Student Stories: Neil Fetner

Close up of police badge laying on its side
Category: Success Stories

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Sept. 11, 2001 is a day that Americans remember as a time of tragedy and sorrow. It was also time of unity, patriotism and brotherhood, when many Americans felt called to serve after the terrorist attacks. Neil Fetner is one of those Americans.

After attending college right out of high school more than 20 years ago, Neil wasn’t able to afford tuition plus living expenses for college. Years later, he got married and his focus shifted from education to family.

While many of his peers were getting deployed overseas, Neil started working full-time with the local law enforcement after 9/11. Many of the jobs in the upper levels of the criminal justice field require four-year degrees, and he was ready to move up in his industry.

“I felt that securing my degree would help me break through the glass ceiling that was hanging over my head in my career,” said Neil.

As the current captain of the Clanton Police Department in Alabama, Neil was able to achieve his goal of obtaining a four-year degree with Columbia Southern University.

“The flexibility of CSU's schedule and the cost of tuition was a very important factor when I decided to go back to school,” said Neil. “I was also very surprised that I got a lot of classroom credit for real world experience. The credit that I received for real world work experience helped knock out some of the lower level courses that my degree required.”

Years after deciding to serve his country after 9/11, Neil continues to strive for excellence by improving the criminal justice industry.

“I am hoping that over time, I will be able to contribute to the career of law enforcement and change some of the outdated practices which are holding our men and women in law enforcement back,” said Neil.

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