alayna gnizak photo on trail

Alayna Gnizak, Bachelor of Criminal Justice Student

Current occupation: Emergency Medical Technician

What made you decide to pursue your degree as an adult?

Growing up, I was home educated. From there, I went to community college and got my Associates degree in Criminal Justice. From there, I waited four years before returning to school because of the time and cost. After attempting a three-hour commute to another university, I knew if I ever wanted to get my BA, I would have to do online schooling. Returning to school was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made but has been well worth it! I knew if I wanted to pursue my dream job in federal law enforcement, that I needed to get my BA. The decision has been well worth it and I will be graduating Spring of 2019!

Why did you choose to study at Tiffin University?

I chose Tiffin University because they offered the online degree program I was interested in. I chose Government and National Security in hopes to use what I learn in federal law enforcement. It gives me the versatility to do many different jobs within the government. I chose the Intelligence concentration because it opens the door for intelligence jobs both federal or civil. I added a minor in Terrorism & Homeland Security to branch even further out, making my future career path a broad one. A wise professor once told me to branch out like this versus getting my Associates and Bachelors in Criminal Justice because it fans out my perspective job options.

I also chose Tiffin University because they offered this program online in a way a working adult can manage. I worked full-time as an Emergency Medical Technician, working forty-eight hours per week, and was able to manage my school assignments. I love how TU offers two classes for seven weeks to make a term and two of these make up the semester! It makes it so the course load is not overwhelming or unmanageable. The due-dates are also easy to remember with initial discussion boards being due on Wednesdays, responses Saturdays, and papers due on Sundays.

What has been your experience with the program so far?

For the most part, I have had a great experience with Tiffin University! My adviser, Mary Ellen Denny, has been a great asset and a life saver! She has been ‘at my side’ since I began this journey. Scheduling classes has been carefree for me because Ms. Denny has taken care of it! It takes that extra burden off me as a student so I can focus on classes and have the security of knowing I will be in the classes I’m supposed to be in each semester. In regards to the teaching staff, they have a lot of professors that not only work in the field I am studying but have years of knowledge. Everyone has been more than happy to share information with me and help me grow in my education. Some have pushed me harder than others because they know they can push me out of my comfort zone to improve. Professors want me to succeed. I have also received letters of recommendation from professors for internship applications.

What keeps you motivated to stay in the program?

My motivation is the dream to become a federal law enforcement officer. I want to help people and protect my community. Knowing that I am ‘racing the clock’ to finish in time to meet the age cut-off limit to get into a career of federal law enforcement. Also, I am motivated to continue by the ever changing, never dull moment and learning new things each week. This journey has been incredible and keeps me motivated!

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about going back to school?

If you are debating about returning to school, I say it’s never too late to go back to school!! I know it sound like a huge commitment, because it is. Follow your dreams! If you know what you want to go to school for, grab the ‘bull by the horns’ and go back to school! You will meet other people who have either chosen to return to school or those just beginning their college journey… both bring valuable insight to the learning atmosphere.

Learn more about our Bachelor of Criminal Justice Programs