The mission of the Criminal Justice program is to academically challenge students through opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. It strives to support Thomas More University’s core mission to challenge students to explore the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others by teaching them to understand the relationships between the individual components that make up the criminal justice system, as well as the relationships between the criminal justice system and larger social and cultural institutions.
At Thomas More University, a degree in criminal justice is a liberal arts degree. The curriculum contains courses in the arts, philosophy, theology, history, and natural sciences. Consequently, graduates are equipped with a variety of skills that are transferable to any career. Criminal justice majors graduate with skills such as oral and written communication, critical thinking, research experience, and computer knowledge.
The major also provides an emphasis on ethical leadership and social justice. At Thomas More, students are prepared for any profession through a foundation of strong academics. Students are urged to think about crime and criminal justice from a multidisciplinary approach using theories from sociology, economics, political science, and history.
The mission of the Department is to contribute to the intellectual growth of students. This goal is accomplished by offering opportunities to promote growth both in and around the classroom. Students explore relationships between society, culture, and self in preparation to contribute to the discipline’s humanitarian mission in future positions of responsibility. Small class sizes help to foster individual attention and close student/faculty relationships. Students experience an atmosphere of superior teaching and scholarship in preparation for their futures in the private sector or in public service.
A sampling of courses for a degree in criminal justice includes:
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Theory and Philosophy of Policing
- Juvenile Justice
- Criminal Law and Courts
- Research Methodology
- Substance Abuse
The sociology and criminal justice faculty: Dr James Camp, Professor Ellie Megerle and Dr. Amy Thistlethwaite, have extensive teaching, research and community service experience. Faculty hold degrees from several different institutions including Xavier, Texas Women’s University and the University of Cincinnati. Academic interests include poverty, family, human rights, criminal sentencing, corrections, Mexican culture and social change. Faculty have served in various capacities outside of the department including the academic advising center and experiential learning programs.
Students with a degree in criminal justice often go to law school or pursue graduate work in criminal or public administration. However, they can also pursue graduate degrees in behavioral or social science disciplines, including political science, sociology, or psychology.
Those who seek employment after completing their bachelor’s degree often enter areas such as correctional counseling, court administration, law enforcement, or private security. In addition, many agencies will have criminal justice related job openings for planners, researchers, data analysts, and others who have sharpened their skills in statistics and computer science.
- Correctional Educator
- Corporate Loss Prevention
- Drug Treatment Specialist
- Juvenile Court Advocate
- Law Enforcement
- Probation/Parole Officer
A senior-year internship brings classroom theory to life in the field. Students receive real-world experience and make connections with future employers. A variety of placement opportunities include corrections, social work, counseling, local policing, federal law enforcement, and courts. Field placement students are closely supervised and evaluated by practitioners who consistently give them high marks for professionalism and hard work. Past placements include: ATF, U.S. Marshals, Kenton County Prosecutor, Warren County Women’s Shelter, Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, Lighthouse Youth Center, Hamilton County Probation, and the Salvation Army.
The Sociology and Criminal Justice Department offers several opportunities to get involved outside the classroom, including academic conferences, service learning programs, and the Student Club. Through the Student Club for sociology and criminal justice majors, students will identify and address social issues relevant to them and the community at large.
Two international service learning opportunities also exist. The Mexican-U.S. Border Studies Program explores the social issues related to the border region between Mexico and the U.S. The program requires eight days of field study in the Juarez/El Paso area during spring break. The Jamaica Service-Learning Program allows students to work with children’s homes and schools in the communities of Copse and Greenwood and participate in a joint venture with a Jamaican organization. The program requires approximately two weeks of field study after the spring semester ends.
Criminal justice majors must maintain a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.5. Students who do not meet the GPA requirements may not be considered successful candidates for graduation, or may be removed from the major after a one semester grace period to meet the requirement.
The Department employs a select group of majors as work study students during the fall and spring semesters each academic year.
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