This fall semester witnessed the launch of the online option for the Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology with six students representing the first cohort. The spring semester cohort has four confirmed students, with several more applications in the works. I specifically used the word “option”, because the graduate program was designed to mirror the resident classroom experience in every possible way, a decision that has distinguished our department from others who have decided to utilize adjuncts to teach graduate courses.
Interest in the online option has been considerable, with more than 40 requests for information, prompting several email conversations, more than a dozen phone conversations, and even a few Skype conversations with students around the world, who are all interested in becoming Cougs and joining a distinguished group of graduates from our Master’s Degree program. The pool of applicants and current cohort come from diverse backgrounds representing federal agencies, local law enforcement, and corrections. Some are active and former members of the military, and a few have worked in the legal profession.
The online option has presented several “firsts” with the launch of our Google Ad words campaign, creation of our new landing page for interested students, and our first of many live webinars. These webinars offer a unique opportunity for potential applicants to meet faculty and prospective students (let me know if you are interested in participating) to learn more about the program, research institutes, and our faculty. In addition, the department is working with the Graduate School and Global campus on several marketing ventures.
In addition to offering the Master’s Degree online, we are pleased to share that, because of interest in offering more electives, several special electives were developed for the online option. Some of these include Leadership in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Management, Drugs, Addiction and Crime, and several other electives that will be available to all graduate students. In addition to being able to offer these electives, we were also able to access the expertise and talents of Dr. Lois James from the Sleep & Performance Research Center to teach Research Methods and Dr. Debbie Mealy from the Criminal Justice Training Commission to teach Leadership in Criminal Justice.
As a department, this is a tremendous development and we are pleased to be able to share the success of the launch of the online option for the Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology. By David A. Makin, Ph.D.