The mission of the Criminal Justice Program is to provide students with a significant exposure to the Arts & Sciences; to provide opportunities for in-service and pre-service students to study specialized criminal justice courses; to provide technical services to the community; to analyze the underlying philosophies and practices of the criminal justice system as well as the causation and prevention of crime and delinquency; and to counsel and assist our students in the making of career decisions.
The Criminal Justice curriculum requires a core of broad-based courses which stress the systemic, philosophical nature of criminal justice. This core requirement is consistent with the general institutional goal of providing a quality undergraduate education which encourages students to develop an ability to synthesize information, to engage in scholarly inquiry and to accomplish rational problem solving. It is believed that a traditional arts and sciences education is the best preparation for the study of criminal justice as well as the best means of developing intellectual skills which students need to function in modern society.
Further, it is assumed that students must understand the philosophies and processes of criminal justice in order for them to possess broad and representative knowledge of criminal justice as an intellectual discipline. Each of the required courses is designed to present underlying and unifying philosophies of criminal justice. Elective criminal justice courses are offered in more specialized areas, e.g., Criminal Investigation, Juvenile Justice Process, and Tennessee Criminal Law. Such specialized courses are beneficial to students when taken in conjunction with the core courses and have served, in many instances, to create an interest on the part of the students in pursuing a particular area of criminal justice as a career.
Students who major or minor in Criminal Justice are taught by experienced, professional faculty who have extensive experience in criminal justice as well as academic credentials. The faculty is active in preparing and teaching in-service training programs and designing and/or attending programs for in-service and pre-service persons which enhances professionalism.
Graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice are highly successful in obtaining positions in the profession. Our students have enjoyed success in virtually every state, local, and federal criminal justice agency as well as in municipal police departments, corrections, juvenile services and private security. An increasing number of students are enrolling in law school, or in graduate schools of criminal justice or public administration due to the enhanced career opportunities for those who hold advanced degrees.