Criminal Justice Department Review - Spring 2007

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1 Criminal Justice Department Review - Spring 2007 Section I. Criminal Justice Purpose and Goals 1. Mission: The mission of the Criminal Justice Area of Emphasis is to educate entry level and in-service practitioners in a variety fields related to criminal justice and law enforcement. 2. Goal of Department: The goal of the Criminal Justice coursework is: a. To provide a foundation of course work requiring students to assimilate knowledge, acquire skills and develop professional judgment and behaviors appropriate for wise and ethical practice. b. To graduate fully competent, skilled individuals who are ready to enter the work force or prepared to continue on to a higher level degree in criminal justice or related social science or legal field. The student population in Criminal Justice comes from a broad base in the community. Students are practitioners in law enforcement seeking to expand their academic achievement and professional development, community member seeking knowledge of the field, and students developing an academic foundation on which to build their future academic and professional goals. The Criminal Justice Emphasis offers curriculum to meet the needs of this diverse student body. The program prepares students for entry into area police academies and a range of baccalaureate majors leading to careers in traditional fields such as law enforcement, juvenile justice, corrections, probation and parole, and private or industrial security. The emphasis also prepares students to advance into programs offering degrees leading to investigative positions with federal agencies, state and local agencies, insurance companies and other private enterprises. In addition, furthering their education in criminal justice, social science or legal field will prepare students for the many new opportunities in the areas of safety and homeland security as well as a host of social science professions. 3. What is your department s five-year plan? What external and internal factors do you see as influencing your department s outlook for the future? How should your plan change as a result of these factors? What are the most important goals for your department for the next five years? Consider internal and external factors and review all the data as well as other sections before completing. This information should feed directly into your annual planning and actions plans. 1

2 Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) and Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, Fall of 2006 (see attachment). The agreement allowed OTC students that complete the Associates Degree with a Criminal Justice emphasis seamless admission into a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration Degree at MSSU. Missouri Southern has a broad range of majors and minors in Criminal Justice that will help OTC students develop academically and professionally. To this end, the plan is to coordinate with MSSU is further developing curriculum that will help OTC students transfer degree credit. In conjunction with collaborating with MSSU the department will make sure that development of curriculum does not limit the transfer of coursework to only MSSU but demonstrates a broad area of academic rigor to also meet transfer requirements of other area 4 year institutions. It is the goal of the Department to prepare students to be able to continue their education at any of the area 4 year institutions that offer Criminal Justice as well as related Social Science degrees. Along with this goal, it is also important to look at the professional development needs of area law enforcement practitioners and help meet those goals as well as prepare students for entry into area Police Academies with a strong academic base that can later be built upon toward a Bachelors Degree. Several curriculum proposals have been made to the Spring 2007 curriculum committee (See the saved curriculum proposals document). Courses that have not been taught will be taken out of the catalog and two new courses will be introduced that are part of the MSSU core Criminal Justice major. OTC students that can complete most of the core Criminal Justice major are better served at their entry point in pursuit of their Baccalaureate Degree. The goal is to actively promote the Associate of Arts with Criminal Justice emphasis degree and the transfer opportunities with MSSU and other area 4 year programs so that the program of study grows on the Main Campus, Richwood Valley, and OTC Learning Centers. In order for the program to grow, it will be imperative to hire a full time faculty member in the field of Criminal Justice. Hopefully this individual will have a strong broad based criminal justice background that will develop into a lead instructor. This individual needs to help monitor the program, evaluate the adjunct faculty teaching in the area, develop curriculum, start a student organization and maximize the marketing of the program to the communities in the OTC service area. Section II. 1. Admissions/Placement and Entry There is no specific student performance evaluation or assessment for entering any courses within the department. 2

3 Section III. Enrollment Trends See the saved document on CRJ enrollment data to review the CRJ course enrollment. The enrollment has basically been steady at a total average of 135 students during the Fall 2004 Fall2006. A system of staggering courses between the Spring and Fall semesters is being implemented to best to maximize student enrollment and be more efficient to the cost of doing business. Enrollment on the Richwood Valley campus needs to be assessed to determine a similar staggering policy for that campus. Also, online sections are being added each semester. Trends to the online enrollment need to be watched and assessed to insure that the student demand is being met. Section IV. Faculty/ Course Sections Information (past 5 years-fall semester only) Currently, there is not a full time faculty member in Criminal Justice. A full time faculty member in political science has taught one half of their load in the Criminal Justice Department or 3 courses a semester, the rest of the courses have been taught by adjunct faculty. Recently, newly hired adjunct have energized the program. One adjunct is the Department Head of Criminal Justice at Evangel University and the other adjunct to begin Fall of 2007, at the Richwood Valley Campus is a full time Criminal Justice faculty member for the School of the Ozarks. Section V Curriculum Section: How are students explicitly informed of your department s goals/competencies? Students receive advising from the Division Chair, advising center, the full time instructor that teaches Criminal Justice courses as well as adjunct instructors teaching for the department. How do you assess academic progress? Departmental finals? Classroom assessment techniques? Exit exams? Interviews? What coordination exists to monitor the progress of learning Since the criminal justice course of study is not part of a general education curriculum received in high school, the vast majority of the information in this course of study is new to students upon entering OTC. Assessing how much students are learning 3

4 is done through periodic testing throughout the semester, with a comprehensive final exam administered at the end of each course. Success is also demonstrated by those students who complete our course of instruction and then continue on at a four year institution and/or go to work directly in some area of criminal justice. Upon successful completion of the Criminal Justice course of study, the students will be able to demonstrate through various writing assessments and evaluations an understanding of: the history and evolution of the American criminal justice system; the structure and operation of various criminal justice entities; the numerous types of crime and the theories of its causes; the function and organization of law enforcement at all levels; the principles of criminal investigation and evidence collection; the structure of the federal and state court systems; the rules of criminal procedure and criminal law; the operation of local, state, and federal correctional facilities; One significant fact worth noting is the growth of the CRJ program at OTC over the last several years, demonstrating a need for the program. The growth of the program indicates a need and certain level of success based on the ability to keep a level of interest in the program every semester. Criminal Justice began, January 2002 with two courses. Currently, there is enough interest to offer an A.A. with an emphasis in Criminal Justice. The department offered 12 sections in the Fall 06 semester, with classes meeting both day and night, on the main campus, Learning Centers, online, and during the summer. The area of assessment and following up with students is a challenge for the department. One plan to address this challenge is to establish collaborative assessment with MSSU and track OTC student success as they move from our program to through the MSSU curriculum. Describe strategies in place to achieve established goals. After approval from the curriculum committee, the courses will be in place that are needed for a student to gain the expertise at the community college level to complete the AA with the CRJ emphasis or gain employment in the field or progress to the next level necessary for employment or to a baccalaureate degree at another institution. The courses and program are relatively new so continued advertisement of the program is important to establish firm solid numbers within the program. It is imperative to keep the energy up that was generated with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with MSSU earlier this fall. This is being accomplished by word of mouth within the field of CRJ as well as work with the high schools. A brochure is being created to hand out to classes as well as 4

5 advertise to area high schools. Prominent information about the program needed to be on the OTC website. As noted earlier, another important component of the program will be to establish a need pattern and a way to sequence the courses thorough out the service area in order to meet student needs. In the past, the program has had an advisor council made up of law enforcement and other professionals in the criminal justice field. They met annually to consider emerging educational needs in the area. The group seemed to be pushing toward reinstituting an AAS or Police Academy. The A.A. program is better served by coordinating with area 4year programs offering continuation of upper level courses and further degree opportunities. Other degrees such as paralegal or police academy would be the purview of other campus groups. The agreement reached with MSSU should charge up the enrollment and help students see the path toward a 4 year degree with multiple career opportunities. Similar paths should be emphasized with other 4year schools. Missouri State University and Drury University both offer Social Science majors with components of Criminal Justice. Articulation with these schools should be pursued. In order to make that happen, Criminal Justice should be a closely tied with Sociology, the most closely related Social Science as it is at both of these local universities. What co-curricular student/faculty opportunities (e.g. honorary organizations, journal clubs, study rooms, interest groups) exist to bind student socially to the department? What specific department efforts are made to promote them? Who leads and who participates? Currently OTC does not have any student organizations. However, it would be a goal, once we have hired a full time Criminal Justice Faculty member that would begin and organize a Criminal Justice Student Organization if the student body is interested in participating in such an organization. To this end, two new adjuncts have been hired that both are sponsors of such student organizations on their prospective campuses. Further discussions with the adjuncts should help us better facilitate a student organization at OTC. Do you have the facilities to achieve the academic goals listed in Section I (e.g. library, computer support and training, laboratories, offices, special equipment or rooms)? If not, what do you need and why? The facilities are in place that can support this program. The only thing that is lacking is the needed staff and time to follow through with promoting the program coordinating with the area 4 year schools and area high schools. Every indication shows that a Criminal Justice program should be very successful. The articulation plan with MSSU gives us a great opportunity to grow the program and help students stay in the area while they complete their baccalaureate program. 5

6 Curriculum History: See word documents saved in this folder for more information concerning syllabi, curriculum information. 6

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