Entry Requirements and Senior Seminar
Currently, there are no entry requirements to enroll in the Criminal Justice program at West Liberty University. However, at the end of students’ education, they must complete a the Senior Seminar portion of the program. The Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice is a comprehensive examination of technical core subjects and focuses on the student’s preparation for entry-level employment in criminal justice. This course is generally taken during the student’s final semester of coursework. As part of the class, the students prepare a portfolio, make a presentation to the class over a current topic in criminal justice and take a Major Field Test. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the Criminal Justice courses as well as overall in order to graduate.
A list of required courses can be found on our advising sheets.
Program Goals/Student Learning Outcomes:
a. Explain major criminal justice concepts and historical trends
b. Critique criminological theories regarding the causes of crime
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
a. Analyze data regarding the measurements of crime and their accuracy
b. Compare and contrast various criminological theories and their applicability of the same to present times
c. Analyze criminal justice concepts in terms of applicability to various situations
a. Integrate verbal, visual, and written formats in communicating criminal justice concepts
b. Clearly articulate criminal justice concepts in writing without grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors
c. Address questions thoughtfully and coherently
Ethical and Personal Development
a. Examine ethical theories in a way that reflects an understanding of the students’ own morality
b. Analyze ethical theories and apply them to a variety of ethical dilemmas.
Career Planning and Development
a. Articulate a statement of career goals and appropriate plan
b. Document steps taken to pursue goals
c. Exhibit key interview skills
d. Complete a field placement class
Every Criminal Justice student must complete a two hundred (200) hour field placement (internship) during a semester of study. The students work in an agency setting. This will expose the student to the criminal justice environment. The work done at the agency is to help the student accomplish defined learning objectives developed jointly by the student, the placement coordinator and the agency. The work is supervised by an on-site supervisor as well as the faculty supervisor. Students in the Criminal Justice Program have the ability to attend The Washington Center as a field placement option. The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is a Washington D.C. based organization that provides internships and academic seminars for students in governmental, corporate, international, and nonprofit organizations. Students spend 10-15 weeks in Washington, D.C., and are required to spend four-and-one-half days per week at their internship site, take a three hour course, attend a Presidential Lecture series, and participate in an 8-12 hour community service project. Students earn between 9-12 hours of academic credit, and increase employment opportunities in the Criminal Justice field.
Examples of field placements through The Washington Center:
- DEA, Interpol, Treasury Department
- US Marshal Service, NCIS
Examples of local field placement options:
- Ohio County Sheriff’s Department
- Marshall County Sheriff’s Department
- Brooke County Sheriff’s Department
- Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department
- Wheeling Police Department
- Weirton Police Department
- Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office
- Jefferson County Juvenile Court
- Wintersville Police Department
- Sargus Juvenile Center
- Ohio County Probation Department
- Lee Day Report Center
- Brooke County Probation Department
Undergraduate student population averages 140 + students a year for the degree program which has a strong focus on Law Enforcement, Corrections, Probation, Research Methods, Courts, and Ethics. In addition, numerous electives (such as Drugs and Society, Media and Crime, and Casework) allow for a well-rounded student meeting the general needs of criminal justice professionals. The learning outcomes of the program are measured through the Major Fields Test, which has depicted an overall improvement in student retention and comprehension of core program objectives in recent years.
Beginning in 2010, the Criminal Justice major participated in course curriculum changes, over hauling the degree and making significant improvements in the area of theory and law. In 2012, additional changes were implemented in the area of victim based courses and research methods. After implementing these changes, the program has seen a significant increase in the number of students scoring above the national average on the standardized MFT exam for the criminal justice major. Prior to the change, just over 50% of our students scored over the national average; since program changes have gone into effect, recent years depict that over 85% of our majors have scored over the national average, with overall 40% of graduates entering law school or graduate degree, and 100% of these applicants earning acceptance into their first school of choice for continuing education.