On Feb. 26 at the Barrie Campus Athletic Centre, approximately 300 students will graduate from a wide range of Georgian College programs. Convocation is an emotional and proud moment for many graduands and their families, including Det. Const. Grant Fournier of the York Regional Police. He will be crossing the stage to receive his Bachelor of Human Services – Police Studies.
“I can’t tell you how fulfilling it’ll be to finally achieve my goal of obtaining an undergraduate degree,” says Fournier, the first police officer to complete a Police Studies degree by taking part-time courses through Georgian’s University Partnership Centre. “Even sweeter, is knowing that I was able to complete my studies and keep my full-time job.”
Fournier decided to upgrade his education in 2008, enroling into the occasional course at Georgian College in Orillia. But it wasn’t until part-time online courses became available in 2012 that he was able to comfortably balance shifts at work, personal commitments and learning.
“As a first class constable, I was automatically exempted 50 per cent of the credits I needed for my degree. That was increased to 75 per cent after they assessed my education,” he explains. “The program was flexible, my instructors were knowledgeable, and with their support I finished my courses in October 2013 -with honours.”
Fournier hopes many more in his field will enrol in the future. “I’d recommend this program to all police professionals looking to continue their education,” he says.
As many as 900 guests – including members of Fournier’s family – will watch their loved ones obtain a certificate, diploma or degree at the Barrie Campus Athletic Centre. Others will tune in through Georgian’s livestream at www.georgiancollege.ca/graduation.