Dustin Perry, Trine SPS Criminal Justice student
The flexible class schedule offered by Trine′s School of Professional Studies, along with pairing classroom learning with real–life experience, attracted Navy veteran Dustin Perry to Trine.
Perry, an SPS student at the Angola Education Center, is on track to earn his bachelor′s degree with a major in criminal justice in December 2013. In January 2014, he plans to continue at Trine to earn a Master of Science degree with a major in criminal justice.
Perry, of Martinsville/Bloomington, is also an intern in the adult probation department in Lagrange County where he assists with presentencing investigations, sentencing recommendations and administrative tasks, and accompanies probation officers to court.
Before Perry ever stepped foot on Trine′s campus, he began charting his course and said university personnel have been involved.
Six to eight months before his active duty ended, Perry began investigating where he could earn a degree. Perry had left Indiana University to serve in the U.S. Navy for six years.
"I′m someone who likes to set realistic goals that I can attain," Perry said. "Toward my last little bit in the Navy, I wanted to have a plan and have goals. Going back to school and finishing was my No. 1 goal."
He checked his alma mater, but found it posed the same hurdle as the other schools he considered: he could not start classes for a few months after his Feb. 27 discharge. He wanted to start immediately after his discharge and Trine provided that option.
"One person in particular, Andrea DeLancey, helped me out prior to getting out of the service. I talked with her about my academic plan and what I was trying to do and she helped get it all together to get me enrolled in class," he said. DeLancey was then a student support specialist for SPS and is currently Middle College director at Trine.
Perry said he met with DeLancey and Michael Lazusky, director of SPS′ Angola Education Center, to help set his course. The SPS classes started Feb. 28, a day after Perry′s discharge.
He looks forward to working as an upper–level administrator at an adult correctional facility or juvenile detention center.