1 DEPARTMENTAL REPORT FORM Department: Criminal Justice Department Head: Art Washut Fundamentals: Department Mission Statement: Vision The Criminal Justice Program at Casper College strives to promote academic achievement, vocational proficiency, and good citizenship with the highest priority placed in the preparation of students for further study at higher-level institutions or training academies. Mission The Criminal Justice program provides students with high quality and professionally experienced faculty and curricula that develop foundational knowledge in the areas of policing, criminology, criminal law, criminal courts and corrections from a social science perspective that prepares students for Continued education at a higher-level institution or professional training academy, OR A career in criminal justice Core Values Student Focus: the criminal justice department will facilitate the development of high quality scholastic skills and provide excellence in professional training to students to enable their successful pursuit of educational and professional goals. Excellence: the criminal justice department is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of scholastic and professional achievement. Community Service: the criminal justice department will upon request, serve as an educational and community resource center for local media, K-12 educators and criminal justice agencies. Departmental Goals: Goal 1 Help address the needs of criminal justice students seeking to transfer to a four year school, primarily by fostering relationships and meeting with criminal justice department heads from area colleges and universities and by becoming more familiar with the criminal justice programs at those institutions. Goal 2 Identify and acquire technology, supplies and equipment necessary to adequately meet the needs of students in the area of firearms training and to make our firearms training as enticing and complete as the training offered at other community colleges in Wyoming. Specifically, this will require the acquisition of a laser shooting system. Both CWCC and SCC have shooting simulators available on their campuses. Goal 3 Periodically update and enhance the technology, supplies and equipment available for the study of forensic science and modify course offerings as needed. Goal 4 Advance intellectual maturity, vocational proficiency and cultural appreciation by increasing the number of course related field trips available to students and by enrolling more students in internships with criminal justice agencies. Goal 5 Verify through the assessment process that graduates are able to recognize the definitions of essential criminal justice vocabulary terms, apply the rulings of key decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court applicable to criminal justice and identify or explain the role of criminal justice professionals in a free society Goal 6 Implement the capstone experience course for students who begin their course work in Fall 2013 or later.
2 Departmental Strengths: The department s greatest strength is its faculty. Their many years of practical experience and solid academic qualifications combine to form an outstanding cadre. Other strengths include the way the department utilizes the tremendous support available from the college. This includes the library, distance education office, academic testing center, financial aid, the writing center, student services and the career center. By wisely tapping into the expertise in these many support elements, the department strives to ensure that students are provided with the support they need to be successful. The department also makes good use of solid working relationships with area agencies. For example, students are regularly placed for internships with the Natrona County Sheriff s Office and the Casper Police Department. Interns have also served with Wyoming Probation and Parole, the District Attorney s Victim Services Office and the County Coroner s Office. Personnel from these agencies are also occasionally invited to speak in criminal justice classes. Many of our graduates are employed by these agencies. Our close proximity to the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy, state and federal courts, Natrona County Drug Court and Casper Re-entry Center provides students with the opportunity to see the criminal justice system up close and in action through field trips and internships. Department Challenges: UW/CC being collocated on our campus presents certain challenges. Issues exist between UW/CC and the main campus in Laramie which indirectly affect the criminal justice program here at Casper College. While an updated articulation agreement is in the planning stages, this will not likely resolve the core issues which result from conflicting approaches to criminal justice education. A dilemma exists to the extent that some changes which may be good for criminal justice students desiring to transfer to UW or UW/CC may actually be detrimental to the criminal justice department at Casper College. Balancing the popular training aspects of the program with the education aspects - Law enforcement is a career field with many required skills. A community college could justifiably offer a large number of classes to address these. At the same time, the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy does a good job of teaching basic police skills during its programs but has little time to explore deeply complex topics like homelessness, racism and justice which may be better suited for presentation in an academic institution. Meanwhile, students seem to enjoy and perhaps prefer the practical training classes over the traditional lecture-discussion academic classes. Deciding how many classes of each type to blend into a degree is an ongoing challenge. Open enrollment We presently allow anyone to enroll in the criminal justice courses, even those with undesirable criminal histories, questionable motivations or disabilities that may, in some circumstances, preclude them from certain positions with a criminal justice agency. While some students are motivated by a desire to become well-informed citizens, most are ultimately seeking jobs in criminal justice agencies. Graduates who have not landed jobs in the field are often rejected for reasons other than a lack of knowledge or skills. Measuring program effectiveness by assessing student success in gaining employment is thus complicated. In addition, many students who initially enroll do so with false expectations based on erroneous television and movie depictions of criminal justice. Thus retention of some students within the program is not always feasible or in the student s long term best interest. Acquiring and maintaining technology and software in current use by area criminal justice agencies and keeping faculty current with this rapidly evolving technology is a challenge. This is further complicated by the fact that not every agency in the area presently utilizes the same technology or
3 the same software. As a result, not all of the skills taught here are directly transferable. We strive to teach on technology which is similar to, if not identical to technology used in area agencies. Ammunition costs and availability are an unpredictable variable in providing firearms training. In recent years some types of ammunition have been in very short supply and what was available was expensive. Many firearm skills require extensive practice to achieve success. As ammunition costs rise, students invariably end up shooting less and thus student success in shooting firearms is threatened. The department has acquired handguns and rifles which fire the less expensive and generally available.22lr ammunition. While these weapons operate in a manner similar to full caliber weapons of similar design, they have noticeably less recoil. Thus it is essential that these.22lr weapons replace only the initial instruction and not replace all of the training with the 9mm and.223 caliber weapons. Teaching Philosophy and Pedagogy: When Art Washut was hired at Casper College he met with University of Wyoming faculty and discussed criminal justice education. What was clear to him was that there was a need to raise the bar, and to expect more from criminal justice students. In addition, 21 st century criminal justice is a very interdisciplinary endeavor which is served well by having faculty teach courses in other departments such as political science and addictionology. These understandings encouraged the pedagogy of the department. We, the criminal justice faculty, recognize that adult students have a need to understand why they need to know information before they will exert an effort to learn. Thus, we strive to help students understand why the information we present is important for them to know. We teach our classes in a variety of ways but always with the goal of engaging our students. Whether those students are engaged through discussions, poignant stories and examples, hands on projects or thought provoking assignments; our objective is consistent - we work to create an environment where students think about, process and/or apply the information that we provide to them and as a result increase their understanding. We give reading assignments expecting our students to read for comprehension and to thus learn from the authors so that they may gain other perspectives. We encourage our students to raise questions and to seek clarifications of any material they encounter which is confusing or unclear. We make ourselves available for questions or discussion when students want or need to talk. We encourage students to interact with us outside of the classroom on field trips and within the criminal justice club. We help students build skills that are useful, not only in completing courses, but in the future, and in a wide range of settings that are well suited for criminal justice students and professionals. To us, some of the most important aspects of the program involve students developing a range of skills that enable them to learn from a fairly large number of instructors in a variety of departments who utilize an array of teaching styles and techniques. Lastly we recognize that criminal justice students will benefit from interacting with other students who have dissimilar backgrounds and experiences. Distance Education Philosophy: The department is committed to offering a small number of distance education courses. Many of our classes, however, are presented most effectively in on-campus classrooms. Conversely, we would prefer to offer the Corrections and Probation and Parole courses live on campus but have only been able to achieve the requisite levels of enrollment when the courses are taught online.
4 Dual Enrollment Philosophy: The department welcomes high school students into the classes offered here at Casper College. High school students are not treated any differently than other students. However, high school students are not accepted into the firearms courses. The department has not been approached by any high school with regards to having high school faculty teach a criminal justice class at the high school. The department would welcome such an opportunity provided the instructor had both an appropriate degree and practical experience in criminal justice comparable to the faculty here on campus. Distinction: Articulation agreements (if any): We have agreements with both University of Wyoming and Chadron State College Special events or activities: Art Washut was selected by Casper College as a 2012 NISOD Excellence Award recipient. Third party comments, including specialized accreditation: NA From the Alumni Office based on student responses about Art Washut prior to Commencement in May 2011: Art is a good teacher and advisor Art really encouraged me as a student, as well as a person, to be successful in all my future endeavors; educational and otherwise. Art was a great advisor and helped keep me going. Comments from course evaluations: I found this course to be very informational and it applied to real world content. The instructor was always available when needed. I would recommend John Becker s class. I learned a lot about the law and how difficult it is to be in law enforcement. It was very interesting and would recommend this class to others. I had an excellent semester. John Becker is a great instructor and I would reccommend [sic] anybody to take one of his classes. John Becker is fun. His classes are lively. John Becker was an amazing instructor & I would recommend any one to take any of his classes. John Becker does a great job with this course. John Becker is a fantastic instructor. Every class was loaded with information and was very enjoyable.john Becker is very good at showing hands on, and is very helpful I Really enjoyed this class. The range time was awesome. (Firearms I with John Becker) I liked the forums and the tests! The class seemed to go a lot smoother and became a conducive learning environment. (Scott Wonser Introduction to Corrections Class) The instructor was very easy to speak to about problems and was very willing to help and do whatever he needed to do to help each student succeed. (Scott Wonser Introduction to Corrections Class) I would recommend this class. (Scott Wonser Introduction to Corrections Class) I do recommend this course to students. very good. very good teacher also. (Maya Russell Law of Evidence Class) Very good class, Maya Russell understands how students learn and what our needs are and shapes the class to fit that. I Would love to have Maya Russell as an instructor again and again etc...really enjoyed being here!! Maya Russell was letting us know exactly what we needed to know. I enjoyed her as an instructor, but also know I can go to her for any information as a student and receive help.
5 Personnel: Departmental faculty members, full-time: Art Washut, MPA Introduction to Criminal Justice, Police and Community Relations, Advanced Firearms, Police Administration, Workshops, Internship, Directed Studies and Cooperative Work Experience. In the Political Science department Art teaches U.S. and Wyoming Government, Public Administration and Independent Study in Political Science. In the Addictionology department Art team teaches Drugs and Crime. Departmental faculty members, adjunct: Maya Russell, BA, MA, J.D. Criminal Law, Laws of Evidence and Criminal Procedure John Becker, BA Criminal Investigation, Criminalistics and Firearms I Scott Wonser, MA Corrections and Probation & Parole Rodney Dye, AA Advanced Firearms Operations: Program assessment plan(s) on file? Enrollment trends: Yes No Departmental equipment and facilities: The college has been generous and responsive to the needs of the department. Our equipment and facilities have been substantially improved over the last 10 years Thank you! What we need for the future Storage space other than my office or the offices of colleagues. A dedicated criminal justice classroom, much like the paralegal classroom where resources and computers are instantly available. Ideally this classroom would be near the forensic laboratory but it could also be in Liesinger Hall. An equipment trailer or van. We presently rely on the generosity of Rod Dye. He loans us his old horse trailer and we have it fully loaded with firearms range equipment that we transport to the shooting range on a weekly basis. This trailer is packed and must be unloaded in order to access items stored in the forward end. Ideally we would like a slightly larger compartmentalized trailer or better yet, a van that would project a professional image and allow instructors to access items without having to first unload other items. The trailer or van would need to be fully dedicated to the firearms classes each semester. The problem with a trailer as opposed to a van is that a trailer depends upon faculty having a suitable vehicle to pull the trailer. Thus a van is preferred. Judgment shooting system or force-on-force training technology. We presently teach students how to shoot but have limited ability to instruct them on the even more important skill of knowing when to shoot and when not to shoot. A shooting simulator or force-on-force technology would be the stateof the-art in this area and could be located indoors on campus because it uses modified weapons and no live ammunition. This would be a potential solution to the challenge of rising ammunition costs and also allow us to train effectively even during inclement weather. Casper Police Department recently acquired such a system and has agreed to allow our students to use it for one class period in the spring semester but this is dependent upon scheduling and availability of CPD instructors. Due to their scheduling, our students have never utilized this system. Having our own simulator is really the
6 only way to enhance the overall firearms training capability of the college. A link to a system we will be evaluating this Spring is included. IR Tactical Budgetary Considerations: The budget has been adequate with two areas of concern. The price of ammunition, firearms and magazines have skyrocketed especially in the aftermath of renewed gun control discussions in Washington. Several students have indicated that they would like to take CRMJ 1700 and CRMJ 1705 but that they cannot afford the ammunition. We purchase as much ammunition as we can from our budget each year but require students to supply the balance. As a solution, we acquired.22 rimfire handguns and rifles and will do more training with less expensive rimfire ammunition. However, in the panic buying since the election, even.22 rimfire ammunition is in short supply. NOTE: Central Wyoming Community College and Sheridan College have shooting simulators for their CRMJ program and they use them effectively in recruiting students. A second area of concern is the cost of technology and equipment for forensic science laboratories which is often quite expensive. The lab is presently well equipped. However, future changes and advancements in the field may necessitate acquisition of additional or replacement equipment and technology.
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