Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

23 Michigan Conservation Officers - all LSSU alumni - met up at Camp Grayling


Criminal Justice

Outstanding reputation for producing well educated and well trained criminal justice practitioners

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.   

Ready to start their careers...

Lake State offers one of the few law enforcement track programs in the state of Michigan.  This program allows area Law Enforcement majors to obtain their police academy training while completing their Bachelors degree.  Students graduating from this program will leave the university MCOLES certifiable and therefore ready to start their careers as police officers without attending another academy. 

Our criminalistics program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing investigative work.  This degree allows students to obtain a chemistry minor as part of their degree and graduates have been employed directly into crime labs or have continued on to graduate school.

The corrections program will allow students to pursue careers in prisons and also in community based corrections.  Many of our graduates are now probation officers, parole officers, as well as jail and prison officers.

The public safety degree is unique in that it allows students to obtain several certifications.  Graduates of this degree will have law enforcement, fire science and emergency medical training. 

Another option for students in criminal justice is the loss control program. This program is intended for students interested in entering the private sector where they will manage security at large corporations and other agencies.

Education Outside the Classroom

Forensic science and Criminal Justice faculty lead wrongful convictions panel discussion

Aaron Westrick and Judy WestrickTwo LSSU faculty members recently participated with colleagues from Wayne State University and University of Michigan in a panel discussion on a wrongful conviction case that was presented at Wayne State, and five LSSU students were able to attend the program as part of their studies here.

A packed audience of students, alumni, interested citizens, and one released exoneree, heard "Anatomy of a Wrongful Conviction," the story of the wrongful conviction case of Karl Vinson, who is still imprisoned and awaiting a hearing for his release before the Wayne County Circuit Court. During the WSU presentation, a panel of scientists and lawyers involved in Vinson’s case presented evidence of a wrongful conviction for criminal sexual conduct in 1986.

The panel was organized by Aaron Westrick Ph.D., an LSSU professor of criminal justice, and Marvin Zalman, who is a member of the faculty in WSU's Criminal Justice Dept. Highlights of the program included presentations by seven criminal justice experts and scientists including Judy Westrick Ph.D., an LSSU professor of chemistry and Aaron Westrick's sister. She collected a saliva sample from Vinson in prison and performed preliminary testing through LSSU, then found the one certified laboratory that still performs the nearly obsolete body-fluid secretor test.

Repeated testing excluded Vinson as the depositor of a semen sample taken at the crime scene. The University of Michigan Innocence Clinic had additional tests conducted by out-of-state laboratories and conducted tests on more recent samples.

Also during the WSU program, attorneys described the facts of the case, how the case came to light, and its current legal status.

The Westricks, who are Michigan natives and WSU alumni, often work on investigative cases regarding justice procedures and forensics and bring their experiences into their teaching at LSSU. They have also worked with youths during LSSU forensic science summer camps. They will be presenting "The Sciences of Crime Scene Investigation" seminars soon at LSSU and WSU.

Online Degree Available

The generalist degree can be delivered via distance format to student who have associate degrees in criminal justice and are located near a community college (where they will finish their elective and general education requirements).

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.

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Chris Schalk

I absolutely love the small size of LSSU. Everything on campus is within a short walking distance. Also, with smaller class sizes, itís much easier to get to know people. There are even professors I had from a couple of years ago that still remember me. It has even become difficult for me to walk across campus without running into someone I know. This has created a very positive experience for me. [ more ]

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