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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Thomas Cy Coleman

First Committee Member

Joseph L. Anatasio

Second Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Third Committee Member

Richard Blak

Fourth Committee Member

Judith Van Horn


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of California police practitioners and postsecondary law enforcement educators regarding current and future curriculum issues. Through this method, a new core curriculum model was developed. Additonally, the study investigated which philosophical orientation should be used in the fuure to teach law enforcement courses at the postsecondary level.

Procedures: The sample population of police practitioners, included 380 officers from 15 California police agencies. Also, 23 educators from California State Universities, who offer a law enforcement major leading to a bachelor's degree, were sampled. A modified mail survey, with a researcher designed questionnaire was used. Respondents were asked to rate a list of courses and philosophical orientations as to the importance of each, currently and for the future. Descriptive information and differences between the groups' perceptions were determined using means, frequency distributions, and two-way analyses of variance.

Findings: The findings indicated that while police and educators do agree on the level of importance for a number of courses, currently and for the future, there were also a large number (43 percent) of courses where there were strong practical disagreements over the level of course importance. A statistically significant difference was found in 37 percent of the courses when comparing group means. However, there was strong agreement between police and educators as to the future philosophical orientation that should be used to teach law enforcement courses in the future.

Recommendations: (1) Core courses for police should be standardized among institutions. (2) Studies should be conducted to determine future societal changes and their impact on the police so that courses are developed to meet these needs. (3) Police should have more input into postsecondary curriculum issues. (4) Curriculum development in the future should be based on police and educators' perceptions, future trends, criminal justice system areas of concern, and the need to raise academic standards. (5) A study should be conducted to determine means by which police and educators can cooperate to solve educational problems.



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