they could complete their degree in one year, and the program fit their budget and their busy schedule. They were raising two young children at home, and they had a daughter earning her degree at Michigan State University.

At first, Erica and Roland admit, they were a bit overwhelmed. It had been many years since they had been in school, and they wondered if it would be too difficult. “I did not want to drop out,” Roland says. “College never was a focus for me and that’s why I didn’t stick with it.”

But this time was different. It was important for the couple to “do what we do, not do what we say,” Erica points out. “We were telling our kids how important a college degree was, so we needed to show them! Plus, I didn’t want my daughter graduating from college before me!”

“Cleary changed the way I felt about school,” Roland finds. “The faculty made the transition easy and achievable for me. They overextend themselves for students, they are responsive, attentive, motivating, and they guide you to success. They exceeded our expectations.”

Cleary prepared the Fredericks to be better leaders, better problem solvers and better mentors, they report.

“Cleary is a place where education and success merge,” Erica says. “Cleary gave me courage, confidence, critical thinking skills and the tools to be an effective leader at my job. And, we maintained work and home life balance! School did not interfere with family time.

“If you plan on advancing your career and being better at your job, Cleary offers a great opportunity to achieve your degree!” Erica adds.

“If this partnership with Cleary had not come along, I don’t know how long it would have been before we returned to school,” Roland says.

One of the best parts of their entire educational experience with Cleary was having their kids at graduation ceremonies. Their daughter was graduating from Michigan State on the day of Cleary’s graduation. They were elated when they heard the Detroit Police Department was hosting a special graduation at the LCA (Little Caesars Arena) for its law enforcement officers. The entire family was able to witness both graduations. “Our 5-year-old daughter and 8-year- old son now say they can’t wait to go to college,” Erica is thrilled to share.