Criminal Justice Department Competencies Developed

Renovate our space in the basement of HMC by creating a true computer laboratory classroom, reclaiming the half of the Garden Conference Room occupied by marketing, creating a student lounge, installing smart boards in all of the classrooms.

Hiring two tenure track faculty so that we can be at our previous norm of 13 Tenure/Tenure Track faculty. This will allow us to be able concentrations within the major.

Putting our proposed concentrations in Law Enforcement/Homeland Security, Corrections and Rehabilitation, Criminology, and Law and Courts through governance D. Continuing to make it easier for non CRJU majors to take our courses.

Lay the groundwork for a move to main campus into a shared space with the other departments in our college. Our department is isolated and an island onto itself in HMC. The basement is not an attractive or welcoming space. There is no “hang out” space for students. We don’t have the opportunity to mingle with our colleagues in other departments. Work working with the other departments in our college to develop cross-department and interdisciplinary programs to understand address social, political, economic, and individual problems that face our society. Focus the major on addressing and solving problems related to crime, criminal justice institutions.

In addition to servicing the remaining students who want to work in the Criminal Justice field, we need to attract other students who want to study CJ for other reasons such as simple interest in the topic, and desire to change the system from the outside. This will require an review of our department’s curriculum and working with departments in our college and across campus to develop a multidisciplinary center for the study of social, human, political and economic problems

There will be at least two computer lab classrooms with the latest software needed by each department. Each classroom will have smartboards and equipment for videoconferencing. There will be a student lounge area and a room for guest speakers and other program. The department will be a center for addressing problems and issues related to crime and criminal justice and will be integrated with the other departments in the college.

These will facilitate our department providing Criminal Justice education that is relevant to the challenges faced by the discipline and the 21st century.

Our learning goals focus on learning skills/competencies, and matters relating to personal development, that are important for most of the other departments on campus. We also focus on challenges (globalization, technology, aging population, loss of faith) in institutions and mental health that are relevant to many academic departments at Westfield State. In short, what we want for our department is integrated with what the university wants for all of its students. We are well positioned to integrate with other departments and develop a problems and challenges approach to the study of Criminal Justice. This will help us attract students who are interested in Criminal Justice but don’t want to work in the field. It will also help us bring more non-Criminal Justice majors into our classes

We are dealing with declining enrollment, shrinking budgets, the fallout from Covid and many unknowns. We are trying to implement our program with fewer adjuncts, full-time faculty, resources, and less money. We are adjusting to two changes in college structure/academic affairs in five years. We have had five retirements and departures in the past five years as well as four VPs of AA. Most of the energy of the department chair is used dealing with this fluid and challenging environment.

In short, we are focusing on the followings:

  • Redesigning some of our space in HMC, updated facilities will impress potential new students
  • Moving the computer lab to HMC and making into a “Crime Data Lab”
  • Creating a seminar room /student lounge on the first floor of HMC
  • Creation of concentrations within the major; concentrations are planned and ready to go through governance once we know that we will have enough FT TT faculty
  • We’d like to hire two tenure track faculty as an expansion of our MS online program (4+1 program)
  • New faculty will facilitate concentrations, which will help recruit new students
  • Integration with department in college will benefit students offering them access to more classes, faculty and programs
  • Move to main students will make it easier for students to take CRJU classes and have access to CRJU faculty