Criminal Justice Studies Mission Statement
The mission of the Criminal Justice Studies program at Westminster College is to help its students understand and evaluate criminal justice system agencies and their constituent individuals and groups using a sociological, empirically-based framework. Our enterprise contributes to the larger vision and goals of the liberal arts with its emphasis on thinking critically about issues related to the criminal justice system in the United States and around the world, fostering students' writing and verbal communication skills relative to the field, promoting the application of theoretical knowledge to the field, and encouraging insight into social justice issues in the context of the criminal justice system. We achieve these learning goals using a variety of pedagogies informed by best practices in the scholarship of teaching and learning and focused on active engagement inside the classroom and in the larger society. As dedicated scholars ourselves we enjoy modeling the process of discovery as we guide students in experiencing its satisfactions.
- Articulate a criminological and/or sociological perspective on social issues;
- Understand and apply core criminological and sociological concepts;
- Apply knowledge to solving social problems;
- Understand, apply and evaluate classical and contemporary criminological and sociological theories;
- Understand, apply and evaluate major qualitative and quantitative research methods in criminology and/or sociology.
This major is for students interested in law, juvenile and adult corrections, law enforcement, correctional counseling and related areas. The major provides a sociology foundation with electives and an internship in various areas of criminology and criminal justice. Students learn about theories of the causes of crime, examine empirical data and understand and critically evaluate public opinion around, and the policies and institutions of, the criminal justice system. Students may not double major in Criminal Justice Studies and Sociology. Students may minor in Sociology with no more than two overlapping courses.
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program® is housed in the department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies at Westminster College.Inside-Out courses are unique in that they pair traditional college students with incarcerated students in a learning environment located within a prison setting.This distinctive pedagogy creates transformative learning opportunities for students, and emphasizes the power of collaboration and dialogue around issues of social concern.Inside-Out courses are taught by certified faculty at Westminster College from various disciplines on a rotating basis. Although the course structure will remain consistent for Inside-Out courses, the academic content will vary by semester.