New Rifle, Colorado Police Chief Credits Online Education Model for Career Advancement

Ashford University graduate mirrors national trend, uses technology for access to education

John Dyer is a seasoned law enforcement professional with 25 years of experience and thousands of hours of training. Four years ago, he made the decision to advance his career through completion of a bachelor's degree in organizational management from Ashford University.


Like millions of working Americans, he wanted to enhance his education but was limited by choices. "I was working on Whidbey Island in Washington, which my wife and I loved, but it wasn't possible to attend a traditional four-year university; there simply wasn't a campus anywhere nearby," Dyer said.

Dyer already had completed an associate's degree and chose Ashford University's online education model. "I took a million things into consideration, including flexibility, scheduling and value," he added. With a new promotion to Chief of Police in Rifle, Colo., Dyer is experiencing the benefit of a bachelor's degree. "I know I wouldn't have been able to make the move up to chief without the degree; additionally, without the online model I would never have been able to fit coursework into my schedule."

Dyer's preference for online higher learning matches a national trend. According to a recent national consumer poll by Penn Schoen Berland on behalf of Ashford University, more than 60 percent of adults between the ages of 35 and 48 say online degree programs provide a more realistic learning environment that mimics today's work culture than traditional campus programs.

Dyer sees his selection of organizational management as a natural fit for his career development.  "I already had a lot of hands-on training in criminal justice, so I was seeking a degree that would translate well across all work situations. The organizational management program offered a lot of courses applicable to where I wanted to go professionally, giving me real world skills I am translating to my new position as chief," he added.

As a leader and mentor to his staff of 22, Dyer continually stresses the importance of education. "I tell sergeants and everyone I come in contact with – you have to think three steps ahead to where you want to be. In many ways I failed to do this as I didn't start earning my bachelor's degree until I was 50 years old. Twenty years ago, the online education opportunity was not available. I'm glad it is now!"

About Ashford University

Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor's degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.