When Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder crossed paths with the University of Arkansas System eVersity message in Spring 2016, he recognized an opportunity to make his force stronger.
After a conversation with Sgt. John Wood, training officer for the state’s second-largest Sheriff’s department, the wheels were in motion to take advantage of the state’s only 100 percent-online university to offer and provide training and education to more than 300 Washington County Sheriff’s Office personnel.
“Our officers need a quick, effective, affordable pathway toward completion of their degree to open up career opportunities and make them a stronger member of our department,” Wood said. “With their busy shifts and life demands, it’s hard for the guys we train to see a path toward completing a college degree. But eVersity has taken down a lot of those barriers and I see the creation of this institution as a real benefit not only for our office, but for our profession.”
Aside from Criminal Justice, eVersity also offers degrees and certificates in Healthcare Management, Information Technology, Business and University Studies.
“The ability to take one class at a time in an accessible, affordable fashion is a real benefit for the time demands facing these officers,” said Christopher Dickie, director of employer relations and community outreach at eVersity. “These officers work hard, long hours and balance family life on top of that. It’s been a pleasure getting to know the Washington County Sherriff’s Office personnel and look forward to a meaningful alliance that’s beneficial for everyone.”