Columbia Southern University and Sheriff’s Group Awards Scholarships

Columbia Southern University (CSU), a major online school, is proud to announce the winners of the CSU/National Sheriff’s Association scholarship: Deputy Sheriff Danielle Ehrhard of St. Louis and Sheriff Tom Volner of Reynolds County, Missouri.

Through the partnership NSA and CSU enjoy, members of the law enforcement group can compete in an essay contest for a two-year scholarship to be used toward an online master’s degree and a two-year scholarship for an online bachelor’s degree at CSU. The online university offers many degree programs including criminal justice, business administration, occupational safety and health, fire science, and human resource management.

Ehrhard, who has worked as a deputy for more than four years, said she was honored and overwhelmed when she heard she won.

“Honestly, my co-workers and my captain were encouraging me to write an essay for quite a few weeks, but I was afraid of getting my hopes up and not getting the scholarship,” she said.

“After I finally realized that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, I started writing. It was a wake-up call for me, that even if I didn’t get it, I was determined to get back to school.”

And back to school she will go as Ehrhard plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in human resources at CSU. “I enjoy working with people and want to help them achieve their goals and advance in their field,” she explained.

Volner, who has been Reynolds County sheriff since 2009 and in law enforcement for more than a decade, also values helping others and the chance “to effect changes that make my county a better place to live, work and play.”

He will strive for a master’s degree in criminal justice with CSU. “This degree will allow me to gain new ideas and insight on the operation of the Sheriff’s Office,” Volner said.

Recognizing CSU’s flexible and self-paced class structure, Volner said he chose to compete in the essay contest for the online degree “to be able to complete my degree around my busy and hectic schedule.”

CSU and the NSA are learning partners which allows association members and their spouses and children to attend CSU with a 10 percent tuition discount and application fee waiver. To learn more about CSU online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, please visit

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