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Three Florida Law Enforcement Officers Contend for Outstanding Graduate Honors


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Among Andrew Jackson University’s eleven nominees for the school’s prestigious Outstanding Graduate award are three law enforcement officers living and working in Florida. “No other state claims more than one nominee, evidence of the dedication expressed by Florida law enforcement personnel in achieving academic credentials,“ said Andrew Jackson University’s Law Enforcement Liaison, Keith Schmoke. “And two of the three are from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. That’s exceptional.”

Paul J. Yesbeck and Scott Ashley, both with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and Anthony T. Dawkins of the Winter Garden Police Department, have been nominated by Andrew Jackson University for their superior academic performance as well as their dedication in achieving their degrees.

Yesbeck, married with children and a corporal in the sheriff’s department, decided to earn a college degree for personal and professional reasons, and enrolled in Andrew Jackson University’s popular criminal justice program. Within a year he completed an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice degree and, despite job and family obligations, graduated with a 3.80 grade point average.

Also married with three children, Scott Ashley is a busy man. In addition to his full time job as a sheriff’s deputy, he teaches at the police academy and operates a children’s karate program. Scott enrolled in the university’s criminal justice program in August 2007 and earned an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice with a 3.86 grade point average. Scott said Andrew Jackson University’s online degree program enabled him to achieve his lifelong goal of attaining a college degree.

Anthony Dawkins, married with two young children, needed a flexible college degree program because of his demanding work schedule as an officer with the Winter Garden Police Department. When he learned of Andrew Jackson University’s flexible programs and emphasis the school put on making things as convenient as possible for serving law enforcement officers, he enrolled in their master’s program. Graduating in only two years with a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a 3.89 grade point average, Dawkins says he is not done with school and is considering enrolling in a doctoral program.

“Those serving in full time law enforcement positions sometimes think they can’t balance family, the job, and college courses,” said Schmoke. “But when we see individuals like Dawkins, Ashley and Yesbeck, all with families and children, earn degrees in an online, but very vigorous academic program, it encourages others to follow in their footsteps.”

Andrew Jackson University, ranked the number one online college program by Online Degree Reviews, offers eleven degree programs including A.S., B.S., and M.S. degrees in criminal justice, plus a master’s degree in public administration and an MBA. The university is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as an accredited institution.

“The Outstanding Graduate and runners-up are determined by university staff votes,” said Registrar Bell Woods, “and a nomination is quite an honor in itself. These officers should be very proud, as should their families and departments.”


 criminal justice
 law enforcement degrees
 Federal agencies

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