Department of Criminal Justice Master of Science in Criminal Justice Sciences Degree Program Eastern Illinois University Request for Review as a First Choice Graduate Program February 1, 2007 Bonnie Parker, Ph

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Department of Criminal Justice

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Sciences Degree Program

Eastern Illinois University
Request for Review as a First Choice Graduate Program

February 1, 2007
Bonnie Parker, Ph.D., Program Chair & Review Author

Clyde Barrow, Ph.D. Graduate Coordinator & Program Team Leader
Alphonse Capone, Ph.D., Graduate Faculty and Team Member

Heidi Fleiss, Ph.D., Graduate Faculty and Team Member

Introduction to the Master’s Program in Criminal Justice Sciences
Program Mission Statement: The mission of the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Sciences program is to prepare students for a career as an administrator in the field of criminal justice, as a counselor in the field of criminal justice or for advanced study for the Ph.D. in criminal justice. The program also offers a graduate certificate in the area of School Safety. This mission of this program is to provide professionals with unique expertise to help school administrators create secure schools. The program is integrated with courses from several areas of education and is the only program with this emphasis in the state of Illinois.
Program Requirements
Core (Foundation) Courses: These courses are required for all candidates in the program.

  • CJS 5110 Criminal Law 3 sh

  • CJS 5200 Communication Skills in Criminal Justice 3 sh

  • CJS 5600 Issues in Criminal Justice 3 sh

  • CJS 5700 Criminological Theory 3 sh

  • CJS 5900 Sociology of Law 3 sh

  • CJS 5950 Introduction to Research 3 sh

Total Core Courses 18 sh
Administration Sequence: These courses are required for all candidates in the Administration Sequence.

  • CJS 5120 Rules of Evidence for the Administration of Justice 3 sh

  • CJS 5250 Correctional Institutions 3 sh

  • CJS 5860 Management Issues in the Criminal Justice System 3 sh

  • CJS 5980 Professional Practice in Criminal Justice 3 sh

  • Issues or Elective Courses 3 sh

Total Administration Sequence Courses 15 sh
Counseling Sequence: These courses are required for all candidates in the Counseling Sequence.

  • CJS 5380 Alcohol, Drugs, and Crime 3 sh

  • CJS 5390 Women in Criminal Justice 3 sh

  • CJS 5850 Policing and Society 3 sh

  • CJS 5980 Professional Practice in Criminal Justice 3 sh

  • Issues or Elective Courses 3 sh

Total Counseling Sequence Courses 15 sh
Thesis Option: Candidates in the thesis option substitute 6 sh of thesis for 6 sh of CJS 5600 Issues in Criminal Justice and electives.

Certificate in School Safety: Candidates completing this certificate must compete all of the courses listed below. Up to 9 semester hours may also be applied to a concurrent master’s degree.

  • CJS 5420 Victimology 3 sh

  • CJS 5820 Creating Safe Schools 3 sh

  • CJS 5850 Policing and Society 3 sh

  • CJS 5890 Sociology of Formal Organizations 3 sh

  • CJS, EDA, ELE, SPE Electives 6 sh

Total Certificate Program 18 sh
Admission Requirements

  • Graduate School Requirements

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation

  • 500 Word Essay

  • Undergraduate Preparation in the Field*

*Students without the required undergraduate preparation may complete undergraduate prerequisites as non-degree students and reapply to the degree program.

Program Review
Criterion 1: The program documents sustained achievements in strengthening the quality, diversity, and internationalization of the University's student body by attracting candidates who have the potential for academic and professional achievement and who complete degrees and succeed as alumni.
Enrollment Management
Recruitment Plan: The program’s Recruitment Plan includes three phases. These include standard electronic and print recruitment, a correspondence cycle, and special events.
Electronic and Print Recruitment

  • Web Site: The Graduate Coordinator maintains a comprehensive web site that provides an overview of the mission of the program, access to applications and assistantship information, a list of faculty, and a summary of student and faculty research. The web site is available at

  • Print Materials: The chair and coordinator maintain a standard recruitment brochure that is provided in all communications. A copy of the brochure is provided as Attachment 1.

  • Advertisements: The department advertises its program once per year in AJCS Today the official Newsletter of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. A copy of the most recent ad is provided as Attachment 2.

Correspondence Cycle: The coordinator establishes an electronic communication sequence with each applicant and tracks each inquiry with three follow-up communications. The first communication is a standard welcome that directs inquiries to the applications. The second communication occurs following the receipt of the applications. The third communication occurs in March of each year to advise all students of the initiation of the review process and expected date of the admission decisions. A copy of the first communication is provided as Attachment 3.

Special Events: The program hosts four special recruitment events.

  • National Conference: During the national conference the program hosts a recruitment fair where undergraduates meet with program representatives.

  • Graduate School & Career Services Programs: The program hosts a table at the Graduate Fair sponsored by Career Services and the Graduate School and invites undergraduates in 5 selected disciplines; criminal justice science, sociology, psychology, counseling, and social work to attend the program.

  • Special Visitations: The program makes three annual visits each year to Chicago State University, Roosevelt University, and St. Louis University to recruit students. The department has established a collaborative relationship with these institutions and has benefited from the diversity of the student body.

  • Campus Visitation Day: The program hosts an annual on-campus visitation day for all applicants. The program includes meetings with faculty, current students, and a tour of the facilities.

  • Black Graduate Student Association Program: To encourage minority participation, the program hosts a special recruitment seminar in conjunction with the Black Graduate Student Association to highlight opportunities for careers.

  • International Programs: The program meets annually with the Director of International Admissions at Eastern to provide information on the program that the Director uses during recruitment activities. These consultations have significantly increased the number of applications from international students.

Recruitment Goals: The program’s recruitment goals are listed below and Table 1 summarizes the application, admission offer, acceptance, enrollment, and diversity rates for the past three years.

  • 50 applications each year with 5 to 8 % from minority applicants

  • Admission of 50% of the applicant pool

  • Secure acceptance from 80% of those offered admission

  • Retain 30 candidates per year, 15 in the first year and 15 in the second year

Selection Criteria: The program examines the following application criteria to make its admission decisions:

  • Undergraduate GPA

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation

  • 500 Word Essay

  • Undergraduate Course Preparation

Graduate Committee: Each year, 3 members of the graduate faculty are appointed by the Chair to serve on the graduate admission committee. The committee members include the Graduate Coordinator, a graduate faculty member with at least 2 years of experience, and a member with less than two years experience.

Candidate Rankings: During the admission review period that begins March 1 and continues for two weeks, the committee members review the 4 admission criteria and hold discussion in order to apply a numerical ranking for each criteria that include 4 = superior, 3 = above average 2 = average, 1 = below average, and 0 = do not consider. After the candidates are ranked in each area, the admission Committee selects those candidates with the highest ranking for admission. Admission offer letters are made to the top 50 to 60% of the candidates depending on the number of students that the program can support.
Acceptance Rate: The Graduate Coordinator maintains documentation of the acceptance rate and inquires for reasons a candidate rejects an admission offer. These reasons are then summarized for review by the department to determine if changes are required to address the issues.
As Table 1 below verifies, the program has steadily improved its application rates during the past 3 years, moving from 42 applications in 2004 to 52 in 2006, which exceeded its goal of 50 applications annually. In addition, the program has become more selective, by admitting 45% of the applicants over the three-years. The most exciting gains have been in the program’s ability to achieve an acceptance rate of 100% in 2006, a domestic diversity rate of 16% and an international participation rate of 14%. We believe that our focused recruitment efforts and collaborative activities have been instrumental with achievement of these goals.
Table 1

Three Year Application, Admission, Acceptance, Enrollment, Diversity, and Degree Completion Rates




3 Year Averages






Admission Offers

21 (50%)

24 (50%)

20 ( 38%)

21.6 (45%)

Acceptance Rate

15 (71%)

18 (75%)

20 (100%)

17.6 (81%)

Total Enrollment





Domestic Diversity

3 (10%)

5 (15%)

6 (16%)

4.6 (14%)

International Diversity

2 (7%)

3 (9%)

5 (15)

3.3 (9%)

Degrees Completed

14 (100%)

14 (93%)

17 (94%)

15 (96%)

Assistantship/Scholarship Management
Annual Awards: The program has 7 annual awards that enhance the program in the following ways:
Academic Quality: The average undergraduate GPA for the seven graduate assistants during the past 3 years was 3.90 with a range from 3.75 to 4.00. This average and range reflect that the assistantships attract top candidates to the program
Undergraduate Preparation Diversity: Assistantships have been awarded to candidates from the following institutions during the past three years

  • The University of Illinois

  • The University of Wisconsin

  • Chicago State University

  • St. Louis University

  • Illinois State University

  • Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

  • Augustana College

  • Roosevelt University

  • Murray State University

  • The University of Northern Iowa

Diversity: The assistantships attracted 6 candidates representing domestic minorities and 3 international students.

Teaching, Research, and Service Contributions

  • Teaching: Three of the assistantships serve to support the teaching mission of the program. These awards provide teaching support to 6 faculty members and six undergraduate courses. These include teaching assistance oversight for the special projects, presentations, and papers required for CJS 1000 Introduction to Criminal Justice Sciences and CJS 2010 Crime and Behavior. Teaching assistance for CJS 2515 Juvenile Justice and 3000 Professional Practice: Cooperative Education in Criminal Justice require direct teaching and oversight of the laboratory sections associated with these courses. Teaching assistance for CJS 4000 Communication Skills in Criminal Justice and CJS 4790 Criminal Justice Administration include oversight and management of the small group discussion sections and presentations associated with these courses. The teaching experiences require the assistants to prepare materials, teach, evaluate, and review projects directly related to their field of study.

  • Research: Two graduate assistants support two faculty members with the Honors Program Undergraduate Research requirements. The assistants hold meetings with the undergraduate honors students, review research proposals, provide guidance with laboratory procedures, provide tutoring on statistics and related areas of content, and oversee the annual Criminal Justice Research Fair.

  • Service. The Department provides an Undergraduate Tutoring Center and a Comprehensive Internship Program. Two graduate assistants provide support to the faculty member who oversees the tutoring center and the Internship Coordinator who oversees the internship program. Assistants have opportunities to meet with students, review content, network with professionals in the field, and complete annual reports.

Assistantship Value: Each graduate assistantship has a specified set of responsibilities and expectations. These are outlined and available at the web site and students may indicate which area interests them. Students frequently report that knowing about the teaching, research, or service opportunities available though the assistantship program was instrumental with their application and with their decision to attend. Exit interviews (available for review in the department) identify the assistantship experience as one of the most important aspects of the program for attracting applicants and for assisting with applicant decisions.

Competitive Awards: The program has an established record of success with external awards.

  • External Agents: Three additional assistantships have been established that provide candidates with direct experience by working at the agency and funding to pursue the degree. The Graduate School provides the supporting tuition waiver. The external awards include the Charleston Police Department, Behavioral Interventions in Decatur, and the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Champaign.

  • Alumni Awards: The department successfully established its first alumni supported award, the Donald Rumsfeld Fellowship. The award was established to honor Mr. Rumsfeld, recently retired United States Secretary of Defense and an alumnus of the program. This award is currently the program’s most prestigious award providing a stipend and tuition waiver without a work commitment.

  • Presidential Assistantships: the Program has been the recipient of two Presidential Assistantships during the past three years.

  • Summer Research Awards: the program has earned three Summer Research Assistantships, one each year, during the past three years.

Matriculation Management: The Graduate Coordinator monitors graduation rates for candidates. As Table 1 verifies, the program has achieved a 96% graduation rate over a three-year cycle for full-time candidates.
Graduate Placement: There is a high demand for criminal justice professionals in Illinois. Each year, the program at EIU collaborates with Illinois State University to host a career fair to assist with career opportunities. Approximately 70 to 100 employers attend the event held each April. At the time of exit from the program, 80% of candidates completing degrees are employed. The remaining 20% typically achieve placements within three months of graduation. The three-year average indicates that 70 to 75% of the candidates secure positions in criminal justice administration, and 20% in criminal counseling. The remaining 5 to 10% pursue the Ph.D. with the majority of candidates enrolling in the doctoral program at the University of Illinois.
Prestigious Placements: Eastern graduates currently hold positions with the following agencies.

  • Administration of Corrections State of Illinois

  • Administration of Corrections State of Indiana

  • Administration of Corrections State of Iowa

  • Chicago, IL Police Department

  • Children’s Home of Washington DC

  • Cook County Illinois Sheriff’s Office

  • Cook County Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office

  • Indianapolis Department of Corrections

  • New York City Corrections Counseling Center

  • St. Louis, MO Correctional Facilities

In the past three years, three master’s candidates from Eastern have completed the Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Sciences from the University of Illinois.

Criterion 2: The program documents sustained achievements in fostering advanced scholarship through a depth of knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication, application of technology, research/creative activity, and commitment to professional ethics.
Assessment Results Documented by the Center for Academic Support and Achievement: Review of the program’s Assessment Plan by the Center for Academic Support and Achievement (CASA) documents that the program uses its assessment data to improve student learning, to guide improvements to the curriculum, and to achieve academic excellence. A copy of the 2006 Department Assessment Plan is included at Attachment 4. Other reports are available at the CASA web site.
Written Communication Assessment:

  • All candidates are assessed using Eastern’s Primary Trait Analysis in 4 core courses that span 4 levels of the program from entry in CJS 5110 Criminal Law, mid-program in CJS 5200 Communication Skills in Criminal Justice and advanced-program courses in CJS 5700 Criminological Theory and 5900 Sociology of Law. Analysis of data during the past three years revealed that students did not meet expectations early in the program so additional written assignments were added to the two entry and mid-program courses. These changes have improved the quality of written communication.

  • Written Comprehensive Exams: Candidates in comprehensive exams are assessed using the PTA. The graduate committee implemented a workshop for comprehensive exams and thesis students to improve written communication skills. Since increasing and improving the written experience in courses, and implementing the workshop, CJS candidates are meeting both “pass” and “pass with distinction” categories for written communication. FY 2006 was the first time this achievement was reached.

  • Theses Candidates: Candidates submitting theses are assessed at two points in the thesis process. The first assessment by the committee occurs after the review chapter is completed and determines if the candidate meets the expectations to continue the project. The second assessment occurs at the conclusion and students are rated on a specially designed thesis scale. The workshop has improved written performance on the first assessment.

Oral Communication Assessment:

  • All candidates are assessed using Eastern’s Primary Trait Analysis in 2 core courses that span 2 levels of the program at entry in CJS 5200 Communication Skills in Criminal Justice and in the advanced-program course in CJS 5900 Sociology of Law. Analysis of data during the past three years revealed that students needed additional mid-program oral language experience to advance skills and an oral requirement in CJS 5600 was added; however, data have not yet been collected.

  • Oral Comprehensive Exams: Candidates taking oral exams are assessed using the PTA. Currently candidates are meeting expectations for oral communication.

  • Theses Candidates: Candidates submitting theses are assessed at the conclusion of the project and students are rated on a specially designed thesis scale. Candidates are currently meeting expectations.

Depth of Knowledge Assessment: Depth of knowledge is assessed by organizing each of the assessment tools into 4 categories: core (foundation) content, administration focused content, counseling focused content, and ethics focused content. Each area of focus is related to the causes, consequences, and responses to crime as required by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Assessment tools span a 4-year cycle and are administered by faculty at the conclusion of the program, by external supervisors at the conclusion of the internship, by alumni after a one-year exit from the program, and by employers after a 3-year exit from the program. Technology skills are assessed using a special tool that is administered as part of the final course in the core course sequence, CJS 5850.

  • Core Content Courses: All assessment tools verified that students had achieved expected levels of competence in core courses.

  • Administration Focused Courses: Assessment tool identified weaknesses in the management area of administration across three assessment groups; faculty, internship supervisors, and employers. As a result a comprehensive review of the management courses was conducted by matching qualitative comments to content areas in the courses. It was determined that significant portions of the course were outdated and that the required projects were no longer effective in achieving expected learning outcomes. The course was significantly revised and changed from Management Policies to Management Issues in the Criminal Justice System. A significant oral language component was added to the course. Preliminary assessment data suggests that students are showing improved learning as a result of the changes.

  • Counseling Focused Courses: Assessment tools consistently identified that students were achieving expected learning outcomes in this area.

  • Ethics Focused Courses: Assessment tools consistently identified that students understand and apply ethical principles satisfactorily.

  • Technology Skills: The Technology Assessment Tool identified weaknesses in students’ knowledge and application of the Database in Criminal Justice Management. This is a widely used tool in the field that provides access to management support services and related information for professionals in the field. As a result, use of this tool was added to CJS 5800 Correctional Systems to improve student knowledge and use of this tool.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Assessment: This area of assessment is addressed through student projects requiring application of theory to practice in CJS 5700 Criminological Theory and through assessment of clinical applications during the internship by supervisors.

  • The four-trait rubric for critical thinking and problem solving with criminological theories verified that candidates demonstrate appropriate skills within a standard written paper that is revised three or more times during the course of the semester.

  • The analysis tool used by supervisors during the internship to assess critical thinking and problem solving indicated that students were fulfilling the expectations of supervisors during their internships.

Research and Scholarship Assessment: Research and Scholarship are assessed by rating performance on a standard research project that is completed in CJS 5950 Introduction to Research and by evaluating presentations of the research during the annual research fair.

  • Students met expectations for completing a research project using an analysis of four areas of scholarship.

  • Students successfully presented research projects during the annual research fair which also fulfilled department expectations for research and scholarship

The 2006 evaluation of the Department Assessment Plan is included as Attachment 5. Additional evaluations are available at the CASA web site. The evaluation verified that the program is functioning at level 3 in all four areas of assessment, but most importantly, the review documents that the program has successfully used its assessment results to improve the quality of the program and the quality of student learning as outlined above. Assessment results are reported each year to current and prospective students as a tool to highlight program quality.

Assessment Results Documented by the Graduate School: The 2006 evaluation of the Department Assessment Plan is included as Attachment 6. Additional evaluations are available in the Graduate School. The evaluations verified that the program uses its assessment data to improve student learning in the areas identified by the Council on Graduate Studies that include oral and written communication, depth of knowledge (including technology and ethical behaviors), critical thinking and problem solving, and research/creative activity.

Criterion 3: The program documents sustained achievements in expanding the curriculum with rigorous advanced courses and options offered through lectures, laboratories, seminars, forums, practicum field experiences, internships, and partnerships with education, business, and industry.
Sustained Mission and Planning Leadership: The Department of Criminal Justice Sciences is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The Academy adopted an academic program review process in 2005 that offers Certification of Master’s Programs that meet the Academy’s standards for excellence. The Department has applied for Certification. As part of the certification process, the program must demonstrate that it reviews its mission statement on an annual basis. The Department’s annual mission review session is completed during the Graduate Committee Meeting held in April after the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The Graduate Coordinator is responsible for bringing issues to the committee based on changes and advancements in the discipline, state and regional needs, and other issues related to the program mission. During the discussion, faculty have an opportunity to determine if the program’s mission that is currently focused on administration, counseling, PhD study, and school safety remain viable areas of mission focus and if they are appropriately aligned with expectations in the discipline. The discussion also includes how the graduate mission is aligned with the institutional mission. Below is a summary of the most recent mission analysis (April , 2006):

  • Mission Alignment and Discipline: The mission of Eastern’s CJS program to focus on administration, counseling, advanced study, and school safety is in line with expectations for practice in the discipline. Current courses and experiences reflect currency of the discipline.

  • Mission Alignment and Need: There is significant evidence from the Academy of continuing need for both administrators and counselors in criminal justice, and for PhD candidates. Eastern adopted the certificate in school safety in 2001 in response to escalating criminal activity in Illinois schools. This program continues to grow in demand and is well positioned for its future.

  • Mission Alignment and Eastern: The program is of high quality and attracts strong applicants from across the region and state. It has strong ties to Eastern’s education mission, and reflects the institution’s expectations for superior accessible education. It also extends scholarship in an undergraduate field of study that has a 50 year history at Eastern and is well regarded for the quality of students that it attracts. For example, undergraduates in Criminal Justice Sciences have higher ACT admission scores when compared to all Eastern students and a greater portion come from the top half of their high school class.

Sustained Curricular Leadership by Program Administration and Faculty: The program documents that its administrative structure and graduate faculty advance the curriculum.
Administrative Leadership: The Administrative Structure of the graduate program is composed of the Department Chair, the Graduate Coordinator, the Graduate Faculty, and the Graduate Committee. Below is a summary that describes how the administrative leadership advances the quality of the curriculum:

  • The Department Chair has responsibility for external partnerships to support the program, alumni tracking, and employer tracking. The Chair communicates regularly with internship sites to determine which sites may be interested in hosting external assistantships. During the past three years, the chair has negotiated three awards to enhance those funded by the Graduate School. These were described earlier. The Chair also works with the College and Graduate School to recognize alumni achievements. Her work was responsible for securing the Rumsfeld Award in 2005. The Chair works with employers to obtain assessment data on graduates and to maintain career networks for current candidates. The chair also meets with the Coordinator regularly to share expectations of the College, to review graduate student course and thesis needs, and to review issues before the Graduate Committee. These examples illustrate how the Chair advances the quality of graduate study.

  • The Graduate Coordinator provides strong leadership for the graduate program as the following examples illustrate. While the Coordinator is expected to manage the matriculation of students, he is also expected to provide leadership with recruitment. During the past three years, the Coordinator secured approval to implement three new recruitment programs including Campus Visitation Day, Black Graduate Student Association Collaboration, and International Programs Collaboration. Each of these new programs has increased the number and diversity of applicants and allowed the program to improve its application and selectivity rate. The Coordinator is also charged with analyzing discipline related issues that impact graduate study. Recently, the Coordinator reported that the AJCS had implemented a Program Certification Process. Following a review and recommendation from the Graduate Committee, he and the Chair initiated a review and the department is now in the process of applying for certification which will offer national recognition of its program excellence. The Coordinator is responsible for advancing student research (discussed in the next section). The Coordinator recommended that the Department implement a Research Fair to provide students with opportunities to present their work. This was implemented in the Fall of 2005. As noted earlier in the report, these examples demonstrate how the Graduate Coordinator advances the quality of graduate study.

Graduate Faculty Leadership: Below is a summary of how the graduate faculty advances the quality of the curriculum.

  • The Graduate Committee is composed of five members of the graduate faculty including the Graduate Coordinator who serves as chair. Faculty serve rotational three-year terms so that all graduate faculty members provide service to the committee based on this rotation. All data and information related to graduate study is forwarded to the Graduate Committee for review. Included are requests from the College or Graduate School for action or implementation of policies, data from assessment, data from the discipline, and input from the graduate faculty on curricular matters. The committee reviews the data and requests and formulates responses which may include changes to the curriculum or development of new processes or procedures to improve the quality of graduate study. All recommendations are presented by the Coordinator to the entire faculty during regularly scheduled faculty meetings. Using this process, the Graduate Committee led by the Graduate Coordinator has advanced the quality of the curriculum by adding the Certificate in School Safety, updating the program mission statement as previously described, enhancing the rigor of the curriculum as described in the assessment section, adding exam and thesis workshops as previously described, and creating a Handbook for Graduate Study and Guidelines for Graduate Assistants. These advances have been sustained over a five-year period and have improved the quality of the curriculum as evidenced by assessment data, application data, and enrollment data. These examples illustrate how the graduate faculty are fully engaged in the graduate program and have a significant role with advancing the curriculum. One of the major issues being discussed by the Graduate Committee is determining if the program should add an international track to the program that would include a required study abroad internship for master’s candidates who seek an international concentration.

  • The Graduate Faculty: In addition to teaching graduate courses and serving as mentors, and serving rotational terms on the Graduate Committee, the graduate faculty also serve on three subcommittees that include the Admissions Subcommittee, the Comprehensive Examination Subcommittee and Thesis Subcommittees. The Admissions Subcommittee reviews and ranks all of the applicants for admission and reviews issues and concerns that emerge with admission decisions. The Exam Subcommittee is charged with updating the exam, and updating the procedures for administering the exam. The Thesis Subcommittees are responsible for mentoring thesis candidates and recommending processes and procedures to promote and recognize thesis activities. Accomplishments of the graduate faculty serving on these subcommittees include sustained updates in the comprehensive exam and sustained increases in the number of students in the thesis option and the number of students who are presenting work at regional, state, and national meetings.

Sustained Curricular Leadership by External Review: The program has used two approaches to external review. The first included the use of an Advisory Board and the second is through review by the national association.

  • How the Advisory Board Advances Program Quality: Prior to 2003, the program used an external Advisory Board, composed of eight professionals of note in the region, who met with the Graduate Committee every two years to discuss the curriculum and recommend improvements. Copies of the Minutes of these meetings are on file in the department. The Advisory Board was instrumental with helping the program secure internship placements in prestigious agencies, primarily in Illinois. The Advisory Board also assisted the chair with securing externally funded assistantships. Both of these achievements advanced the program’s ability to provide excellent professional experiences and funding to attract top students.

  • How ACJS Certification Advances Program Quality: With the advice of the Advisory Board, the department agreed to be one of the inaugural programs to seek Certification by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The program has submitted its report and received positive feedback that certification is imminent; however, official notification has not occurred. The program will now use Certification through the Academy for external review and believes that it will be one of the first programs in Illinois to be certified. Initial comments from the report noted these program strengths

    • School Safety Certificate: A unique program serving as a model for others.

    • World Criminal Justice Systems: This course provides an international perspective missing from many programs. Because of this strength, the program may wish to consider an international concentration currently missing from its curriculum. There is a need for professionals with international perspective due to escalating internationally based criminal activity.

    • Women in Criminal Justice: This course is unique and provides students with an area of study often lacking in other programs.

    • Lack of a Study Abroad Component: The program should seriously consider adding a study abroad component for some students to advance its international knowledge base. As noted earlier the program has taken this into consideration through its Graduate Committee.

These review statements provide evidence that external reviews have advanced the quality of the curriculum and allowed the program to plan well for its future.

Sustained Capstone Leadership: There are three capstone experiences in the program. All candidates must complete an internship that evaluates and measures their ability to apply content knowledge to practice in the field. Approximately 75% of the candidates complete the non-thesis option. All candidates in this option must complete comprehensive exams that include both a written and oral component. Candidates in the thesis option complete the thesis and an oral defense.

  • How the Internship Capstone Impacts the Quality of Learning: All candidates must be in good academic standing (hold minimally a 3.00 graduate GPA) to be eligible for the internship. Interns are evaluated by site supervisors at mid-term and at the conclusion of the program. Any intern who does not meet the minimum standards for competency at mid-term is provided with a list of remedial areas to improve and the internship is terminated. After showing evidence of addressing weaknesses, the internship is repeated. At the conclusion of an internship, candidates are given a comprehensive review of their strengths and weaknesses and these are discussed with the Internship Coordinator. In addition, site supervisions complete the Internship Assessment Tool that helps to identify program strengths and weaknesses. These processes document the critical impact the internship has on the quality of learning. Candidates may not complete the degree without the internship component and must meet established standards or the internship is terminated.

  • How the Examination Capstone Impacts the Quality of Learning: Non-thesis candidates must successfully pass the comprehensive exam which is divided into four sections including core (foundation) knowledge, administration knowledge, counseling knowledge, and ethics. The exam is structured so that candidates must pass each section at 75% or higher and earn an overall passing score. All candidates must successfully pass. Results are shared with each candidate and strengths and weaknesses are identified. A remedial plan is outlined for candidates who fail the exam and a re-take opportunity is provided after completion of the plan. Assessment data is also collected and used to improve the program. Details about assessment data uses were provided in the Assessment Section of this report. The Coordinator maintains a spreadsheet that tracks student performance in each section of the exam. To assist students the program provides a Workshop and study guide.

  • How the Thesis Capstone Impacts the Quality of Learning: The Coordinator collaborates with the graduate faculty to identify candidates who should consider the thesis option in order to maintain a 25% enrollment in the thesis option. Candidates select mentors based on research interests. All candidates must have the approval of the thesis committee to continue the project after completion of the prospectus portion of the thesis that includes the review chapter and an outline of the question. All thesis candidates must pass their thesis and oral defense. To assist students the program provides a Workshop and offers guidelines at the website.

  • The capstones are rigorous and regularly evaluated for rigor by the committees that oversee them. The internship is evaluated regularly by the Internship Coordinator. Changes to the program are made based on assessment data as outlined in the Assessment Section. Students who fail to meet capstone expectations of the program must complete remedial plans in order to re-take them. These actions reflect the impact of each of these capstones on the program.

Sustained Student Leadership: Student Leadership: The program fosters student participation to advance program quality in two primary ways. These include hosting an active student discipline association and remaining active in GSAC.

  • How the Student Academy for Criminal Justice Sciences Advances Quality: Graduate candidates are encouraged to become active members of the local chapter of the Student Academy. Membership provides benefits to student members that include access to professional journals and reduced costs to attend the annual meeting. Through SACJS students host seminars, workshops, social functions, and related activities that are important to the quality of their program. The Student Association, in conjunction with the department, hosts an annual Graduate Candidate Visitation. During the visitation, applicants to the program have an opportunity to talk with current students about the program and research interests.

  • How Participation in GSAC Advances Quality: The program has maintained one active representative on GSAC annually. This representative attends meetings and serves as the liaison between the Student Academy and GSAC. The GSAC representative provides a report for the department’s annual newsletter on activities related to graduate study and collects information from students in response to GSAC requests. The GSAC representative promotes participation in GSAC events including the Graduate Exposition, Awards Ceremony, and Nominations for the Faculty Mentor Award. The Student Association, in collaboration with the GSAC representative, hosts the Student Research Fair during expo week where thesis students and students in the research class display their research. The GSAC representative and Coordinator promote participation in the Annual Graduate Student Awards Ceremony. During the last three years the program has been the recipient of nine student awards. These include four Williams Travel Awards, two Graduate School Research Awards, a Presidential Assistantship, and two Thesis Awards, one for Honorable Mention, and one Thesis Award of Excellence.

  • How Participation in BGAC Advances Quality: The program’s students have not been active members on the Black Graduate Student Association. In order to address this issue, the Student Academy now hosts a joint function with BGAC each February during to foster minority participation in the program.

Through the Student Academy and GSAC, graduate students in the program provide leadership that impacts and improves the quality of graduate study.

Sustained Alumni Leadership: Sustained Alumni Leadership: The program fosters alumni participation in several ways.

  • How Quality is Advanced through Graduate School and College Alumni Programs: During the 2005 Alumni Recognition Program hosted by the Graduate School, the department honored two past alumni, Donald Rumsfeld, retired U. S. Secretary of Defense, and Louis Freeh, former Director of the FBI. As noted earlier, Mr. Rumsfeld has established an assistantship in his name. The program has nominated an alumnus for a 2008 Alumni Award and believes the nominee will be competitive for recognition. The program also had an alumnus who held both a bachelor’s and master’s degree receive a 2006 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Alumni Office.

  • How Quality is Advanced through Department Alumni Development Programs: First year alumni are asked to provide assessment data one year post graduation. This program is an important resource for using alumni to enhance the quality of the program. Alumni achievements are included in the Annual Department Newsletter and are posted at the department’s web site for alumni. The program also hosts an annual reception for alumni who are attending the state conference. This program helps the chair maintain contact with alumni and to highlight their achievements. Between 2004 and 2006 thirty graduate alumni made donations to the programs gift fund. That fund is used to support faculty and student collaborative research projects. The fund typically earns $3000 per year.

Through these programs the department has maintained a good relationship with its alumni who have contributed to the program with assessment data and gifts to advance the quality of graduate scholarship.

Sustained External Partnerships: The program sustains two forms of external partnerships that support the program. These include Internship Sites and Externally Funded Assistantships.

  • How Internship Partnerships Advance Quality: To meet an annual demand of up to 15 interns, the program retains a relationship with 30 potential sites. A list of these sites is included at Attachment 7. The Internship Coordinator maintains contact with all sites and visits new sites to ensure that the sites meet program expectations for an internship experience. Internships are critical to the quality of the program and partnerships with these sites contribute important experiences and assessment data that is used to advance the quality of the program.

  • How Partnerships with External Agents Advance Quality: The program currently maintains 3 assistantships funded through partnerships wit external agents. The Chair maintains contact with these agents who are invited to an annual event hosted by the Graduate School each year in recognition of their contributions to the University. The external awards, noted earlier, include the Charleston Police Department, Behavioral Interventions in Decatur, and the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Champaign. Externally funded awards allow the program to enhance the quality of the program by attracting top candidates to the program with the additional funding. Externally funded awards are vital to allowing the program to secure a larger number of top candidates seeking a program.

Criterion 4: The program documents sustained achievements in research/creative activity with graduate students and faculty.
Sustained Student Research Leadership: The program engages students in research/creative activity through two programs, a thesis study option and a required mini-research requirement.

  • The program’s thesis option engages students in traditional research in the discipline and also prepares students for PhD study.

  • The program’s requirement that students complete a mini-research project in CJS 5950 Introduction to Research ensures that all candidates in the program engage in scholarship.

Research Productivity: Productivity Goals:

  • The program has established a goal of having 25% of the candidates enroll in the thesis option. A total of 13 master’s theses were completed during the past 3 years which documents that the program achieved this goal. A summary of the theses produced in 2004, 2005, and 2006 is provided as Attachment 8.

  • The program has established a goal of having all students enrolled in CJS 5950 complete a mini-research project. Approximately 15 students are enrolled each year. All students completing the course during the past three years completed research projects which documents that the program has achieved this goal.

Research Engagement: The program engages students in research and scholarship through the following processes:

  • The program requires that all thesis candidates submit their projects for presentation at regional, state, or national levels. In the past three years, five of the 13 projects have been accepted for presentation; one at the national conference, two at the regional conference, and two at the state conference. Those accepted for presentation are noted in the thesis summary.

  • The program requires that all thesis projects and all mini-research projects be presented at the Annual Research Fair during Graduate Exposition week.

  • The program provides incentives for graduate candidates to attend regional, state, or national meetings by allowing attendance to meet the requirements for completion of a written paper in CJS 5880 Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice. Average annual enrollment in the course is 15 and approximately 50% of students enrolled use this option so that six to seven graduate candidates attend an annual meeting. The professor who teaches the course maintains a record of the students who complete this requirement and can verify the program’s student participants.

Sustained Commitment to Research and Travel Grants: Graduate School Programs: The program’s students have earned research and travel awards through the discipline and the Graduate School.

  • Discipline: Students who submit work for presentation at the State Academy may compete for registration waiver awards. Five students submitted applications and two received awards in the past three years.

  • Graduate School Travel Awards: Five candidates applied and five candidates earned Williams Travel Awards to present their work in the past three years.

  • Graduate School Research Awards: The program has had five submissions for awards and has earned one award in the past three years.

Sustained Commitment to Showcasing Graduate Scholarship/Creative Activity: As noted previously, the program requires that all thesis projects and all mini-research projects be presented at the Annual Research Fair during Graduate Exposition week. Faculty mentors join their students during these presentations and the department’s faculty and students attend as well as deans and vice presidents.
Sustained Record of Award Program Participation: The program’s students have earned awards for research from the College and Graduate School.

  • College Awards: The College offers an award for the best graduate student research. A CJS student was the recipient of such an award in 2004.

  • Graduate School: A CJS student earned an award for Honorable Mention in 2004 and the Award of Excellence in 2005.

Criterion 5: The program documents a sustained record of developing opportunities for the discovery and application of knowledge with graduate faculty members who reflect the University's teaching and mentoring priority and who have a record of research/creative activity and professional service.
Sustained Record of Coordinator Leadership: The Coordinator has achieved a strong record of leadership in the following ways:

  • Member of the 2005 50th Anniversary Initiative: Dr. Barrow was selected to serve on the 2005 50th Anniversary Initiative. This initiative developed the program to identify the 50 most outstanding alumni of the past 50 years and recognize them in a formal ceremony in the Spring of 2005. This program also created the opportunity to develop the Graduate School Alumni Advisory Board and the Annual Alumni Recognition Program.

  • Member of the Thesis Selection Committee: The Coordinator has served a two-year term on the Council of Graduate Studies Thesis Selection Committee. The members of this committee read all of the theses submitted for recognition and selects those that are recognized.

  • Faculty Mentor Award Nominee: The Coordinator has been nominated for the Faculty Mentor Award in 2004 and 2005. Nomination is an extremely prestigious achievement and the department recognizes the faculty member selected each year with a $200 travel stipend in addition to his/her regular department travel support.

  • Achievement and Contribution Award: The Coordinator is the recipient of a 2006 Achievement and Contribution award in the area of research. The Coordinator has been instrumental in encouraging student research projects and collaborating with students to promote research.

  • Academy Certification and Academic Review Council: The Coordinator led the initiative to secure Certification of the program from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and has been invited to serve on the Academy’s Academic Review Council.

Sustained Graduate Faculty Scholarship: Ten members of the graduate faculty in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences have achieved the following scholarly accomplishments during the past three years. A summary of recent faculty scholarship is included as Attachment 9. A more comprehensive vita for each faculty member is available at the Graduate School web site.

  • 1 book

  • 1 book chapter

  • 2 peer reviewed articles

  • 1 international presentation

  • 2 national presentations

  • 2 regional presentations

  • 2 state presentations

The faculty have earned $4000 from EIU grant competitions during the past three years and an additional $75,000 through external grants to support scholarly work.

  • Dr. Capone was granted $60,000 from the National Science Foundation to study the application of partnerships for the management of criminal justice.

  • Dr. James was granted $15,000 from the state of Illinois to examine the application of the coaching model to Illinois criminal institutions.

  • Dr. Barrow earned a Summer CFR grant to study school safety.

  • Dr. Dillinger earned a College New Faculty Grant to study the impact of new drugs on the criminal justice system.

Based on the documentation presented in this document, the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences requests approval to use the designation A First Choice Graduate Program at Eastern Illinois University.

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