Janet Bennion, Professor
Paul Searls, Associate Professor
Alexandre Strokanov, Professor
Brandon Stroup, Assistant Professor
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts in Social Science
-Social Science Concentration
-Global Studies Concentration
Licensure in Secondary Social Studies Education (see: Secondary Education)
Minors: Anthropology/Sociology, Criminal Justice, History, Pre-Law, Race and Gender, Russian and Eurasian Studies
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Program
The Criminal Justice degree empowers its students to be successful in their career endeavors by providing students with both a quality behavioral science foundation—focusing on the social, cultural, psychological, political, and historical factors relating to crime—and practical training in a variety of criminal justice fields, such as law enforcement, the courts, corrections, and law. This program is designed to prepare students to be excellent employees for criminal justice regional and federal agencies, as well as promising applicants for graduate school.
Students majoring in Criminal Justice will
• study the culture of deviance, law and factors that can lead to criminality
• study issues regarding the fairness of the justice system
• understand misconceptions about crime and the criminal justice system itself
• learn the importance of research and apply social theory to real-life issues of deviance and criminality
• gain a broad understanding of human behavior and diversity and gain important skills, such as critical thinking, theory-building, communication, and problem solving
• work in local, county, state, and federal government agencies, as well as in the private sector, in law enforcement, behavioral analysis, human services, courts, institutional and community-based corrections, victims’ services, the juvenile justice system, research, teaching, law, forensics, and a variety of other fields.
The Criminal Justice major is comprised of 49 credits including a foundational core of sociology, psychology, and criminal justice and an advanced core of law enforcement, judicial process, criminology, law, punishment and corrections, ethics, theory, internship, and research design. Once accepted to this program, students will be assigned an advisor who will guide them in registering and selecting appropriate internships for their skills and interests. Students will also complete a senior thesis project and engage in community service learning.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate an understanding of–and encourage a deep critical engagement with–behavioral science theory, ethics, case law, law enforcement, the criminal court system, and corrections, and criminology. Students are required to write a two-to-three page essay, concerning the theoretical explanation of a particular crime or deviance phenomenon. The essay will be evaluated in conjunction with the Graduate Standards Exam for Writing.
- Utilize basic social science and professional research methods associated with criminal justice, including design, data analysis, and interpretation of different official crime indexes. Students are required to write a 25-35 page research paper involving the fields of Criminal Justice and Social Science inquiry. This thesis will be commenced in SSC3020 Research Design and Analysis, theoretically enhanced during SSC4740 Social Science Seminar, and completed in SSC4720 Senior Thesis.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the myriad of factors and diversity of populations contributing to crime, its prevention, and its intervention and engage in community service in the pursuit of the greater common good. Students will be required to document some form of collaborative service work as a constructive member of a team designed to improve the lives of people in local, regional, federal, or international settings. Students will write up a brief (1 page) description of purpose, methods, and outcome of service efforts.
- Experience fieldwork related to their pursuit of careers and undergraduate study in the field of criminal justice. Students are required to complete an internship project in any one of the many criminal justice fields—border patrol, law enforcement, forensics, game warden assistantship, corrections officer assistant, and so on.
- Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills within a liberal arts foundation to better prepare them for any career in the criminal justice system or graduate school. Students will present a 10-minute oral defense of their senior thesis research project at the end of their senior year. The student’s department faculty mentor will assign the score rating of the oral performance. A second department faculty will fill out a second rubric to provide a second opinion for the protection of the student, in conjunction with the requirements embodied in the LSC Graduate Standards Exam for Oral Presentation.
Assessing Student Learning Outcomes
Criminal Justice majors can fulfill the Graduate Standard for Writing with the two-to-three page essay concerning the theoretical explanation of a particular crime or deviance phenomenon required for graduation. Students will write a 25-35 page research paper/thesis addressing the fields of Criminal Justice and Social Science inquiry. Students must also to document collaborative service work as a constructive member of a team designed to improve the lives of people in local, regional, federal, or international settings. An internship project in any one of the many criminal justice fields—border patrol, law enforcement, forensics, game warden assistantship, corrections officer assistant—is required of Criminal Justice majors.
Finally, a 10-minute oral defense of the senior thesis research project is required at the end of their senior year. The student’s department faculty mentor will assign the score rating of the oral performance. A second department faculty provide a second opinion for the protection of the student, in conjunction with the requirements embodied in the LSC Graduate Standards Exam for Oral Presentation.
Bachelor of Arts in Social Science Program
-Global Studies Concentration
-Social Science Concentration
Licensure in Secondary Social Studies Education (See: Secondary Education)
The Social Science program is designed to give students an interdisciplinary understanding of human nature. It seeks to educate students about their society and the world and to encourage them to think critically about the human condition. The department offers courses in anthropology, geography, history, criminal justice, political science, sociology, as well as foreign languages (Russian, Spanish). It supports the college’s mission of equipping students to respond to the challenges of an evolving society and to advance the quality of life in a diverse global community. The department contributes to both the social science and humanities divisions of the college’s general education program and focuses on experiential learning.
The department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science—with concentrations in anthropology/sociology, history, and global studies–and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Students may also elect a Social Science concentration within the Liberal Studies major. The department prepares students enrolled in the elementary and secondary education programs with knowledge, skills, and values they will need to teach social studies. It also prepares students to pursue graduate studies and employment in the field of their choice.
Students will be well prepared for post-graduation employment through the study and application of the theories and practices of the disciplines of the social sciences. Students may choose an emphasis with the social sciences that matches their career goals. Students will gain a broad understanding of human behavior and diversity and gain such important skills as critical thinking, theory building, communication and problem solving. Our students will apply their education to work in a wide range of employment, including the law, state and federal government agencies, media, public relations, politics and lobbying agencies, museums, archives and other public and private historical and anthropological institutions. Students will gain experiential learning through a variety of field trips, internships, and travel opportunities around the world.
The Social Science major is comprised of a minimum of 45 to 46 credits. The foundational core gives students a broad education in the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, history, political science, geography and economics. The department offers concentrations in the major in history, anthropology/sociology, and global studies.
Once accepted to the program, students will be assigned an advisor who will work closely with them in registering, and in selecting appropriate internships or international experience and studies abroad for their skills and interests. Students will complete a senior thesis research project, and defend the thesis in an oral presentation.
Students Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the majors of Social Science will be able to:
• utilize disciplinary concepts, knowledge, and tools of the social sciences to analyze social phenomena of the past or present that reflect an understanding of the factors that influence human social behavior
• conduct an original research based on history and social science research methodologies, and write a senior thesis that conforms to the standards of the discipline(s)
• present research findings clearly and accurately in the form of an oral presentation with use of appropriate visualization of presented material;
• acquire skills and behaviors necessary for obtaining employment and succeeding in the professional world (internships, community involvement projects, etc.);
• demonstrate a critical understanding of cultural phenomena.
Students will also do one of the following: travel outside the U.S.; learn a foreign
language (minimum two semesters); write an essay focusing on the role of social factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, history and the global economy in shaping cultural reality in the world today.
Assessing Student Learning Outcomes
The Social Science Department assesses its program goals in a variety of ways, including evaluation of student work in all courses, a senior thesis or a capstone, an oral presentation of the senior thesis, and a senior survey. Each department major must complete a portfolio containing a number of components, each of which are individually assessed. The department evaluates course syllabi to ensure that learning outcomes are clearly reflected in the department’s courses and that students are exposed to experiences that advance the program’s goals as they progress through it.