Program Committee Report-Criminal Justice

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1 Program Committee Report-Criminal Justice Goals, Objectives, and Activities The Criminal Justice Program prepares students for careers in criminal justice or for further graduate or professional studies in criminal justice, criminology, law, and related fields. This goal is accomplished through a curricular focus on criminal justice subject mastery, cogent and persuasive communication, critical thinking and problem solving, effective research and evaluation, and professionalism. This program serves the general education program by providing an array of popular courses that satisfy the social science elective requirement. Many courses taught by the criminal justice faculty are cross-listed as courses in cognate fields such as political science and sociology. The criminal justice program also offers a minor program of study that complements other degree programs. Students interested in law or forensics majoring in psychology, computer information systems, or natural science benefit from the criminal justice minor. Some Criminal Justice courses are also required for the Correctional Law Enforcement certificate program at the UAM College of Technology at McGehee and the Criminal Justice Institute degree and certificate program. The State of Arkansas estimates 281 new local law enforcement jobs annually for the period from According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, private security employment is expected to increase by 17% from 2006 to Future demands for probation officers, correctional treatment specialists, and Arkansas police and sheriff s patrol officers are expected to continue at least at current levels. All of these positions are employment opportunities for program graduates. The number of criminal justice majors ranges consistently between 80 and 100 students per academic year. There has been an average of about 13 criminal justice majors graduating per year since The number of graduates dropped in 2007, but rebounded after new faculty members were added to the program. Curriculum The core course curriculum in the Criminal Justice Program mirrors the Certification Standards for College / University Criminal Justice Baccalaureate Degree Programs of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). UAM Criminal Justice courses include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Field Study in Criminal Justice, Principles of Administration, and Victimology for Administration of Justice, Corrections, and Probation and People for Corrections, Criminology, and Drugs and Society for Criminological Theory, Law and Society, Criminal Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, and Civil Liberties and Civil Rights for Law/Abjudication, Policing in America, Criminalistics, and Criminal Investigations and Evidence for Law Enforcement, and Research Methods in the Social Sciences, Statistics for the Social Sciences, and Independent Study in Criminal Justice for Research and Analytic Methods. ACJS Standards also require courses on ethics and

2 issues of diversity in the curriculum. These requirements are accomplished through the courses Criminal Justice Ethics, and Race and Ethnic Relations. Elective criminal justice internship opportunities are available to upper-division students. Interns work closely with faculty to ensure that field experiences are relevant to the educational objectives of the program. Students have worked with agencies including local police and sheriff s departments, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections, and the U.S. Marshals Service. A student must complete degree requirements that include general education requirements, Bachelor of Science requirements, major requirements related to the Criminal Justice Department and minor requirements to receive a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree. All of these core courses for Criminal Justice listed above are offered annually, or each semester as needed, especially for graduating seniors. Criminal justice faculty members are given the opportunity to develop and deliver courses related to their area of expertise. In order to add a new course or change curriculum requirements, the change must be outlined in the Curriculum and Standards (C&S) Approval Form and submitted to the Academic Council by the Dean. The proposal is brought before the University s General Assembly and the Chancellor ultimately authorizes the curricular changes. Program Faculty (full-time/adjunct/part-time) The full time faculty members of the Criminal Justice program include one Ph.D. associate professor, and one assistant professor who holds a J.D. degree. In addition, two Ph.D. assistant professors from the Political Science Department teach cross-listed courses that contribute to the program. Appointment to a faculty position at any rank requires a graduate degree (preferably a Ph.D.), professional experience in criminal justice or a related field, or Juris Doctor (law degree). Adjunct and part-time faculty members must also have experience in teaching, research, or other creative activity, and educational service at other colleges and universities or in non-academic settings specifically related to the course to be taught. A full time load for faculty typically consists of 12 credit hours. However, one of the faculty members routinely teaches more than 12 credit hours. In addition to general orientation activities of the University of Arkansas at Monticello, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences requires that new faculty members meet regularly with the Dean to discuss issues and challenges. New faculty members at all ranks can be assigned an informal faculty mentor within the department. Adjunct faculty report directly to the Dean who outlines the performance expected of instructors in the department. The Dean completes a classroom visit/evaluation during each faculty member s first semester to ensure that standards of instruction are met. Faculty members, administrators, and staff are evaluated annually by their students, peers and the Dean, according to UAM standard policies. These annual evaluations include activities such as scholarly activities, university service, and professional service in addition to teaching.

3 Program Resources Professional development is an important part of the academic process for faculty at UAM. Criminal Justice faculty members are typically allotted an annual travel stipend of $300 for conference travel and/or professional development programs. UAM Faculty Research Awards of up to $1500 are also available for viable proposals related to on-going research. Faculty members are also eligible to receive incentive pay in any semester that he/she develops a new online course. The Fred J. Taylor Library and Technology Center provides various services to the Criminal Justice department. The library operates according the following annual library budget: $5,884 in total, which can be broken into two components, $1,669 for journals and $4,215 for books. Criminal justice students may access a wide range of books specific to the study of criminal justice and its constituent areas, ranging from policing through crime scene investigation to pre-law. Student can also access current research and resources from the criminal justice field through such electronic databases as Academic Search Premier, CQ researcher online, EBSCOhost Electronic Journals Service, LexisNexis Academic and PsycINFO. The UAM library has a website specifically presented as a Criminal Justice Research Guide to help the criminal justice student, Criminal justice faculty members maintain crime scene kits to facilitate hands on learning in the Criminal Investigations and the Criminalistics courses. These kits contain the necessary equipment for students to practice proper identification, documentation, and collection of crime scene evidence. A total of five smart rooms have been completed on the 2 nd and 3 rd floors of the UAM Memorial Classroom Building in the last year. These rooms are equipped with computers and projectors that allow faculty members to improve class instruction and enhance learning. The Criminal Justice faculty members also maintain a collection of instructional videos that further enhance classroom lectures across the curriculum. In addition, up-to-date computers and color printers are assigned to each Criminal Justice faculty member and assist production of student handouts and other learning materials. Majors/Declared Students The number of undergraduate criminal justice majors for the last three academic years was 86 in 2007, 80 in 2008, and 96 including 4 AAS-Crime Scene Investigation in Student recruitment is coordinated by the Office of Admissions and then actively perused by the School of Social and Behavioral Dean on behalf of the criminal justice department. The first point of contact for the criminal justice department is through the newly updated Social and Behavioral Sciences website which is designed to help the prospective student learn more about the opportunities offered in the criminal justice major. Each prospective student is contacted by the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences both by and by letters in response to recruitment lists provided by the University. These individuals are encouraged to visit with faculty during office hours, sit

4 in on lectures and/or attend orientation meetings hosted by the department at the beginning of the fall semester. Additional contacts are made when representatives of the school and/or department set-up displays at UAM campus-wide events connected with Homecoming, Parents Day, and Weevil Welcome Days. Curriculum changes have been implemented in the last three years to broaden the scope of the criminal justice department to administer to the changing student demands and needs. For example, a new Associate of Applied Sciences degree and a Technical Certificate in Law Enforcement Administration and Crime Scene Investigation (operated in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Institute of the University of Arkansas System) have been added to the UAM catalogue. The criminal justice department is in the process of organizing a criminal justice academic honor society to reward top students for their academic achievements and encourages other students to reach for the same opportunities. To a similar end, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences has recently initiated a Student Research Forum where students engaged in their own research projects (such as those expanded from their CJ 2283 Research Methods in the Social Science projects) are given the chance to present their findings in front of their peers and other School of Social and Behavioral Sciences/UAM faculty. These opportunities will help to build a social cohesion to the criminal justice student body and help retain high-achieving students. The focus of all of major courses and seminars offered in the criminal justice department is to prepare future graduates to excel in the workplace. To this end, faculty syllabi for all basic level courses (including CJ 1013 Introduction to Criminal Justice, CJ 2283 Research Methods for the Social Sciences and CJ 3313 Statistics for the Social Sciences) are designed to develop student learning outcomes that emphasize better communication and cognitive skills for both written and oral assignments. In addition, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Graduate/Professional School Discussion Forum gives upper-division students the chance to interact with professors about choosing the right post-graduate school for their needs, excelling in the application process, and acquiring tips and advice about how to study for the Graduate Entrance Exams. The Criminal Justice program had 20 graduates in 2007, 8 in 2008, and 11 in Seven students graduated in December 2009, and 6 students have applied for graduations in Program Effectiveness The Criminal Justice program provides a strong curriculum that is aligned with the ACJS requirements, which gives the program credibility. The program is highly student centered and has effectively used feedback from students and employers to modify the curriculum in positive ways. The program has a dedicated faculty who provide extra courses to round out the educational experience for program majors. The program has need of an additional faculty member to reduce the constant need for overload for existing faculty. The addition of on-line courses and distance learning is noted as important, but would be difficult without additional faculty. The program also needs to add or improve formal assessment programs at all levels; students, alumni, and employers. Especially important is the need for pre-testing and post- testing of students.

5 Most of the recent improvements for the program are curricular, with changes such as requiring technical writing for the program majors. The best identified planned improvement is the addition of equipment for two smart rooms at $3,900 each. The program is also moving toward a criminal justice honor society. The addition of a new faculty member is seen as important, but there is no estimate of cost. To address the need for better assessment, a capstone course is being planned. More formal instruments for surveying alumni and employers are also being considered. Institutional Review Team Michael Alexander Donna Hunnicutt Kathy Martin Alexandra Felix Belinda Wells Karen Fawley, chair Business Education College of Technology-Crossett Forest Resources Nursing Math and Science

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