The Relationship Between College-Educated Officers and Their Self-Efficacy on Performance: A Quasi-Experiment
AbstractThis quasi-experimental study aimed to examine by statistical analysis the relationship between college-educated police officers and their self-efficacy in the performance of their duties, whether it is patrol, investigations, research/ planning, etc. Previous research has provided mixed perspectives on the benefits of a college education and police officers’ levels of job effectiveness and performance. The purpose of the study is two-fold: (1) to determine if there is a causal correlation between an officer’s level of education and their self-efficacy, and (2) to ascertain whether or not officers believe a college degree made a difference in them being more effective on the job. Findings from this study indicated a moderately positive level of significance from police officers with a college education as having a higher level of self-efficacy than police officers without a college education. The study findings provide insight into police officers’ ability to resolve conflicts, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking. This case study suggests that possessing a college degree may improve crucial aspects of field performance, including using a lower level of physical force and receiving fewer complaints and disciplinary actions than officers of the same experience without a degree. Policing in the 21st Century has evolved as a solemn profession, and officers are held to higher standards and accountability. The investigators theorized that many police departments place a greater value on educated officers because of the changing nature of law enforcement and the cultural diversity needs of citizens in the community. KEYWORDS: Police, Police Education, Education, Self-Efficacy, Self-Effectiveness, Self-Perceived Effectiveness, Police Training, Perception, Training, College Educated Officers
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