Open your minds, Open your hearts… the Priceless Side of Higher Education for Adults

The Format

Everyone is familiar with the traditional learning format of universities and colleges but an for an adult returning to school there are so many different options. Adults have families, full-time jobs and many other responsibilities. These responsibilities make it hard to attend classes in the traditional format. Adults may find an accelerated format with classes at night, or blended in an online format much easier to attain a degree in their desired major.

Not only do these other formats for learning make it more convenient for working adults to get their degree. It also helps expand personal ideas for life outside of the workplace and classroom.

Expanding Ideas

If you saw our previous post about building confidence in college, you know that attending a higher education institution has much more meaning than a degree. In addition to building confidence in college, an adult student also can learn critical thinking and brainstorming techniques they can take into the workplace or share with their community.

By taking courses in the cohort model, adult students are able to expand their professional and personal network. Many students were able to further their careers outside of the classroom thanks to the connections they made with their peers in the cohorts.

Opening your Heart

Attending college with other adults with similar situations and responsibilities, understanding the hard times some people have gone through and being able to relate to hard times in the past can change life after graduation. Many students become much more involved in their communities. They volunteer their time to help those less fortunate. They share their experiences from the classroom and in life to inspire the people around them.

These are the priceless benefits from higher education and much of it has to do with the students working together to achieve their personal and professional goals. As an institution we are proud to be able to offer such an atmosphere and even more proud of each and every alum to achieve their goals and inspire their neighborhood.


This is an experience that I always wanted in my life but I didn’t have the resources, or I didn’t have the confidence, or I didn’t have the support to undertake this kind of journey. Now that I found a way to do it I want to move on to the Masters program and I also want to do so much more in my community; volunteering, working, in my family, as far as getting more people and friends to grow the way that I have over the last four years. I just want to go to the highest heights that I can as an individual.

Its becoming better and better. That’s how you know that this is a college invested in it’s students. Some colleges decline and disappear but this college as been around for a long time and its only getting better. That is something that is priceless.

The Concept of Servant Leadership

In 1955 the Los Angeles Police Department adopted the motto “To Protect and to Serve.” The long standing mission statement of the Orange Police Department has been, “To protect life and property and to serve the public, always with integrity and professionalism, striving to achieve an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and cooperation.” What does it mean to serve, and what part does leadership play in this notion?

The concept of servant leadership is one that I firmly believe is the true essence of leadership. Simply put, servant leadership means to meet the legitimate needs of those whom you are leading. This does not mean that a leader should try to make everyone happy by attempting to grant their every wish. What it does mean is that leaders need to serve and sacrifice for others, making the legitimate needs of others a priority that is put above all else. There has been a general deterioration in American society of leadership principles and concepts, with a corresponding lack of responsibility on the part of many of our country’s leaders. The media has been full of stories about leadership failures in all segments of society: parental, community, religious, corporate, and public service. While there are still many leaders that members of society can look up to, the failures in leadership are foremost in the minds of the general public. Leaders at all levels need to put aside their personal ambitions and self-serving ways; and in doing so, they can build the respect, trust and cooperation that is so crucial to effective leadership. It is in doing for others that we gain their loyalty and increase our ability to influence. When you consider the greatest leaders in history, those who come to mind are those who have served and sacrificed for others: Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, to name just a few. This formula for successful leadership is simple, yet highly effective. It truly is in giving that we ultimately receive.

The concept of servant leadership is one that we strongly believe in at the Orange Police Department. Our supervisors have been familiarized with this concept, and are held to the highest standards as they lead our officers. In turn, we hold our officers to the highest standards, encouraging them to put the needs of the public first, as we perform our public service. In doing so, we work to build the mutual respect, trust and cooperation called for in our mission statement.

The successful future of our society is incumbent upon the enormous responsibility that is entrusted to our leaders to create an environment in each of their respective areas of influence that puts the greater good above individual aspirations. By creating these environments, we foster the positive development of future generations, thus giving our lives meaning and purpose. When we choose to put others first, we build influence with them that results in the cooperation that needs to exist in order to achieve the accomplishment of our lofty goals.



gagne Robert J. Gagne has over thirty-five years of law enforcement experience with the Orange Police Department and has been the Chief of Police for the Department since 2006. He is a 2012 graduate of the Master of Arts in Leadership program at Albertus Magnus College. He is a member of the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association and as past President of the South Central Chiefs of Police Association.

Mission Blog: Marney Tyrell

“Enhancing each student’s development, both as an individual and as a member of society”

As part of the ePortfolio classes Albertus Magnus College students have an opportunity to write about the mission statement of the college and how this statement impacts their lives now as college students and in the future. Student Marney Tyrell of Milford, member of the class of 2014, shared her thoughts on the College’s commitment to “enhancing each student’s development, both as an individual and as a member of society.”

The line from the mission statement that resonates with me is the following: “The College provides an educational environment dedicated to enhancing each student’s development, both as an individual and as a member of society.”

Since I have been at Albertus I have enhanced my development as a student in the way that I think about what I am learning. In one class my professor is extremely engaging in lectures in a way that makes students think deeply about what he is saying. Having teachers like this really helps students think critically about what is being said. Thinking in this way helps students’ process information and develop their own unique ideas.

I will live the mission by making sure what I learn is given back to society. For example, I will use the skills I learn in my major (art therapy) to help others in our society. Even though I will be helping individuals, they in turn will affect the lives of others. It is like a domino effect, one change affecting another change. Therefore, the larger society is affected and changed.

If I was talking to other students about Albertus I would say I feel that I have grown intellectually as a student since I have been going to school here.

Read more about Albertus’ Dominican Heritage here.