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Herzing Staff

3 Ways Online Learning Made This Cop’s Dream a Reality

Here are a few benefits of online education, and how they helped Mike advance his career.

Online education has transformed the way students are able to learn and reach their career goals. Some might assume that the average online student is a college-aged male or female working toward their bachelor’s degree, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, according to, the average online student actually ranges from 25 to 29 years old. On top of taking online courses, this person often works full-time and balances other priorities such as family. Mike Tusken was no different.

Mike had advanced as a leader in the Duluth (Minn.) Police Department and when the chief of police was set to move to a new position, Mike was ready to take his place. There was only one issue: He needed a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice before he could advance to chief. Luckily, he found Herzing University’s Badge-to-Grad initiative, which allowed him to reach his goal.

Here are a few benefits of online education, and how they helped Mike advance his career:

Creates More Time with Family

When students have to attend a traditional four-year school out of town, it means they’ll get significantly less time with their families. Losing family time is especially difficult for parents such as Mike. When he was looking into how he would earn his bachelor’s degree, he didn’t want to travel to a campus that was hours away from his wife and three kids.

Allows Continued Career Development

Instead of traveling to an out-of-town college campus, Mike went to Herzing, where he could earn the bachelor’s degree online and still work full-time at the police department. He was able to learn on his own time when it was convenient for him, whether that meant working during lunch breaks or staying up late to focus on school.

Targets Specific Learning Goals

When working toward a bachelor’s degree in a traditional school, students may be required to take a lot of general education courses, as well as basic-level ones in their major. In Mike’s program, he was able to get credit for what he had already learned in his ongoing law enforcement training. Instead, he focused on the newest and most progressive aspects of criminal justice.

Online education provided the flexibility that Mike needed. He was able to earn his criminal justice degree on his own time and In May 2016, less than a month after graduating, he was appointed chief of the Duluth Police Department.

“The education and instruction I received at Herzing were top-notch,” he said. “The university was attuned to my timeline and career goals and diligently worked with me to meet them.”

Learn more about the Herzing Criminal Justice program


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2022 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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