Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice, as a set of work roles and professions, increasingly requires a broad, well-rounded liberal arts education, a deeper maturity in the discipline, and as much exposure to pre-professional experiences as possible. For those considering entering either the adult or juvenile correctional roles, the criminal justice program offers relevant liberal arts courses in criminal justice as a discipline in the CORE and a preparatory pre-professional TRACK in Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Students considering this track may choose to enter crime prevention with work with youth in after-school programs such as a Boys & Girls Club, in mentoring referred youth, such as Big Brothers & Big Sisters, or working through the local courts as a juvenile probation officer, youth residential counselor, professional therapist at a county treatment and detention facility, or not-for-profit juvenile treatment agency, or work in transition to community aftercare services. Other students may consider entering jobs in adult criminal justice system treatment and corrections roles in community corrections, probation, prison correctional roles, and parole or reentry aftercare services.
Some students may choose to enter local police, sheriff deputy, state police, or federal law enforcement agency roles. For those considering these roles in public safety or law enforcement the criminal justice program offers relevant liberal arts courses in the CORE and a preparatory pre-professional TRACK Law Enforcement.
For students considering going to law school – and all the roles in politics, public defender, defense, prosecution, judgeship, private or public practice, administrative law, not-for-profits that law school preparation opens up - the criminal justice program offers relevant liberal arts courses in the CORE and a preparatory PRE-PROFESSIONAL TRACK “Law and the Judiciary.”
The CORE and TRACKS also provide preparation to go to graduate school to accomplish a professional post-baccalaureate degree. Liberal arts courses in the criminal justice disciplinary CORE, including “introduction to sociology & social problems,” “social deviance” (as a sophomore-level writing intensive course), “social research methods,” “sociological theory,” and the capstone “senior research” course, provide readiness for graduate school. These courses offer pre-professional training for success in Master’s-level and Doctoral programs in criminal justice professional fields and in preparation for higher education teaching and research roles.
The mission of the Adrian College bachelor of arts in criminal justice program is to ready students to be competent, knowledgeable generalists in the criminal justice field. Consistent with the mission and principles of the College, students should deepen their ability to be thoughtful, caring, inclusive and active persons committed to human rights and constitutional remedies, and to social justice, and trained in the liberal arts tradition.
Adrian College’s affiliation with the United Methodist Church informs the values, principles, and behavior of the College and the criminal justice program. Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, advocated a Christian faith that emphasized a social consciousness. Adrian College’s founder, Asa Mahan, opposed slavery and believed in the “power of action.” The Methodist heritage encourages an active concern for peace and justice growing out of the commitment to Christian traditions and values and an ecumenical understanding of human spiritual experience. Because of these traditions, Adrian College has always sought to include persons from all backgrounds, particularly those who have not been well represented in higher education.
The criminal justice program continues this tradition of commitment to the values of social action, peace and justice, and inclusion. Students from all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to thoughtfully and critically assess their values and behavior, now and in the future. Students are challenged to develop intellectual and interpersonal skills to actuate these principles. The strong tradition of liberal arts education provides the academic backbone for a broad-based, generalist foundation of knowledge, values, and skills.
- To prepare students to be mature, competent and effective entry-level generalists in the criminal justice field and its occupational and organizational settings.
- To promote and develop in students an understanding of criminal justice related politics and law; a working knowledge of best practices in community development aspects of crime prevention; juvenile probation, detention, and residential treatment; problem-oriented community policing; community corrections; adult probation; prison; prisoner reentry and parole.
- To promote and develop in students an understanding of multiple perspectives, conflicting values, and the role of research-based knowledge and critical thinking in the criminal justice field.
- To prepare students through successful internships, academic service learning, guest speakers, and tours for the expected level of professional behavior and leadership in criminal justice roles.
- To prepare students for the option of graduate school or law school through exposure to research methods, sociological theory, and a senior capstone research seminar.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the maturity and professional behavior required to function effectively in criminal justice occupations and organizations.
- Demonstrate the ability to model best practices and current knowledge in the several criminal justice roles at an effective entry-level of competence.
- Demonstrate the ability to use critical thinking skills in classroom exercises applied to criminal justice texts, readers, role play, case-analysis, videos, academic service learning, interviews, guest speakers and tours.
- Demonstrate important observational techniques, text review, and evaluate research studies and other research-based knowledge in the criminal justice field at an increasingly advanced level sufficient to do entry level graduate work, law school studies, and/or job-related research.
- Demonstrate the use of theoretical frameworks as applied to the growth of the criminal justice apparatus and ability to explain the multiple perspectives and value conflicts revealed in the history of criminal justice as an emerging field.
- Demonstrate ability to analyze, formulate, and influence social policies.
- Demonstrate ability to communicate well in professional criminal justice settings.
- Demonstrate improvement in writing ability to reach an effective professional level at an advanced level sufficient to do entry-level graduate work, law school, or job-related writing.
- Demonstrate personal values and conduct that relate to criminal justice professional ethical standards sufficient to encourage the criminal justice program Director to make a recommendation for employment for you at a criminal justice agency when interviewed about your college career at Adrian College.