Criminal Justice | Southwestern College Professional Studies

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Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Program Description

The Criminal Justice Program provides learners with knowledge and skills they can apply immediately in the exercise of law enforcement policies and procedures. In addition, program students are afforded an understanding of the nature of crime and the personnel, institutions, and processes that prevent or respond to crime. Students learn both the theory and practice of the criminal justice system.

Management, communication, leadership, psychological and sociological aspects of the executive criminal justice professional are stressed. The curriculum offers crime and criminal behavior, policing, criminal investigation, criminal law and procedure, courts, corrections and administration and management of criminal justice organization.

Students completing the Criminal Justice Program have a solid foundation for entry into or advancement in a variety of criminal justice fields. These fields include law enforcement, corrections and the court system. Examples of job include, but are not limited to, police officer, criminal investigator, crime scene investigator, corrections officer, probation/parole officer and court officer.

Admission Requirements

  1. Have completed a minimum of 6 post-high school college credits
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.0

Core Major Requirements

CJUS300: Foundations of Criminal Justice

Foundations of Criminal Justice surveys the concepts of crime and justice, the rule of law, and provides an overview of how crime impacts society. It provides a summary of police, prosecution, courts, and the correctional system. Additional issues and challenges in the criminal justice system such as juvenile crime, terrorism, and transnational organized crime are reviewed.

CJUS315: Perspectives in Policing

This course examines the history, roles, and challenges of law enforcement careers in American society. Learners will develop an understanding of the constitutional, ethical, and workplace expectations of law enforcement professionals, the development of modern police agencies, and the nature of police work. This course also covers contemporary issues, including diversity, discretion, misconduct, use of force, and the dynamics of community policing.

CJUS325: Criminal Investigation Techniques

This course surveys the principles, practices, concepts, and theories applicable to the investigation procedures of law enforcement agents and agencies. Learners assess techniques for collecting, preserving, and evaluating physical evidence. Learners will examine evidence collection relying on interviews and interrogation techniques with a focus on ethical standards and the admissibility of evidence. Learners will also review legal standards associated with criminal investigations and examine the range of evidence that can be collected and admitted in federal and state criminal courts. Finally, learners will examine the elements of crimes against persons and property and the techniques for effectively documenting evidence and information for presentation in court.

CJUS335: Correctional Theory and Practice

This course surveys the history, philosophy, and structure of the American corrections system. Learners will examine the roles and functions of jails, probation, prisons, parole, intermediate sanctions, and community corrections. Learners will also examine correctional clients and careers, facility management and culture, constitutional guidelines, and the societal and individual impact of prison, probation, and other correctional approaches. Finally, learners will examine controversial issues including the death penalty, the disproportionate incarceration rate of minorities, and the expansion of the corrections industry, including privatization and community surveillance.

CJUS400: Criminology and Deviant Behavior

In this course, learners will explore the origins of criminal behavior and apply criminological knowledge in the effort to understand criminal and deviant behavior. Learners will examine misconceptions and myths about crime as they develop an informed and critical understanding of crime as a function of social and political structures. Learners will also examine how politics and societal attitudes impact policy formation and develop the tools to use data, facts, and evidence to achieve results. Finally, learners will examine the evolution of theories of crime causation, strategies and purposes of crime measurement, and new and future trends in crime.

CJUS425: Criminal Law and Procedure

This course surveys due process rights of individuals in the criminal justice process. Learners will discuss and analyze the structure and processes of local, state, and federal judicial systems, paying special attention to the impact of the Bill of Rights on the practices of police, prosecutors, and judges, including an examination of the remedies available for the violation of those rights. Learners will explore topics including searches and seizures, interrogations and confessions, and the identification and processing of suspects and defendants throughout the pretrial, trial, and post‐trial stages.

CJUS430: Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration & Management

This course introduces learners to endemic and emerging administrative problems and issues confronting the criminal justice agency. Learners will describe, analyze, and synthesize contemporary management problems and issues in a criminal justice organization. Modern management concepts significant to criminal justice organizations will be reviewed.

CJUS440: Special Topics in Criminal Justice

This course will include an intensive examination of specialized contemporary topics in criminal justice. Topics may vary from course to course, but will include subjects such as drugs and substance abuse, gangs, race, hate groups, women in the criminal justice system, domestic violence, and serial crime and criminals.

CAPS495: Senior Capstone

Learners will be required to develop a professional portfolio that demonstrates their knowledge, skills, and abilities in their major discipline. Particular attention will be given to the presentation of evidence and artifacts from their major courses as well as recent research relevant to their major courses and their specific program outcomes. The purpose of the final portfolio project is to document learner achievement and to ensure learning outcomes are met. Additionally, learners will conduct research and report on career potentials within their major field, careers for which they are potentially most qualified, and a specific career and career path of interest resulting from their research.

Foundation Requirements

CORE101: Developing Academic and Professional Strengths

How does higher education help create the type of person that businesses want to hire? Learners will explore the answer to this question, and in doing so, help lay the foundation for academic and professional success. Each learner will develop a core set of skills needed to be both an effective college student and a successful professional in the 21st‐century workplace. Learners will develop and practice practical strategies with which to become more efficient and effective learners, while also developing higher‐order learning skills to reflect on critical issues relevant to both academic and professional environments such as personal responsibility and ethics.

CORE110: Information Literacy

This course is designed to provide learners with the skills that are fundamental to becoming an information‐literate professional who can locate, evaluate, organize and communicate information. The abundance and rapid flow of data requires skill development in the understanding of information resources, accessing information sources, determining the credibility of Internet information, logically organizing sources and finally presenting the information professionally.

ENGL101: Composition 1

This course helps learners develop writing skills that are transferrable to any academic or workplace writing task. The course guides learners through the process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading academic and workplace writing. Learners will develop skills necessary to craft coherent sentences and paragraphs, to edit editing their writing for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will learn about narrative structure and techniques as well as the elements of successful argumentation and persuasive discourse. This course also guides learners through every stage of the research process. Learners will develop a research plan, conduct research, organize and draft a research paper, and then revise, edit, and proofread that research paper.

ENGL102: Composition 2

This course builds on the thinking and writing skills introduced in Composition 1. Learners will write critical, argumentative essays based on their interpretations of nonfictional texts, including literary, film, and cultural texts, and in doing so, will recognize the role of rhetoric in the writing situation as they craft persuasive discourse. In doing so, they will learn methods of questioning, analyzing, and evaluating their own beliefs as well as the perceptions and perspectives of others. These methods of critical thinking are intended to improve the quality and organization of learners’ writing for any purpose, including academic and workplace purposes. In addition to writing essays, learners will develop more advanced research strategies, as well greater proficiency in APA style.

Prerequisite: ENGL101

COM 125: Speech

This course helps learners majoring in any discipline strengthen communication skills essential for success in academics and the workplace. Learners will focus on listening, evaluating, and delivering spoken discourse based on audience and purpose. Learners will evaluate why some people are more effective than others as public speakers, analyze speeches and audiences, study ethical considerations for speakers, research and organize findings on a topic, and present findings before an audience, and learn techniques for identifying and reducing speech anxiety.

HUM 201: Ethics

Ethics introduces learners to moral philosophy, the branch of philosophy that questions what is good and bad. The course surveys a number of important ethical theories—ethical relativism, objectivism, egoism, altruism, utilitarianism, duty‐based moral theory, natural law, natural rights, and virtue ethics—as they examine reasons why certain actions are morally right or wrong. Learners will apply ethical theories in the evaluation and analysis of current controversial issues, question ethical matters from a variety of angles, and acquire new tools to assist them in making ethically sound, well‐informed decisions throughout their lives.

COM 301: Professional Communication

This course prepares learners to communicate effectively in business settings by helping them develop their written and oral communication skills. The course focuses on traditional and Web‐based forms of communication used in business today, including e‐mail, letters, memos, reports, proposals, and presentations. The course teaches learners to plan, write, and revise communications for a variety of audiences and in different mediums. It also teaches learners to communicate with greater clarity, economy of language, and vigor, as well as how to communicate professionally with employees, customers, and hiring managers. Learners will participate in interactive online activities and complete real‐world assessments that help them produce, evaluate, and improve their own written, oral, and multimedia communication skills.

Prerequisite: ENGL102. A final grade of C or higher for this course is required for learners to enroll in the capstone course.

*MASC110 Statistics & Probability, or MASC115 College Algebra, or more advanced college credit bearing mathematics course requiring college algebra or higher as a prerequisite

Disciplinary Perspective Requirements

  • Humanities (6 credits)
  • Natural Sciences/Mathematics (4 credits)
  • Social Sciences (6 credits)

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete all foundation and major courses with an overall GPA of 2.0
  2. Complete a minimum of 124 credit hours, with at least 60 hours at a bachelor’s degree-granting institution
  3. Complete at least 30 credit hours with a C average or above from Southwestern College

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see Southwestern College Professional Studies Catalog for the most current degree requirements.