September 27, 2023

Military Spouse and Law Enforcement Investigator Earns Scholarship

Khaliqa Wheatley has been interested in the world of law enforcement since she was 13 years old. Today, she investigates major crimes with a focus on child crimes and human trafficking with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office in the Florida Panhandle.

Her 10-year law enforcement career has shown her many experiences, beginning in California before relocating to Florida. One of the notable experiences of her career was being featured on the first season of “Live PD” on the A&E Network.

Khaliqa is married to Master Sergeant Micah Wheatley, a 20-year service member in the United States Air Force. Both members of the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA), they strive to live out the Air Force core value of “Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.”

Columbia Southern Education Group supports the AFSA with the Family Focused Scholarship, which is open to all members of the AFSA in the family member category. The scholarship covers up to $17,700 in one online degree program at either Columbia Southern University or our sister school, Waldorf University. Khaliqa is the 2018 recipient of the scholarship.

Khaliqa is currently enrolled in the master’s program in criminal justice administration at CSU and says this scholarship will lift a financial burden as she continues to do what she loves– serve her community and find justice for victims.

“I have been dedicated to my career for nearly ten years. We had a significant change when my husband was given orders for a permanent change of station from California to Florida. When we moved to Florida, the pay for law enforcement officers was significantly lower. I had to determine if I loved the work enough despite the pay being 60 percent lower. I made the decision to return to work, adjusted our budgeting expenses, which delayed me in returning back to school,” says Khaliqa.

“In making the decision to return to school, I had to see the classes as dollar signs instead of stepping stones to accomplishing a goal of higher education. This scholarship will allow me to continue my education, finally fearless of finances and ready to be successful.”

Khaliqa is not just a law enforcement officer, dedicated wife and mother, military family member and college student. She is also an instructor for the Florida Deputy Sheriff’s Association and certified human trafficking trainer for the Department of Homeland Security. She volunteers at the Air Force Enlisted Village and teaches dance at the Southern Dance Company. She is always looking for ways to grow and make a difference for those around her.

“My goals for the next five years are to first and foremost support my daughter through high school graduation. I am excited to tell her about working on my degree and have conversations exchanging school stories. Another goal I have is to promote within my law enforcement organization. I hope earning my degree will make me a competitive candidate for promotion to be able to lead with a progressive, contemporary perspective in law enforcement,” she says.

“I feel I am past due for achieving something for myself. Graduating with my master’s degree is a long-term goal I am ready to take on that will give me a sense of accomplishment again.”



  1. James Johnson

    She already has a stable government job and a husband in the military. The military gives it’s members alot of tution assistance already.
    This is an injustice to all the hard working poor adults who do not earning enough to go to college but desperately need a way out if the low wage dead end jobs they’re stuck in

    1. Libby Reilly

      Hello, James.

      Thank you for taking the time to read the Communicator and provide your thoughts. CSU is proud to offer many scholarship opportunities to those who wish to further their education, many of which are available to civilians. You can learn more about them here:

      We also offer many cost-saving benefits to all of our students because we believe that quality education should be attainable. You can learn more about all the Ways to Save, like competitive tuition and textbooks included, here:

      If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you. 800-977-8449


      Libby Reilly
      Communications Coordinator