Cleary U.Cleary University

Detroit Police officer completes degree at Cleary in less than one year


Romel Alexander started working toward his bachelor’s degree in 1983, right after high school, but “I never finished what I started,” the 30-year veteran of the Detroit Police department admits. That’s why the opportunity with Cleary University was one he couldn’t pass up.

After high school, college was what “I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do,” Romel says. As a result, “I had a lot of starts and stops. I kept saying I would go back, but life happens … a new job, a new relationship, promotions, marriage … Education falls down the list, and 35 years later, I still hadn’t completed my degree until I heard about Cleary and the program it offers to the Detroit police department.”

It all happened so fast, Romel points out. “One day, I’m hearing about the Cleary Degree Completion Pathway program, and a few days later, I’m enrolling as a college student at Cleary!

“You can’t put an age or a price on education!”

Through this program, public safety professionals receive credit for college courses completed and for years of service as a Detroit police officer. And the cost? It was less than $5,000 plus some tuition reimbursement. It was an easy decision for Romel. “How could I say no to this opportunity?”

“My hesitation was not my aptitude or my ability; it was having the time to make a 100 percent commitment to be all in,” Romel says. “With my work responsibilities and my role as a caregiver to our parents, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to focus 100 percent on my studies, and I did not want my routine disrupted. With the support of Cleary and how easy the school made the process for us, I was able to balance it all,” he says confidently.

Romel finds that every component of this newly-developed program was well thought out. Students meet one day a week at police headquarters for in person classes and the rest of the time, they learn online. Cleary made it so convenient for Detroit Police department students.

“It wasn’t easy,” Romel admits. “I hadn’t been in school for some time, but Cleary helped me overcome any obstacles I, and my fellow students and co-workers I haven’t seen the 20s, 30s, 40s in some time.

“I liked the smallness of the classes and the attention we received. The faculty literally will sit down with you and help you, they are open, they are accommodating, they are sincere, and they became my family.”  

Romel was technology challenged when it came to online assignments, but the faculty walked him through the steps, and he learned in no time. “It was such a comfort knowing the professors were so easily accessible and willing to help every student succeed,” Romel finds.

“Cleary made it so easy for us. You have to work NOT to be successful.

“Anybody who is on the fence about returning to school, should do this,” Romel asserts. “Don’t give up on your dream. If you have the opportunity to go to Cleary to finish your degree, do it! You will not be disappointed. I highly recommend this school!”