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Criminal Justice adds diversity and cultural components

On May 15, 2006

The RWC Behavioral Sciences Department has reviewed the Pre-Criminal justice Program and has made some changes to expose students to courses more relevant to careers in criminal justice. According to Professor Marilyn Simon, who directs the program, this change is the result of recent RWC statistics that suggest that most pre-Criminal Justice Students enter the workforce after graduation, rather than immediately pursuing their baccalaureate degrees. "So, to better meet the needs of students," Simon said, "new, more applied courses have been substituted and added to the curriculum." The core courses remain the same, but courses such as Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Professional Skills for Human Services, and Race in Modern Society have been added to the curriculum.

Students who have been enrolled in the pre-Criminal Justice Program prior to Fall 2006 will maintain the same degree requirements as when they enrolled at RWC, although they may take any of the new courses as electives.

The Behavioral Sciences Department also recently announced that it will be offering a one-year Certificate Program in Cultural Diversity. The purpose of the one-year certificate is to add an area of specialization to the associate's degree, which will better prepare students for employment after graduation. Other one-year certificates are also being planned for the future.

In an added note, Professor Simon indicated that with careful planning the one-year certificates may be completed in much less than one year, as many of the requirements may overlap with the current and future Criminal Justice programs. Simon called it the "Two birds, one stone theory." This is particularly true for the Cultural Diversity Certificate and the Study Abroad Program mentioned below.

In another important announcement, Professor Simon said that students in the RWC Pre-Criminal Justice Program will be given the opportunity to learn more about Germany's criminal justice system in a study abroad program offered during the summer of 2007. This program is planned to take place during August in conjunction with the exchange program between the University of Cincinnati and the Technische Universitaet Ilmenau, Germany. Students will participate in language classes and visit different police departments, courts, and correctional facilities (prisons and jails).

Students who successfully complete the program will earn six Humanities and Diversity and Culture credits. In addition, with appropriate planning, these credits may also be used toward the one-year certificate program in Cultural Diversity and toward the Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. However, it must be noted that students intending to participate in this Criminal Justice Study Abroad in Germany Program are required to meet the prerequisite of three quarters of college German or the equivalent before departure.This means that students would have to start taking the German sequence either this summer, or this fall at the latest.

If you are interested in participating in this Criminal Justice Study Abroad in Germany Program, or if you have any other questions regarding the Pre-Criminal Justice Program or the one-Year Cultural Diversity Certificate, contact Prof. M. Simon via email at

Criminal Justice students may also want to consider earning German Service Learning credits, Simon added, by working with students from Ilmenau, Germany, who will be here for this summer of 2006. No knowledge of German is necessary, only a willingness to meet regularly with the students outside of their classes/activities. For more information, contact Professor Debbie Page via email at

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