Criminal Justice Program Sees Quick Growth

April 12, 2018
A student actively investigating the staged crime scene for a criminal justice class.
Freshman Desmond Sales, investigates the permanently staged crime scene on campus.

April 12, 2018 – Among several fields of study seeing exciting changes and growth lately, the criminal justice program at Bryan College is growing by leaps and bounds.

Two years have passed since John Sterling, associate professor of criminal justice and director of college safety and security, was hired to help the college establish a vibrant and relevant criminal justice program. According to Sterling, the program’s purpose is “promoting realistic and relevant training that will accomplish the mission of the college to train leaders for Christ, and also making available to the law enforcement community people who are well trained, people of character, people with integrity.”

And this encompasses more professions than that of a street cop: students in the criminal justice program are also those interested in going into courts, corrections, fish/game/wildlife, etc. “Our goal is to promote integrity within the discipline and to prepare students to be a success as they enter this profession,” Sterling says.

This semester criminal justice students have had the opportunity to learn under a guest instructor who is a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security and a digital forensics expert. He has presented several classes on digital forensics and cyber-crime, a topic on which a new class will be offered this coming fall. These students also have an opportunity few others at their level of education have: the chance to get hands-on forensics experience exploring a permanently staged crime scene set up in an unused dorm room on campus. They have to determine the need for a search warrant and specify facts in an affidavit that must be approved to show probable cause, searching for evidence in the room and digitally on the computer, picking up pieces of evidence in the crime scene.

“This level of instruction is simply not generally available at institutions at this level,” notes Sterling. “We are definitely competitive. I expect great things!”

There is also an online criminal justice degree being offered through the School of Adult and Graduate Studies.

Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.

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