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Strategic Plan for Criminal Justice

Context For Planning

1.Tell about your department 


It is the purpose of the Grand Valley State University School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) to teach, prepare, advise, and assist students in their efforts toward becoming informed citizens and making positive contributions in their chosen vocations within the criminal justice or legal system. For this reason, the SCJ offers two areas of undergraduate study: criminal justice and legal studies. In either area, students may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree; each program entails a variety of required and elective courses to educate students as critical thinkers and to provide them with a comprehensive knowledge of the field.

 As of December 15th 2015 the School of Criminal Justice supports a criminal justice Major and three minors: 1) traditional Criminal Justice Minor; 2) Information Security Systems (a minor joint program with the GVSU Information Technology Department); and, 3) Juvenile Justice. At present, a diverse faculty (14 tenure/tenure track and 2 visiting professors) offers a broad array of contemporary courses in the Criminal Justice field. These faculty currently serve enrolled student 833 majors, 305 enrolled student minors, in addition to several thousand GVSU students seeking a general liberal arts education each year.

 In addition to the undergraduate degree programs, the SCJ offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice that is designed to further prepare students in becoming criminal justice leaders, planners, practitioners, and academicians. This degree program seeks to create a dynamic community of criminal justice professionals and scholars who will work in concert to offer innovative strategies for advancing and improving current criminal justice programs and practices. Graduate courses provide students with opportunities to apply concepts of ethics, political and social justice, historical analysis of institutions and policy, leadership and management, theories, and scientific research. The MCJ =curriculum also prepares students interested in pursuing a doctoral education with appropriate theoretical, research, analytical, and critical interpretation skills.

The faculty and staff demonstrate that the School of Criminal Justice strives to ensure that educational offerings, policies, and procedures for all degree and non-degree programs are of high quality, rigorous, and equitable regardless of delivery format or location, and lead to degree completion. The faculty and staff also show that the GVSU General Education program provides students with opportunities to gain and develop skills and knowledge that will prepare them to be productive global citizens, and that program assessment has been and continues to be ongoing process and an integral component of the culture of the SCJ. Lastly, this self-study describes multiple related educational activities conducted by the SCJ in support of its mission. They include: services for students who are not fully prepared for college-level study, internships, and service learning opportunities. Through these related educational activities, the SCJ demonstrates both commitment to student success and diversity and responsiveness to the evolving needs of the broader community.

 2. Context for planning

In the Fall 2015, the SCJ Unit Head, Dr. Kathleen Bailey, advised the faculty during unit meetings that the SCJ must prepare and submit a strategic plan self-assessment report at the end of the of the fall 2015 semester. In early September, the leadership team, including the Director of the School of Criminal Justice, Dr. Kathleen Bailey, SCJ Undergraduate Coordinator, Dr. Brian Johnson, Graduate Coordinator, Dr. John Walsh, Legal Studies Coordinator, Ruth Stevens, JD and the Director of the Criminal Justice Training, Williamson Wallace, JD met and began to establish a plan to be inclusive in the development of the strategic plan.  It should be noted that all components of this of this strategic plan development required faculty collegiality, discussion and teamwork.

First each coordinator or director met with their committees to work on developing 5 objectives and actions for each program. Once all objectives and actions were completed in each committee, the results were disseminated to the all the other committees for review and revision suggestions. Once the reviews and revisions were suggested, each committee reviewed and either revised their objectives and action plans or provided comprehensive rationale as to why the suggestions where rejected. On October 14th 2015 at the full faculty and staff unit meeting the strategic plan was again discussed and final revisions were agreed on. At this same meeting the final plan was approved by the faculty.  

 

Mission

To promote the growth of students through teaching, mentoring, creative scholarship and community engagement.

 


Vision

The School of Criminal Justice educates students to become knowledgeable, competent, and ethical leaders in the criminal justice and legal professions

Value Statement

Liberal education and academic excellence in learning and teaching. Creative scholarly research and writing. Experiential learning and critical thinking. A commitment to ethical professional services for diverse local, national, regional/state and global communities and populations. A culture of collegiality and collaboration. Diversity, civic discourse, democratic communities, and justice. Informed decision-making. Empowered graduates with professional practice skills.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Increase the diversity of Police Academy enrollment to 20% to more closely reflect the diversity population of Michigan

Baseline

Data from 2014-2015 Police Academy Enrollment

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

The CJ undergraduate program will offer at least 30% of its courses on-line to meet the scheduling needs of students and to ensure timely graduation.

Baseline

In Fall 2015, approximately 10% of all CJ courses and sections were on-line

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Both the MCJ and the undergraduate program have looked at ways to increase the online classes offered. At this writing spring and summer classes have been when most classes are offered online. This time period allows students a chance to continue their education at home during the summer.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

At least 80% of SCJ credit hours are taught by tenure-stream faculty or AP faculty to enhance the reputation of the SCJ and GVSU

Baseline

Data from 2014-2015

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

Legal Studies program maintains an Advisory Board composed of diverse members of local legal community

Baseline

In fall 2015, 15% of Legal Studies Advisory Board members represent diverse populations.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Between fall of 2015 and 2016 the Legal Studies program added six Legal Studies Advisory Board members who represent diverse populations. Because of resignations during the 2015-2016 academic year and an increase in the size of the Board, the net percentage increase in representation of diverse populations was lower than it might otherwise have been. As of fall 2016, six out of 22 Advisory Board members (27 per cent) represent diverse populations, an increase of 12 per cent from fall 2015. We will continue to monitor Advisory Board composition in order to maintain our progress as the composition of the Board changes.

Objective 2.B.2

The SCJ increases the diversity of faculty, and staff to at least 18%

Baseline

Diversity of combined faculty and staff in 2014-2015 is 84.5% non-Hispanic white

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

The Police Academy will develop partnerships with Law Enforcement communities and increase participation in law enforcement educational programs and associations.

Baseline

Number of partnerships & associations in 2014-2015

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The GVSU Police Academy is partnered / associated with the West Michigan Criminal Justice Training Consortium, Ottawa County ISD Careerline Tech CJ Program, Muskegon Area Career Tech CJ Program, Kent ISD Tech Center CJ Program, GRCC Police Academy, and the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

75% of faculty members participate with in joint full-time/adjunct professional development activities relating to teaching.

Baseline

Percentage of faculty who attended joint professional development activities related to teaching and learning for 2014-2015 academic year.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
During the 2015 calendar year, two full-time faculty members and four adjunct faculty members taught in the Legal Studies program. The two full time faculty members and two adjunct faculty members (66% of faculty) participated in a joint professional development session. For the 2016 calendar year, three full-time faculty members and three adjunct faculty members taught in the Legal Studies program. One hundred per cent of faculty members participated in a joint professional development session sponsored by the Legal Studies program in December 2016

Objective 2.E.2

At least 70% of SCJ faculty will participate in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions.

Baseline

Percentage of faculty who participated in professional development in 2014-2015

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

The CJ Undergraduate program will develop a 3-year program

Baseline

Existing 4-year plan

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
To date, the SCJ has engaged in the following activities regarding this Strategic Priority: • Exploring the feasibility of the 3-year program with the SCJ Undergraduate committee • Working with the CCPS advising centers to explore any issues with a 3-year program • Discussion between the SCJ unit hand and undergraduate committee chair • Sharing this priority with the SCJ Undergraduate Advisory Board and asking for their feedback. • Developing on-line summer courses in preparation for the three-year program

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.1

Legal Studies program offers courses in the major in an on-line format.

Baseline

Number of sections of Legal Studies courses offered on-line in 2014-2015 academic year.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The Legal Studies program did not offer any courses in an on-line format during the 2014-2015 year. In spring 2016 the Legal Studies program offered its first courses in an online format: LS 201 – Introduction to Law and LS 490 – Legal Studies Internship. Prior to offering these courses on-line, the program sought and obtained approval from the American Bar Association. LS 201 will also be offered on-line in winter 2017 and spring 2017. The program has submitted a request through SAIL for approval to offer LS 420 – Commercial Law on-line in summer 2017.

Objective 3.D.2

10% of MCJ graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches such as hybrid, on-line and competency oriented.

Baseline

Percentage of MCJ graduate courses offered in innovative approaches such as hybrid, online, and competency-oriented for the 2014-2015 academic years.

Objective 3.D.3

At least 25% of Police Academy courses are delivered in competency-oriented formats.

Baseline

Percent of competency-oriented Police Academy courses delivered in 2014-2015

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
In 2016, the academy staff identified curriculum areas where the use of force could become a factor during police-citizen encounters. Practical scenarios were created to incorporate use of force decisions in varying degrees. Moreover, the number of scenario-based training segments was increased to provide a building block approach, and give students an opportunity to practice appropriate escalation and de-escalation techniques.

Objective 3.D.4

At least 30% of SCJ courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented.

Baseline

2014-2015 data

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 3.E.1

Legal Studies program develops budget to ensure that adequate funding is available for activities required to maintain ABA approval.

Baseline

Budget prepared for 2008 application for ABA approval

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The Legal Studies Coordinator and Unit Head met to review the budget for the Legal Studies program and have submitted proposed current and future budgets for review by the American Bar Association (ABA). The Coordinator and Unit Head will continue to review budget allocations in anticipation of an ABA site visit in 2018.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Legal Studies program is recognized for its excellence by successfully completing the ABA reapproval process

Baseline

Approved status of Legal Studies program.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The Legal Studies Program Coordinator submitted the program’s Reapproval Application to the ABA in November 2016. The program is awaiting a response from the ABA and scheduling of a site visit which is anticipated to take place in winter or fall 2018.

Objective 4.A.2

The MCJ graduate program will be ranked among the top five in their discipline within the state of Michigan

Baseline

MCJ graduate program ranking within Michigan 2014-2015 academic year.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
At present, there are only four programs in Michigan that grant Master of Science (M.Sc.) Degrees in Criminal Justice (not including entirely online programs): Michigan State, Grand Valley State, Wayne State and Ferris (Northern Michigan has suspended their graduate program). Thus, at present we have met this goal. There is no established system of ranking M.Sc. degrees in the State, the graduate committee will be developing a measurement metric starting in 2017.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

At least 70% of the SCJ tenure stream faculty members participate in one or more external/community/professional relationships not including membership in an external professional organization within their discipline

Baseline

2014-2015 Data from Faculty Digital Measure Reports

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