Criminal Justice and Public Safety Program of Study & Course Syllabus

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1 Criminal Justice and Public Safety Program of Study & Course Syllabus Instructor: Tom Harty Embedded Credit (s): 1 Science 1 English Option for Social Studies 5 Program Credits Program Description: The primary mission of the Public Safety and Criminal Justice program is to expose students to the broad range of career opportunities that exist in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety/Emergency Management career clusters. A secondary mission which flows from the first is to assist the students in making informed life decisions regarding risky behaviors which might inhibit or negate their future employment if a career in these areas is pursued. Further, the program will seek to provide students with a strong working knowledge of the United States system of justice and by that knowledge make them more informed citizens who are better prepared to contribute to their home communities. The Public Safety and Criminal Justice fields are constantly evolving as society adapts to new realities of life and as new technologies expand the techniques and methods available to the practitioners. This program seeks to expose students to the latest available technologies where applicable and to foster an in-depth understanding of the principles of the discipline by examining the history and evolution of the fields by examining theory and practice throughout time. A sound basis in Constitutional Law landmarks as well as Criminal and Motor Vehicle Law will be fostered through case studies, lectures and practical application exercises. Training will be carried out concurrent with the academic curriculum that seeks to build for the students a broad experiential component in multiple related disciplines. These will include several areas in which certifications will be either mandatory or optional dependant on the individual student s desires and the program requirements. A major component of the program is the Technical Rescue area. Students are exposed to a variety of technical rescue techniques and skills and will earn several Industry Recognized Certifications in this area. Low angle and high-angle rescue, ice rescue, confined space rescue and others are covered. NFPA Rope Rescue Technician Certification is available and students are encouraged to attain this certification. Teamwork is of the utmost importance in all aspects of this program and throughout the year students will refine and test their team and leadership skills through practice sessions and drills as well as real world applications. Students will have opportunities to engage with various teams of military, police and rescue personnel and will be asked to perform at a level beyond what most have ever been exposed to. Through this process students learn that they can excel in the face of adversity and challenge.

2 Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course the students will demonstrate: 1. An understanding of basic concepts within each area of focus including but not limited to: a. History and development of the field b. Practice and theory c. Common practices d. Ongoing research e. Competing philosophies f. Non-Occidental practices and philosophies g. New and emergent practices h. Societal implications of change vs. status quo i. Career opportunities 2. Safe operation and handling of all equipment 3. Proper utilization of protective/coercive techniques 4. Codes of Conduct for the various career fields 5. Basic investigative techniques and scientific methodology. 6. Interpretation and application of various laws, regulations and procedures. 7. Familiarity and competence in oral and written communications utilized in the Criminal Justice field 8. A working knowledge of the American system of jurisprudence. 9. An understanding of the complex nature of Emergency Management and its sub-systems 10. A basic understanding of the roles of the various participants in the spectrum of public safety careers. 11. A firm foundation in the use of computers and other technologies in relation to public safety. 12. A clear understanding of research methodologies related to the area of study 13. Ability to relate hands-on experience to career choices and educational opportunities 14. Ability to synthesize information and experiences into their decision processes and life-style choices 15. Critical thinking and the ability to plan, execute, and assess operational activities as well as tactical and strategic planning and analysis. Classroom/Field Expectations: 1. Independent Thinking: ability to evaluate and make decisions through investigation. 2. Initiative: desire to work to their individual potential 3. Maturity: Act appropriately in a variety of stressful, trying or dangerous situations in controlled exercises and in their individual lives 4. Respect: respect for the individual, team/class, instructor and others 5. Honesty: a willingness and commitment to honesty in all undertakings regardless of personal cost 6. Accountability: the ability to take responsibility for ones actions and inactions, both in relation to work assignments and in their personal lives. 7. Teamwork: Participation as member and leader, cooperation and collaboration are essential components of the careers. Course Completion Requirements/Criteria for Evaluation: 1. Competency and completion of course objectives 2. Satisfactory completion of homework and assignments 3. Class participation 4. Quizzes and tests 5. Regular class attendance is mandatory for successful completion

3 Code of Conduct: A Code of Conduct has been developed by the students in the program and is reviewed and refined each year by current students. This code, referred to as the Readiness Index is graded weekly and is an important tool for assessing student performance and readiness. In 2013 the Index was as follows: What does readiness in terms of what this class does, mean to you? Criteria found important by the students were: 1. Situational Awareness- know what is going on around you and how you react to it. 2. Knowledge- of equipment and procedures, techniques etc. 3. Mature- be able to handle constructive criticism etc. 4. Team Player-operate as a team member or leader 5. Logistical ( clothes, boots, gloves, etc.)- like the Boy Scouts be prepared 6. Responsible-take responsibility for actions and be able to shoulder responsibility for operations 7. Emotional maturity and stability- be able to deal with stress, difficult rescues etc. Leave all drama outside of the team/class. 8. Physically Ready- be fit and healthy in order to perform tasks, live a healthy lifestyle 9. Willing to learn- Be able to absorb new knowledge and techniques, be able to adapt to changing situations and learn from others and by reflecting on your own performance and abilities. 10. Healthy Lifestyle Choices- being ready to make lifestyle choices that allow for full participation in activities and that are age appropriate. Getting enough sleep, eating properly, staying away from bad choices regarding drugs, alcohol, driving etc. Grading Protocol Project/ Assignment % of Grade Quizzes and Tests and Projects 30% Application of knowledge, Attitude, Responsibility, Initiative, Appearance 30% Safety and Proper use of equipment and techniques 20% Homework and Lab assignments 20%

4 Program of Study Criminal Justice and Public Safety Recommended Coursework: Students applying to RTCC should have achieved junior status. Additionally, in order to allow students to take full advantage of the program they should also have completed: all art, health, physical education, and driver s education credits. Grade level and above, reading comprehension and writing skills are essential for success in these fields Math Connections II or equivalent; Algebra I and Geometry strongly recommended A solid foundation in basic science, the scientific method, and lab skills Interests and Attitudes: It is important for students to have particular interests and possess certain attitudes in order to excel in this program. Students applying should possess the following: An interest in careers related to law enforcement, emergency services, law, and criminal justice A desire to earn certifications such as First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician (Basic), Incident Command, CPR, as well as First Aid and Hazardous Materials Awareness An ability to be an independent thinker and take initiative A commitment to take responsibility for oneself and his or her actions A readiness to learn and work in a mature, respectful, and honest environment Physically fit and have and active healthy lifestyle that allows complete participation A willingness and ability to participate in hands-on, rigorous, outdoor physical activity such as hiking and rappelling in all types of weather In addition: Careers in law enforcement have certain legal requirements, among which are: no criminal history, no present drug usage, no alcohol abuse issues and a high level of maturity. In the industry these characteristics are evaluated by investigation, polygraph examination, psychological testing and drug testing. Students should be fully cognizant of these facts before choosing this career path and be prepare for this type of commitment. NOTE: most agencies do not allow tattoos that are visible in uniform or on duty if out of uniform, THINK before getting a tattoo! Industry Recognized Certification Students have the opportunity to become certified in several areas, including but not limited to: Firearms Safety Helicopter Landing Zone Operations (DHART) Rope Rescue Techniques Traffic Flagger OC (Mace) Training AED/CPR First Responder Ice Rescue EMT FEMA ICS Fire Fighter 1 Note: Some certifications may be subject to age restrictions. Some certifications may require student to travel or spend out of school time in related classes.

5 College Credit: Students can earn dual enrollment credit through the Flexible Pathways and Fast Forward programs. A student can take one course, free of charge, during their junior year and one course during their senior year at participating Vermont colleges. For more information see Mr. Halpin, RTCC Guidance Coordinator and to request a voucher go to There are currently no articulation agreements or dual enrollments available. These agreements are being sought with: Vermont Technical College, Community College of Vermont and New Hampshire Community Colleges, among others. After the Program: The program prepares students for continued studies at a two or four-year college. Past students have attended Castleton State College, Lyndon State College, Vermont Technical College, Community College of Vermont, and New Hampshire Community Colleges, among others. The program also equips students with the necessary technical and professional skills needed to enter careers in law enforcement, fire service and rescue service. Occupations and Colleges Most occupations in these fields prefer that a student obtain a two or four year degree. Many however can be entered upon graduation at an entry level. There are literally hundreds of occupations available among which are: Police Officer Crime Scene Technician Dispatcher EMT/First Responder Wildlands Firefighter Corrections Officer Security Officer Private Investigator Polygraph Examiner Forensic Artist Hazmat Responder Probation Officer Parole Officer Security Consultant Security Analyst Emergency Services Planner Loss Prevention Specialists Court Reporters Court Officer/Bailiff Paralegal Legal Secretarial Transportation Security Officer Homeland Security Military Public information Officers Immigration Officer Customs Officer Park Ranger Corrections Administrator While students have a broad range of schools to choose from, the following schools have programs in this area: Castleton State College Lyndon State College Johnson State College Vermont Technical College Community College of Vermont New Hampshire Community Colleges Springfield College Technical Community College RTCC s Public Safety & Criminal Justice program provides a sound foundation for preparation for any college or university that offers a program in this field.

6 To apply or for more information, contact Pat Halpin, Guidance Coordinator, at (802) or or download an application at RTCC provides equal education opportunities to all learners regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital/civil union status.

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