The Department of Political Science added a criminal justice major and minor to its academic selection.
Both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts will be offered in this stand-alone major which used to be a political science major with an emphasis in criminal justice. Three years ago criminal justice was offered as an emphasis in the sociology degree.
Dr. Neal Coates, chair of the department, said criminal justice majors will take three new courses including criminal procedure, criminal law and corrections along with other criminal justice courses already offered. The department has 41 new students studying both political science and criminal justice.
The university academic counsel started working with the department on the stand-alone major last year and was approved in the spring.
The Bachelor of Arts degree requires a language and will work for students who want to learn Spanish. Coates said criminal justice students will continue to require a summer internship and many may choose to work for a local game warden or police department.
“We need Christian law enforcement personnel more than ever,” Coates said.
Although some criminal justice students may choose to study law to become prosecutors, Coates said most students will pursue law enforcement careers. He said many police departments want officers with college degrees because it prepares them to handle complex situations.
“Employers want to hire people who have those values, who have those morals, and who have those instincts that come about from being in a religious setting,” Coates said.
Jeffrey Wendling, a 1971 criminal justice graduate, set the pace for criminal justice students through his lifelong service in law enforcement. According to a newsletter in 2013 from the Department of Political Science, Wendling won the International Award of Honor by the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association in 1999 for work with the Philippine counter-drug initiative.
“It’s that lifelong dedication to your job, to your family and to your God that makes a big difference,” Coates said.