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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76906 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Syllabus Design and Construction in Criminal Justice Education
Author(s): R G Culbertson; A F Carr
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 89
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of Illinois at Chicago Circle
Chicago, IL 60680
US Dept of Justice
Grant Number: 79-CD-AX-0001
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Instructional Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzed 759 syllabi for criminal justice courses submitted by approximately 190 junior, community, and 4-year colleges and universities and then used the data to construct a model criminal justice core curriculum.
Abstract: The conjunction of LEAA money and career - minded students in the late 1960's and early 1970's produced a rapid growth of criminal justice education programs. However, this expansion also created academically weak programs and hindered quality research and scholarship. A 1975 study criticized criminal justice curricula for their exclusion of liberal arts courses, emphasis on training, and narrow focus on law enforcement. To compete successfully for the limited supplies of students and funds expected in the future, criminal justice educators must develop a curriculum that is attractive to students, relevant to professional role expectations, and intellectually coherent. In 1979, letters were sent to members of the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; criminal justice/criminology program directors; and graduate students requesting syllabi for courses in law enforcement, law, corrections, and general criminal justice. A total 759 syllabi were selected for coding into 27 categories, such as course description, grading policy, reading assignments, tests, and texts. Selections were also sorted according to course area, type of institution, and content. The data revealed that syllabus content varied enormously, indicating a general lack of knowledge among educators about constructing a course syllabus. A complete syllabus should state the course's goals and its relationship to the overall program, identify the skills to be learned as well as techniques used to measure progress, and outline the course content. Analysis of the course titles showed two major curriculum models: 2-year programs specializing in law enforcement and corrections and 4-year programs emphasizing other specialities such as criminology and administration. Composite syllabi constructed from the data are presented for 16 criminal justice areas and consist of a course description, rationale, goals and objectives, conceptual outlines, and suggested texts. Tables and cover letters for the survey are included.
Index Term(s): Course materials; Criminal justice education; Curriculum; Higher education
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