MIAMI UNIVERSITY MASTER OF ARTS JUSTICE STUDIES PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT PLAN

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1 MIAMI UNIVERSITY MASTER OF ARTS JUSTICE STUDIES PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT PLAN Submitted xx 2014

2 PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT PLAN Master of Arts in Justice Studies 1. Description of the new degree program, rationale for that designation, definition of the focus of the program and a brief description of its disciplinary purpose and significance. Miami University proposes the creation of a Master of Arts degree in Justice Studies (MA in JS). The proposed MA in JS is designed to provide criminal justice and related social service professionals with knowledge and skills that are needed in the workplace, thereby increasing the marketability of graduates who are seeking to enter the field and enabling the promotion and advancement of graduates who are already in the field. Most of the students are expected to be working professionals. To accommodate their schedules, the proposed program will be delivered entirely online. Both part-time and fulltime students will be admitted to the program. 2. Description of the proposed curriculum. Curriculum The proposed degree will be completed in 30 semester hours. The curriculum is divided into core, concentration, and either elective or project hours. The core will be required of all students. Through the core students will study the fundamentals of criminal justice, criminal justice theory/systems, statistics and research methods, and constitutional criminal procedure and civil liberties. In addition to the core, each student will select and complete three courses in a concentration of the student s choice. Initially, three concentrations will be offered: Administration; Law and Justice; and Analytical Methods in Criminal Justice. The curriculum has been designed to allow for additional concentrations to be developed, as needs in the field and interdepartmental opportunities arise. Finally, students will choose, during the first semester of study, either a project or comprehensive examination as a culminating experience. Projects, which will earn three credit hours, will be developed in consultation with a faculty advisor. When required, a volunteer on-site facilitator will be recruited to assist both the student and faculty advisor. Students will be expected to identify learning objectives at the outset of the project and to orally defend the work when completed. Because the program will be online, students and faculty will be expected to maintain regular contact with each other using Skype or other forms of video conferencing. Finally, students may elect to take a comprehensive examination as their culminating experience. The comprehensive examination will test knowledge acquired in both core and concentration classes. Students who elect to take the comprehensive examination must complete six hours of electives. 1

3 The elective hours will be drawn from JCS and other departments. These will include courses from one of the concentrations not selected by a student or independent study. Special topics courses that cover contemporary issues in justice and administration will be offered in subsequent years. In addition, courses from other departments (e.g. political science/public administration, management, computer technology, sociology/criminology) may be selected with the approval of a faculty advisor and department chair. Core (18 hours): All of the following must be completed: (3) CJS 611 Criminal Justice Systems: Theory (3) CJS 612 Criminal Justice Systems: Practice (3) CJS/STA 615 Statistics for Criminal Justice (3) CJS 685 Research Methods (3) CJS 631 Law, Liberty, and Criminal Justice (3) CJS 641 Crime Analysis and Problem Solving Concentrations (9 hours): One of the following concentrations must be completed: Administration (3) POL 567 Public Budgeting (3) POL 568 Public Personnel Administration (3) CJS 632 Legal Aspects of Justice Administration Or Analytical Methods in Criminal Justice (3) GEO 541 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3) GEO 545 (pending approval) Geographic Information Systems in Criminal Justice (3) STA/ISA 635 Introduction to Predictive Analytics Or Law and Justice (3) CJS 551 Comparative Justice Systems (3) CJS 533 Legal Aspects of Corrections (3) CJS 534 Legal Aspects of Policing Culminating Experience (3) CJS 691 Project Or (3) Electives + Comprehensive Examination 2

4 Time to Completion A full-time student will be able to complete the degree in one year. Part-time students will be admitted with the understanding that they intend to progress at a pace that will enable them to complete the degree in three years or less. The degree requirements are the same for part-time and full-time students. Admission A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale, professional statement, letters of recommendation, and in some cases, interviews, will be required to apply for admission to the program. 3. Administrative arrangements for the proposed program: department and school or college involved. The MA in JS will be offered by the Department of Justice and Community Studies (JCS) in the College of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences at Miami University s regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown. JCS currently offers an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and Investigation, and a Bachelor of Science in Civic and Regional Development. The Department of Geography, which will offer the Geographic Information System courses, already offers the courses included in this degree at Miami s regional campuses and has agreed to redevelop them into an online format through two full-time regional campuses faculty. Similarly, the Department of Statistics has agreed to work with JCS to develop a new statistics for criminal justice course, CJS/STA 615 and the Department of Political Science has agreed to work with JCS to offer and redevelop POL 567 and POL 568 into online courses. 4. Evidence of need for the new degree program, including the opportunities for employment of graduates. This section should also address other similar programs in the state addressing this need and potential duplication of programs in the state and region. The data that are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its Ohio counterpart project a need for entry level police officers and detectives. While the proposed program will be available to this population, it is primarily intended to serve individuals already in a criminal justice or related field who are seeking to supplement their skills sets and/or professionally advance. JCS surveyed the chiefs of police of Butler County, Ohio to gauge need. The chiefs reported that a master s degree would be beneficial to officers interested in advancement and that G.I.S., administration, and research skills are all needed in the field. Fortunately, these are areas of expertise possessed by faculty members at Miami s regional campuses. The online nature of the degree gives JCS a national market, ensuring the financial viability of the proposed degree. The only online graduate degree program in the region is offered by the University of Cincinnati. UC describes its program as teaching the conceptual and theoretical 3

5 frameworks that inform the study of crime and criminal justice, assess problems through a rigorous research approach, and conduct improved policy analysis. The program will also help you identify current trends in the areas of corrections, policing, criminal justice, and criminology. Many of our graduates pursue careers in research and university settings or assume leadership roles in the criminal justice system. The proposed MA in JS curriculum is considerably different from the UC degree. Rather than offering specific education in policing, corrections, or criminology, the proposed degree offers students a choice between three areas of concentration, Administration, Law and Justice, and Analytical Methods. There are other online programs offered by Ohio public universities. While the current PDP was in development, Bowling Green State University reinstated its online criminal justice Master s program. The BGSU M.S. provides students with a strong foundation in criminal justice. It does not emphasize administration, law, or analytics and accordingly, is easily distinguishable from the proposed degree. The proposed degree can also be distinguished from The University of Toledo s current initiative to redevelop its M.A. in Criminal Justice into a distance format because of its emphases on juvenile justice and criminal justice in metropolitan areas. The proposed degree doesn t focus whatsoever on juvenile justice and it doesn t have a metropolitan emphasis. Rather, it emphasizes administrative and crime analysis knowledge and skills. Accordingly, the proposed degree offers something new to online justice studies students without directly competing with existing programs. The same is true of Youngstown State University s online M.S. in Criminal Justice. That program doesn t emphasize budgeting and personnel, law, or crime analytics. 5. Prospective enrollment. Initially, enrollment is projected to be limited to 20 students admitted per year, yielding students in years two and thereafter. 6. Special efforts to enroll and retain underrepresented groups in the given discipline. Miami s regional campuses have historically served underrepresented populations, including first generation, lower economic status, and racial minority students. JCS intends to work with the admissions, recruitment, and marketing personnel at the regional campuses to develop strategies to reach underrepresented populations. 7. Availability and adequacy of the faculty and facilities available for the new degree program. Faculty JCS has six full-time faculty members. Five of these individuals hold a terminal degree; three in criminal justice, one in political science, and one in law and higher education. The sixth holds two master s degrees, one in political science and another in criminal justice. This faculty member is a retired police chief and township administrator who brings considerable administrative experience to the classroom. Two additional tenure track faculty members 4

6 will be joining JCS who will also be able to provide support the program. The searches for these positions will occur during the AY. In addition, the regional campuses have geography, political science, and statistics faculty members who are qualified to teach the courses in this degree. Appendix A contains short biographies of the currently faculty members who will teach in the proposed degree program. Full curriculum vitae will be provided in the final degree proposal. Online Support Online and other forms of computer mediated instruction have existed at Miami s regional campuses for years. Course development is supported by the Office of E-Learning Initiatives. Staffed by 3.5 FTE course design and technology specialists, E-Learning has enthusiastically agreed to take on the development of the proposed program. The online course development process is as follows: Faculty members are selected to participate through departmental and E-Learning processes. Selected faculty members will complete an online orientation to teaching and learning online and enter a four month development process cohort. To ensure quality, the course development process is designed to satisfy the expectations of the online quality assurance program, Quality Matters, a recipient of a 2007 Sloan-C Best Practices award. Faculty participate in three workshops during the four month development cycle. These workshops cover such topics as Quality Matters, the course management system, retention, communication and writing instruction, course design, assessment, and ADA compliance. Examples of online course modules and technologies are provided. In addition, each faculty member is assigned an instructional designer to work with throughout the process. Designers have experience teaching online as well as serving as Quality Matters Reviewers. The final step in the course development process is a review of the course by a non-participating designer using a Quality Matters based check list. All of the courses for this proposed degree will be developed during the AY. The challenge to develop the proposed classes is lessened by the online experience of the faculty. Three JCS faculty have experience teaching online classes, with two having already completed the mandatory online training at Miami University. One faculty member is a certified Quality Matters reviewer. Assessment, Retention, and Completion Online classes are subject to the same evaluative processes as traditional classes at Miami University. All Miami University students are held to the same standards of performance whether they are participating in distance-delivered courses or traditional courses. Rigor of distance-education courses are monitored by department chairs and program coordinators/directors. The regional campuses have a completion rate of around 80% with its current online classes, 5

7 with no statistical difference between online and traditional classes. This rate far exceeds the national average for online courses. Facilities and Equipment The regional campuses have dedicated space for faculty training in technology integration into their online, hybrid and face to face courses. This space hosts workshops, training events, as well as serving as a space for faculty to "explore" new technologies. All participating faculty will be provided the necessary computers and software to teach online. Student Support Miami University offers support for student technical issues via chat, , and phone, 9 a.m. -10 p.m. on weekdays with reduced hours on weekends. The JCS faculty will provide online/telephone academic advising. Other services, such as research support, financial aid, and admissions are available by phone, online chat, and by . Students will have remote access to Miami s library resources, including OhioLink. 8. Need for additional facilities and staff and the plans to meet this demand. No additional facilities will be needed to offer the proposed degree. As mentioned earlier, Miami University has committed to the recruitment of two new faculty members to support the M.A. in J.A. 9. Projected additional costs associated with the program and evidence of institutional commitment and capacity to meet these costs. The expense of the proposed program will be met through existing resources and the additional tuition and subsidy revenues earned from the program. A detailed budget will be submitted with the full proposal. 6

8 Appendix A Faculty Steven Bailey, Visiting Assistant Professor, JCS Highest Degrees: M.A., Political Science; M.S. Criminal Justice Areas of Expertise: policing, administration Colin Bolger, assistant professor, JCS Highest Degree: Ph.D., Criminal Justice Areas of Expertise: policing, administration, research methods Theresa Conover, assistant professor, JCS Highest Degree: Ph.D., Criminal Justice Areas of Expertise: policing, administration, research methods John Forren, assistant professor, JCS and Political Science Highest Degree: Ph.D., Political Science Areas of Expertise: constitutional law, courts, comparative justice Daniel E. Hall, professor, JCS and Political Science Highest Degrees: J.D., Ed.D. (higher education curriculum and instruction) Areas of Expertise: constitutional law, criminal procedure, comparative justice Ziying Jiang, assistant professor, Geography Highest Degree: Ph.D., Geography Area of Expertise: G.I.S. Liza Skryzhevska, associate professor, Geography. Highest Degree: Ph.D., Geography Area of Expertise: G.I.S. Alana Van Gundy, associate professor, JCS Highest Degree: Ph.D., Criminal Justice Areas of Expertise: criminology, corrections, criminal justice systems, women and justice 7

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