Andrew Blascovich '20: LEPSL Degree Preps Him to Master a Career Decision

Andrew Blascovich '20: LEPSL Degree Preps Him to Master a Career Decision

The life Andrew Blascovich has built and the one he wants to lead continue to develop. An undergraduate education at USD, a military career, and a wife and newborn twin sons has been his reality the last six years, particularly the family additions that arrived in February just before the COVID-19 pandemic set in.

"Haven't slept too well in the last few months," he says, but with a smile during a Zoom interview from his home in Quantico, Virginia. He's obviously fine with his predicament because there’s only joy attached to having his boys, Logan and Zachary, and his wife, Carley, alongside him.

Blascovich - LEPSL

He’s serving his country as a Marine Corps Captain and an information systems officer for the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Staff Training Program. He works to improve the warfighting skills of senior commanders and their staffs through MAGTF training operations across several military operations. He's a leader and his resume states it: "A position of significant trust, supervising 15 government and civilian personal and accounting for $12 million worth of IT equipment to meet required operational demands."

Blascovich, who has had military experiences at Miramar, and has supported operations in Iraq, Syria and Kuwait, is driven to be his best — both in the military and through local community where he volunteers consistently.

Joining the military was a certainty for the 2014 University of San Diego history alumnus who went through San Diego's NROTC program and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in August 2014.

He has followed in his father's footsteps so far — his father was a Marine — but it is not known if he will make a move to the Navy Reserves, which his father did while also pursuing a law enforcement career that lasted 24 years.

Law Enforcement Future?

Like father, like soon-to-be for the son? The younger Blascovich has been thinking about his post-military life. Is a law enforcement career a possibility? If so, he has taken a major step, one that wasn't available to his father. In September 2018, Andrew enrolled in USD's Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership online master's degree program.

"I know it fits with my personality and a desire to serve the community," he said of law enforcement as a transitional career move. "Growing up in a law enforcement family plays a big role in my decision-making."

Being the son of a police officer doesn't instantly make him one, but when Blascovich found USD's nationally ranked and highly respected LEPSL program, he jumped at the opportunity. He completed the 11-class 31-unit requirements and his capstone in May 2020.

"The program shined so brightly on what I wanted specifically," he said. "I learned about real-life experiences in the curriculum-based studies and had the chance to learn from other law enforcement officers, students and faculty, about their real-world experiences. The program really did a good job promoting on its website the key points it offers to students. It had everything I was looking for in a program."

The LEPSL master's "goes far beyond a traditional criminal justice education by focusing on contemporary issues and refining skills needed to address today's law enforcement challenges."

Four key learning objectives are: Promoting ethical and effective leadership for law enforcement and public safety organizations; Developing knowledge and skills for the 21st century; Engaging in institutional assessment and change; and, Critical understanding of modern criminology and criminal justice issues.

"Prior to it, the only exposure I had to law enforcement was via family members who served as sworn officers," Blascovich said. "While in the military, I have also been exposed to a similar environment, but not the same as the law enforcement community. This program has immensely improved my baseline abilities to produce legal awareness, understand conflict resolution, and advance my organizational leadership skills that I originally developed in the military."

Blascovich appreciated networking with class participants from all over the country, gaining different perspectives from officers who were from different states and learned about their respective practices.

"I got a good look at how law enforcement is as a whole," he said.

New Degree Enhances New Opportunities

Blascovich was also back in a familiar setting in a USD program where small class sizes and access to faculty remains a commodity. Perhaps the biggest difference between his two USD degree stints is that he met his wife, Carley, a 2014 USD biology alumna, as an undergrad.

"We were in the same circle of friends in the early stages of our time at USD. We didn't start dating until the end of junior year. When we married, we made sure to take our time because we wanted to be sure the military lifestyle would work for us," he said.

Becoming a father in the homestretch of finishing his degree and just before COVID took hold around the world brought new experiences. Blascovich's life is full of many good things.

The LEPSL degree helps Blascovich apply what he learned to different aspects of his leadership and personal skillset.

"I could use tactics and techniques from my courses and it changed my outlook on how I do things when I’m in charge of others. It helps how I communicate with others, helps me shape conversations better. I'm a better speaker, better writer, and better at conveying a message, writing evaluations and more. It's a big deal."

The growth shows the desire of a person who is a leader at work, at home and for his family. The decision to transition to civilian life is still up to two years away, he admits, but he's taken a significant step forward to make his decision easier. He has the LEPSL degree to prove it.

— Ryan T. Blystone

Photos in slideshow are courtesy of Andrew Blascovich

Applications for LEPSL Fall 2020 are due August 3

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