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chris stutes

Alumni Spotlight: Chris Stutes, MSCJ Justice Administration

Current occupation: Chief of Police

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

I graduated from Cedarville College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. After graduation, I was hired by the Xenia Police Division. In 2019, I was serving as our Administration Captain and was accepted into the FBI National Academy. During the training, I followed the Master level program through the University of Virginia. After graduation, I applied at Tiffin University and they approved 6 credit hours to be transferred. I had ambitions of applying for the Chief’s position when it became available and believed completing my Master’s degree would be beneficial to me and the community I serve. On June 10, 2022 I was promoted to Chief and in December 2022 completed the Justice Administration Program.

Why did you choose to study at Tiffin University?

I have a longtime friend that teaches for Tiffin and former colleagues that have attended and graduated from Tiffin. I have always heard great things about their programs and instructors. In addition, they have a great financial program established with the FOP to provide a discount in tuition.

How was your experience with the program, your cohort and faculty?

In 2009, I taught on-line for a college in Arizona and they used the Moodle platform. When I learned Tiffin University used the same platform that eased some of my anxieties about returning to school as a student. I felt the classrooms were easy to navigate. The instructors were engaged and responsive to questions. I developed many contacts and enjoyed working with the other students on projects.

How did you juggle work, life, and going back to school? Any tips?

One of the downfalls of being an older student is that you have likely been out of the education world for a while. One of the benefits of being an older student is that you are more likely established and an empty nester and have more time on your hands. I paced myself and took only the course load I knew I could manage.

What kept you motivated to stay in the program?

Graduating and completing the degree. I believe the degree and knowledge learned will be valuable in my position.

What advice would you give to a prospective student who is thinking about going back to school?

Do it. Have a plan and be committed.

TU’s motto is: Without risk there is no gain. Can you tell us about a time when you took a risk and what you gained from it?

As a Captain with the police division, I was protected by the union and my job was secure. When I applied for and was promoted to Chief, I became an at-will employee, and my job was no longer protected. However, the experience and challenges I’ve gained as Chief has been immeasurable.