The mission of the Department of Criminal Justice is to prepare students to become leaders, outstanding practitioners, scholars, and advocates for social justice in a diverse and global society.
Aligning itself with the strategic direction of the university, the Department of Criminal Justice’s priorities as noted below are aligned with UNC Tomorrow and NCCU 2020.
The largest academic department at North Carolina Central University, the Department of Criminal Justice boasts over 600 undergraduate students and fifty graduate students. All of our efforts are centered on student success, i.e. retention, graduation and placement. The department has experienced a constant rate of growth over the past several years. For example, the number of majors increased from 524 in 2008 to 618 in 2011, 18% increase. As a liberal arts institution our students are challenged to think critically and analytically in order to foster their development, both personally and professionally, develop leadership skills, and help promote community development. We pride ourselves with being a student-centered department, which has three active undergraduate student organizations, i.e. Alpha Phi Sigma, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, and the International Organization of Black Security Executives. Collectively, there are approximately 80 students actively involved in student organizations. Each has a strong commitment to student service. The department generates in excess of 14,000 student community service hours per year.
The Department has recently revised its undergraduate and graduate curriculum in order to better prepare students to reach their personal and career goals. Core courses, along with concentrations with bundled electives, are offered. For example, in addition to law enforcement and corrections undergraduate classes, concentrations in juvenile justice and homeland security have been added to course offerings based on workforce demands. It also offers the on-line undergraduate degree as well as an evening program. Students are encouraged to take electives that are in line with their concentration, criminal justice bundled electives outside of chosen concentration or additional electives offered within the Department of Criminal Justice The department has been recently selected by the university to establish an on-line graduate program.
We fully embrace experiential learning and actively seek to provide students with internship and practicum placements at criminal justice and related agencies, job fairs, assistance with resumes and interviewing, student exchange and study abroad, lecture series, research opportunities and paths of service for civic engagement. Students are also encouraged to participate in the following institutes and center within the department: Juvenile Justice Institute, Institute for Homeland Security and Workforce Development, and Center for the Advancement of Justice Studies & Policy. The department sponsors seminars in research, leadership, policy and best practices during the fall and spring semesters. The institutes generated nearly $1.8 million in contracts and grants over the past three years.
The department’s global initiatives is growing in order to be on the upper end of competitiveness and innovation. It plans to initiate faculty/exchange programs, develop on-line courses to be delivered to targeted universities abroad. Dr. McMurray is a 1998- 1999 Senior Fulbright Scholar and was assigned to the Sociology Department at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. Dr. Wilson is a 2013-2014 Senior Fulbright Scholar and is assigned to the School of Law at University of Nairobi, Kenya. The department will host a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Masamba Sita, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He’s scheduled to be in the department from August 2012-May 2013. The first successful Study Abroad Program (SAP) to Jamaica was initiated in the summer of 2011. The department was instrumental in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between North Carolina Central University and the University of the West Indies in 2010.