Author: The Crusader Staff Writer, Anna Li
Have you ever wanted to be a police officer? an investigator? a lawyer? If so, you may want to major in criminal justice. The Criminal Justice program at Belmont Abbey College has been running since August of 2006. Their duty is to educate students about America’s criminal justice system and criminal behavior with the help of experienced professors. All professors have experience in criminal justice and help students see crime from different perspectives, including psychology, biology, and theology.
The Criminal Justice program began with the first Program director, Julia Beeman, PhD, who joined BAC in 2006. The program soon grew into a separate department in 2010. According to Dr. Beeman, this program stands out because “Every faculty member, in addition to being well credentialed academically, are all former practitioners. This helps students learn how theory and philosophy of the justice system are actually applied in law enforcement, courts, and corrections.”
When asked the question, “What do you think is special about the BAC Criminal Justice Department?” a professor that rejoined the school full-time in the fall of 2022, Ann Gleason J.D. answered, “Everyone in the department has actually worked in the criminal justice system. We have had prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and law enforcement practitioners.” It shows the experience and value that all professors in the department have. It might be appealing to students who are considering this major; it certainly was for me when I was choosing the place to obtain my criminal justice degree.
On the path to graduating, there are opportunities for hands-on experience in different areas of work, related to the criminal justice field. These could also be extra advantageous as some could count for academic credit. There is a double benefit to this: the ability to test received knowledge as well as to assess and experience the framework of possible career paths. A few internship opportunities include the ability to work in local police departments. Moreover, it is also possible to complete an internship in different places that are more related to a student’s career choice. They can work with career advisors on campus to find the most fitting placement.
The Criminal Justice degree offers many different paths for the future. Potential job positions include: police officer, criminal investigator, forensic science technician, forensic accountant, and many more. This degree also provides opportunities to go to law school, if desired, with a good background of the criminal justice system in America.
A student graduating in Criminal Justice this upcoming May, with the goal of becoming a fraud investigator, Ashton Lunsford, answered the same question about what she thinks makes the program special. She said, “I really like that all the professors practiced their knowledge in the field. All of them are able to share useful knowledge and personal experiences as well as guide students through different perspectives.”
If criminal justice is your passion, you should consider joining the program!