Criminal Justice

Goals Shared with the College of Liberal Arts

Learning and Information Synthesis

  • The CJ major develops a value for life-long learning.
  • The CJ major develops a skill set that will help them to engage in life-long learning.
  • The CJ major must learn how to succinctly summarize key points from larger amounts of information.
  • The CJ major knows how to find scholarly publications, what is generally found in the major sections of these publications, and how to appropriately cite these materials.
  • The CJ major learns how to organize summaries of research findings topically, thematically, and historically.
  • The CJ major learns that the World Wide Web contains a significant amount of misinformation and values the need to locate the original information sources and evaluate their validity.
  • The CJ major values the need to approach learning from a multiple perspectives.

Critical Thinking

  • The CJ major must be able to identify and evaluate the validity of the assumptions underlying a particular argument.
  • The CJ major should be able to distinguish fact from opinion.
  • The CJ major should be able to logically sequence arguments/facts in support of a specific position.
  • The CJ major should be able to make factual counterarguments against arguments against a particular position.
  • The CJ major learns how to understand how their own values influence their judgment/learning processes.

Scientific Method

  • The CJ major learns to prize objectivity in thought and measurement.
  • A CJ major understand how to apply the scientific method to generate and test hypotheses.
  • The CJ major should develop a sound understanding of descriptive statistics (e.g., frequency distributions, rates and percentages, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion).
  • A CJ major should develop a good understanding of basic inferential statistics (e.g., t-test, Pearson’s correlation, ANOVA).

Communication Skills

  • The CJ major develops a good ability to listen to others.
  • The CJ major should be able to communicate effectively in group settings.
  • The CJ major must be able to write effectively.

Diversity and Openness

  • The CJ major learns to approach new learning experiences with an open mind.
  • The CJ major appreciates and values diversity.
  • The CJ major learns to respect other’s perspectives and accepts multiple viewpoints about an issue as being normative.
  • The CJ major should be able to take another’s perspective and try to understand their opinions, beliefs and experiences from that viewpoint.

Problem Solving

  • CJ majors understand that asking questions is an important learning skill and learn how to ask clear, concise questions.
  • The CJ major knows how to define a problem, determine its causes, and develop a solution that specifically addresses these causes.

Life Skills

  • CJ major learns how to manage time effectively.
  • The CJ major must learn how to work effectively in small groups.
  • CJ majors learn how to develop career-relevant professional networks.
  • The CJ major knows how to conduct oneself ethically and with integrity.


Goals Specifically for the Criminal Justice Major: Discipline Specific Knowledge

  • The CJ major understands how the 3 major components of the Criminal Justice System operate and interact with each other.
  • The CJ major develops a broad knowledge of key legal decisions that affect the structure and conduct of the Criminal Justice System.
  • The CJ major understands how to apply the United States Constitution to the Criminal Justice System.
  • The CJ major understands that criminal justice policy should be based in objective, thoughtful analysis.
  • The CJ major appreciates the media’s influence on criminal justice policy and public attitudes about the criminal justice system.
  • The CJ major has a clear understanding of the major theories of delinquent and criminal behavior.
  • The CJ major has a clear understanding of the theories relating to crime prevention.
  • The CJ major learns how to find credible information from academic and government sources about crime and criminal justice policy.