Redefining the Classroom

Our program has been in place for over thirty years and we have an outstanding reputation for producing well educated and well trained criminal justice practitioners. You will be taught by former and active police officers, corrections officers and lawyers.  The program combines academic and hands-on training.  Courses in criminal investigation, firearms training and agency internships will help you acquire the necessary skills to excel in your future careers.   

The Criminal Justice program has providing students with an opportunity to achieve self-actualization in a number of broad areas.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • A strong focus on critical thinking.  The emphasis on abstract thinking using concepts and a focus on critical thinking begins with the CJUS 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice and carries forward to advanced courses.  This regiment introduces and acclimates students into a more advanced mindset to help attain academic excellence throughout their four years at LSSU.
  • A multi-faceted approach.  The Department exposes students to varied approaches within tracks in Criminal Justice.  This involves understanding the different disciplines and examining how they inter-relate on particular issues. The program also focuses on both macro and micro level of analyses in helping to gain a more comprehensive understanding of issues under study.
  • A strong emphasis on writing.  The program prides itself in emphasizing and implementing writing as a central component in many of its courses.  Students are expected to refine and build on their writing skills, which lend itself to the production of quality work in the CJUS 401 Senior Seminar capstone course, and further such as graduate work, law school or in criminal justice careers where writing skills are integral.  
  • A strong emphasis on research.  The program takes pride in being part of an elite academic community that offers undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake actual research.  The program believes that all courses taught in the curriculum, and in particular the emphasis of the arch of core courses will help form the necessary foundation for the CJUS 401 Senior Seminar capstone course that involves the research process including statistical data analysis.  It is contended that our students will be better prepared for graduate school, or other areas of life where these skills can be applied.    

We focus on theoretical instruction as a base of knowledge with increased practical applications with in class small group exercises and activities and then individual specific work and achievement in the upper level courses. Our students utilize multiple types of lab and professional equipment that is only available to graduate students at other universities. This ties into the marketability of our graduates at all levels of the criminal justice field across the nation and internationally. Our small class sizes allow greater interaction between the students and faculty building the support network which improves our students' ability to achieve.

--Herb Henderson
Associate Professor

Degree Programs

The Bachelors of Science Degree, Criminal Justice Generalist is designed to provide a comprehensive background in the areas of the criminal justice field, affording students to augment the degree with a specialized minor. Specialized minors can include Corrections, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and Institutional Loss Control.  Students can also pursue an Associate's Degree in the areas of Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Homeland Security.

The generalist degree program also attracts considerable interest from Canadian students, more specifically students from Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  The Department of Criminal Justice and Fire Science has a working relationship with Sault College, where transfer credits are accepted and students are transitioned into the final year or two years of the degree.  The degree offers foreign students an opportunity to gain a marketable degree attained at an American postsecondary institution.

The generalist degree attracts interest from students who wish to pursue graduate school, particularly in a growing field of criminal justice which has seen exponential growth at the Masters level across Michigan and the United States, and emerging emphasis at the doctoral level.

Criminal Justice offers two types of programs

Students can choose to take a Bachelor (four- year program), or Associate (two-year program)

Bachelor are offered for the following concentrations:

Students can also choose to do a second major or a minor in any other of the nine concentrations.  They can also choose to simultaneously do an Associate's program while working toward a Bachelor's degree.  This affords students opportunity and potential for diversifying their educational concentrations and maximizing their potential when applying for work in the field.

Associate Degrees are offered for the following concentrations:

Significant Number of Canadian Students Choose Criminal Justice – Generalist Program

The Bachelors of Science Degree, Criminal Justice Generalist is designed to provide a comprehensive background in the areas of the criminal justice field, affording students to augment the degree with a specialized minor. Specialized minors can include Corrections, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and Institutional Loss Control.  Students can also pursue an Associate’s Degree in the areas of Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Homeland Security. Due to our unique and progressive relationship with Sault College, many students apply transfer credits to finish their undergraduate degree at LSSU.  The program of choice for many of them is the CJ- Generalist Degree.

“After graduating from Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario from the Police Foundations program, I came to LSSU in Fall 2014.  I chose LSSU because of the effective partnership between the two schools. The credit transfer program allowed me to take my credits I had earned over a two year period at Sault College to Lake State as university credits and finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in only one year."

"I also received a scholarship from LSSU for my GPA while at Sault College which helped me out a lot financially. I really enjoy the small classes and the professors who have a passion for what they are teaching. I like the fact that the professors have had a lot of experience within their field previous to teaching. Having this education will further my career in law enforcement and it gives me the tools I need to succeed.”

--Hannah Gareau

“LSSU is close to where I live: just under an hour away.  Classes are small and the professors are approachable and willing to help with whatever questions I may have. They seem to genuinely want students to achieve their goals and potential. Smaller classes allow more opportunity for students and professors to get to know one another. Professors are enthusiastic about their respective courses that they teach. Professors treat students with the dignity and respect. The professors of criminal justice are more engaging.”

“The cost was actually less than expected for international students. There were universities in Canada that would have cost just as much if not more than LSSU. Another thing relating to this is that LSSU has equivalent transfer credits which many universities do not have or they do not take all credits into account and make students retake classes they have already done at another institution.”

“ The field of law enforcement and other related criminal justice fields are highly competitive so by having a degree it will show I went beyond a simple diploma and that I took an extra step to further my education. I plan to apply for Canadian law enforcement agencies within Ontario once I finish. However, I am also going to apply for border security and corrections if I do not get into law enforcement. Again, by having a degree from LSSU I have a broader knowledge of different fields of criminal justice rather than just law enforcement.”

--Emily Beitz

The criminal justice generalist degree is also being delivered to active police officers in Ontario via a combined effort with Sault College.  These officers (primarily Ontario Provincial Police officers) have their courses provided to them via online classes, DVD tape delayed courses and independent study.

"The field of CJ encompassing all levels of public and private sectors are the guardians of our nation. We rely more today than ever on partnerships between public and private entities to help keep our nation safe from all threats not just a terrorist threat but accidental and environmental threats. It is through the cooperation between agencies such as law enforcement (local, state, and federal), fire departments (municipal and townships), emergency medicine, emergency management (municipal, county, state and federal), environmental scientists, public health, public works, and private entities such as manufacturing and industrial companies, security companies, power companies, small businesses, and citizen groups that we can achieve in a common goal of safety and security for our nation and all of its citizens. "

--Herb Henderson
Associate Professor

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