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Victim Advocacy and Services Graduate Badge

Badge Image

A digital badge, or badge, is a record of achievement that recognizes a student's completion of a coherent and meaningful academic experience. GVSU offers both credit and non-credit bearing badges as digital credentials. Credit-bearing badges include anywhere from 0.5 to 15 academic credits and may include additional noncredit criteria. Credit-bearing badges are also posted to the academic transcript.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

Curriculum provides students with a foundational understanding of the practice of victim advocacy and associated services. Students will examine the crime victims' rights movement and relevant legislation as well as the criminal-legal process for crime victims. They will also be instructed in appropriate advocacy and services, including culturally competent and trauma-informed responses to victims of crime. Courses are taught by professors who are academically trained in victimology, and who have extensive practical experience in the field.

Why Earn a Digital Badge at Grand Valley?

  • The program is a comprehensive, in-depth look at how to best serve victims of crime.
  • Learn the latest, best-practice methods to apply skills in professional settings.
  • Digital badges can be displayed on social media, websites, and in emails.
  • Completing a badge is an opportunity to highlight marketable and desirable skills to potential employers.
  • Badges are an efficient way to obtain a specialization and can be completed in one year or less.

The victim advocacy badge is not a degree or certificate. Admission to the criminal justice graduate program or prior permission to enroll from the criminal justice graduate program director is required.


Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. You must submit an official transcript from your baccalaureate degree granting institution. Current GVSU Student-Initiated Combined Degree students and GVSU undergraduate students may request special permission from the Graduate Program Director to enroll in the badge. It is not required to be admitted to a graduate degree program to complete the badge. Contact the Graduate Program Director for admission information.

To start your application:

  • Visit and select "Graduate Credentials."
  • Click the button "Inquire for More Information" and fill out the online form.
  • A member of the graduate programs team will contact you to get you started. 

For current GVSU students:

  • Declare your badge via myBanner. Login to Banner Self-Service, click on Student, Student Records, Add a Certificate or Badge to your Program, Select the appropriate badge from the drop down list, and click Submit.
  • Speak with the appropriate badge coordinator to ensure criteria are being met. You will be able to track your progress toward the badge in myPath as well!
  • Once you are done with the requirements, apply to receive the badge via myBanner.
  • Once the completion of your badge has been verified, the badge will be posted to your student record and will be viewable on your transcript. In addition, your digital badge will be posted on

Location & Format

This badge is offered in a hybrid format, a combination of online and in seat on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.



The badge is comprised of three courses, six credits total:

  • CJ 642 - Victimology
  • CJ 643 - Crime Victim Advocacy and Services
  • CJ 644 - Trauma-Informed Response in the Criminal Justice System

This badge is offered in a hybrid format, a combination of in-seat and online. Classes begin Summer 2023.

Career Options

Victim advocacy is useful in a variety of professions, including law enforcement, court administration, social services, juvenile justice, and public administration. Career choices include:

  • Domestic violence advocate
  • Prevention coordinator
  • Family advocate
  • Victim services specialist
  • Sexual assault advocate
  • Case manager
  • Legal advocate
  • Victim witness coordinator

For More Information

School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Legal Studies

273C Richard M. DeVos Center
(616) 331-7178

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office



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