For Francis Marrocco, pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management was a key step in helping to further his career.
“What attracted me to organizational management is that I was recently promoted in my police department,” Marrocco said. “I was in patrol and a sergeant for a number of years and I was recently promoted to commander, and I’m in charge of all of our patrol and investigation units. I do a lot of organizational management, and it’s something that I’m getting used to in my new role.”
The father of two was seeking a degree that was flexible with his full time job and his personal life. As a former Concordia-Chicago student, the Accelerated Online Bachelor’s programs proved to be the perfect fit.
“Being that I’m almost 40 years old, with a family and two young boys, I looked around and I asked other people who have completed their degrees and saw what worked for them,” he said. “It just fit into my personal life being a father, working full time, my wife working full time, it just seemed to line up perfectly. I don’t have the time to go and be in a classroom for four to six hours in a day, but the online environment is perfect for my work schedule and my personal life.”
On an average day, Marrocco will work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a police commander, checking his school schedule and getting some work done prior to his work day.
“I do a little bit before work, and after work when I go home, I’ll go home, have dinner with my family, and then as my kids go to bed I’ll finish up whatever work I’ve started for the day when it comes to my online program, whether it’s a discussion post or working on a paper, trying to knock out a couple pages on a paper,” he said.
When it comes to his fellow classmates, Marrocco says they come from all walks of life.
“You’re getting all these different people with these different skill sets and views feeding into the classroom, which is making it even more well rounded then you might be getting in the in class environment, where it’s mostly midwest minded people,” he said. “You’re getting people from all across the country, and all ages.”
Marrocco said his classes have included students of all ages, from 18 year olds to 55 year olds, as well as individuals from all different professional backgrounds.
For Marrocco, he plans to use his management degree to help in his commander position, and as a stepping stone on his way to police chief one day.
“Being that I have 15 years left in my department. I’m hoping to make chief in the next ten plus years. And to get to that, I would need to complete my masters degree, so this is just my first step in getting to that,” he said. “Even beyond that, whether I’m looking into teaching or looking into my post-career once I retire, completing this online degree in organizational management is just the first stepping stone that I need to make myself successful down the line.”
Marrocco aims to graduate in 2022, as because of former credits from Concordia-Chicago and transfer credits from on the job training, he is only around 35 credits away from graduating.
He said he’d recommend the program for anyone with a busy work and personal life.
“The professors work well with you, they stay in contact with you, they’re making sure that you’re staying on top of your assignments and your discussion posts, they’re reaching out to you, whether it’s via email or via blackboard, they’re making sure you’re getting the work done and staying on top of what you need,” he said. “One thing some of these professors stress is you have the freedom to work ahead; they give you the syllabus, they give you the work that needs to get done for the class, and they encourage you, so you’re not overloaded, knowing that you have a personal life and a work life in addition to finishing school.”
Despite feeling uncertain two months ago when he started the program, the support from his professors has helped him feel confident in pursuing his degree.
“Working with the professors and having that engagement with them, the reassurance from them, showed me that I can do this and I can get this done in the timeframe I’m hoping to get it done in,” Marrocco said.