Proposed Criminal Justice & Forensic Science Curriculum English Mass Communication Political Science Proposed Criminal Justice & Forensic Science Curriculum Social Work Sociology The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Program is a two-track program that will provide students full knowledge in policing, corrections, criminology, and criminalistics. Comprising the General Law Enforcement Track and the Forensic Science Track, the program will emphasize in the former track, law, crime, circumstances that produce crime, the criminal justice system, and ethical dilemmas that confront criminal justice practitioners; in the latter, it will provide a comprehensive understanding of the scientific investigation of crime from the crime scene to the courtroom. It will demand students to think critically about criminal justice issues and to conduct the analysis of physical evidence using the scientific method. All things considered, the program will prepare students for academic advancement and employment in general law enforcement and in the forensic science field. It will enable students to professionally administer justice and to conduct felony investigations competently. Graduates may find career opportunities in policing and law enforcement; institutional, community or youth corrections; victim services; public policy; social welfare programs; and research. In short, it will afford students the requisite resources to excel in divers areas of criminal justice. JUSTIFICATION The African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) has a mission to address the manpower needs of Liberia. The acute shortage of tertiary-level trained criminal justice practitioners and the dependence on foreign forensic expertise demand urgent attention. The most effective and long term remedy to this challenge is the establishment of a nationally relevant and trustworthy baccalaureate degree program in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science. Thus, this curriculum, comprising the General Law Enforcement and the Forensic Science tracks, is ideal for potential careers in the professional administration of justice and the conduct of scientific criminal investigation to help curb the crime rate. The General Law Enforcement track will satisfy the requirement for a B.A. in Criminal Justice. It will fulfill the minimum requirements for entry into law enforcement and also provide a foundation for graduate studies or for law. The Forensic Science Track will satisfy the requirement for a B.Sc. in Criminal Justice. It will fulfill the minimum requirements for entry into law enforcement with a focus on scientific crime investigations. It will also serve as a foundation for graduate studies in the forensic sciences and in law. Most importantly, it will reduce the reliance on the use of third degree methods to adduce evidence and determine culpability. As such, the core courses will introduce students to relevant areas in criminal justice and afford them a competitive academic edge nationally and globally. This will enhance not only the students’ readiness to engage in global law enforcement and scientific crime investigation, increase their chances for employment or admission to graduate and/or professional schools but, more so, enrich their contribution to national development. Vision Statement The focus of the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Program will be to: Become high quality, germane, and internationally-esteemed; Develop a multi-disciplinary curriculum for comprehensive preparation of the student; Incorporate student-centered outreach activities responsive to national needs; Institute placement programs for admission into graduate programs and employment; Provide an environment for interdisciplinary research opportunities. Mission Statement The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Program will offer a high quality and germane baccalaureate degree program through a multi-disciplinary curriculum for potential criminal justice practitioners and forensic scientists to address national safety concerns. Goals Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be able to: Demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills using scientific techniques to solve crimes; Promote participation and social considerations in future criminal justice decisions; Communicate reports professionally; Demonstrate knowledge and training for careers and advanced education in criminal justice and forensic science or related areas. Objectives Upon completion of the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science program, the graduate will be able to: Demonstrate basic knowledge and skills in law enforcement and forensic science; Apply the scientific method in criminal investigations; Exhibit problem-solving skills and abilities in the field of forensic science; Develop conceptual understanding of law enforcement and the legal system; Produce ethical and skillful graduates who can articulate the professional standards; Communicate reports effectively through written and oral presentations to diverse audiences. Strategic Action Plan For the realization of the AME University’s vision, the implementation of the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Program will be guided by the following actions: Developing a curriculum that considers the strengths of the faculty and other resources to meet the expectations of the national criminal justice system; Encouraging diversity in recruitment of faculty across related disciplines in the University and externally; Establishing collaborations with law enforcement and other criminal justice programs nationally and internationally through faculty and student exchange and shared resources; Promoting the program nationally and internationally through presence at local, national, and international conferences and symposia; Organizing on-campus lecture series by inviting leaders in the Criminal Justice field to speak to students, faculty, staff, and the community; Initiating recruitment of student body through formal recruiting activities (e.g. organized by the enrolment management office, etc.); Seeking external assessment of the program from peer institutions to make suggested improvements in accordance with the vision and mission statements; Identifying and encouraging participation and leadership roles in active community service and service learning projects and formal programs for students, staff and faculty in Criminal justice; Encouraging faculty and staff development within the Criminal justice program and related disciplines; Assisting associated departments in developing partnerships with international universities or other agencies for curriculum and collaborative research effort; Establishing formal assistance process for employment placement of graduating seniors. Core Competencies Upon completion of the Program, the graduate will attain the: Understanding of the complexities of the Criminal justice environment; Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic principles of law enforcement and forensic science; Ability to apply knowledge and understanding of scientific principles to solve crime; Understanding of various aspects of Liberian criminal law and related sections; Exhibit the requisite ethical behavior in a professional manner; Ability to effectively communicate with divers audiences. Career Opportunities for Graduates Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared for entry-level positions in law enforcement, investigation, public safety, corrections, and social services. Specific positions include: Police Officer Correctional Officer Private Investigator Criminal Profiler Security analyst Crime Prevention Specialist Crime Scene Investigator Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Homicide Detective Admission Requirements Students who intend to be admitted into the degree program in the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Program must satisfy the admission requirements of AME University and demonstrate adequate preparation for studies. Duration of Program A student with the required background is expected to complete the Criminal Justice program in four (4) years. All students will take the required courses based on the pre-requisites. Those who will complete the proposed course loads in a given semester will follow the sequence of courses presented in the ensuing sections of the curriculum (Study Plan) and finish the requirements in four years. Students who may not complete certain courses in a given semester will be guided to continue the program logically. Such students might require more than four years for the completion of the program with the advice and consent of the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration. Graduation Requirement To qualify for a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice, a candidate must have completed course work with a total number of credits in the range of 135 - 140 hours and should have passed all required courses with a minimum grade of “C” or GPA not less than 2.00. Implementation of Curriculum The Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Curriculum is organized for a four-year period with emphasis on classroom instruction and practical. The first two years of study will involve the completion of the general educational requirements of the University with few introductory core courses. In the beginning of the program, students will be required to choose a concentration in either General Law Enforcement or in Forensic Science based on the consent of the academic program advisor. They will take courses according to the Plan of Study for each track. Faculty Requirements Qualifications of faculty to teach each course: Faculty recruitment will be based on academic qualification and/or length of experience. Preferably, faculty with a Master degree will be recruited to implement the curriculum. Integration of faculty for research and teaching across disciplines: Faculty from other colleges across the university will be encouraged to render part time service in the program.