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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

Progress

2020 Status
Minimal Progress
During the 2020 Police Academy recruitment period, recruiting efforts were hampered significantly due to COVID-19, the inability to conduct in-person activities, and the lack of resources/access to target communities. Our focus was targeted to recruiting minority students to increase the pool of minority graduates eligible to be licensed as law enforcement officers in Michigan. Activities included: the use of recruiting materials (through institutional marketing), some of which featured minority students (GVSU Police Academy Poster, Banner, and Brochure); use of existing recruiting videos and the initiation of a new marketing campaign to refresh and update materials; recruiting at two virtual career fairs; and recruiting presentations for the Ottawa and Muskegon ISD CJ Programs.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
During the 2019 Police Academy recruitment period, a significant focus was given to recruiting minority students. This was done to increase the pool of minority graduates eligible to be licensed as law enforcement officers in Michigan. Activities included: the use of recruiting materials (through institutional marketing), some of which featured minority students (GVSU Police Academy Poster, Banner, and Brochure); creation of recruiting videos; participation in the “Those Who Protect Us” outreach program for inner-city youth, organized by the PALS organization; recruiting at three area career fairs; recruiting at the GVSU Majors Fair and CCPS Degree Seeking Undergrad Recruitment Event; participation in the Muskegon Career Tech Center CJ Career Day, Kent Career Tech Center College Expo, and Baker College Law Enforcement Symposium; and recruiting presentations for the Ottawa and Kent County Career Tech Center CJ Programs, and Metro High School Police Academy.

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

Objective 1.C.1

The CJ undergraduate Program will develop unique internships with external partners to enhance the high impact opportunities for students

Baseline

2014-2015 Internship opportunities

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
We had a record number (34) interns (116 - credit hours) for Winter 2020. Virtually all of them were able to complete their internship thanks to the flexibility and assistance of our internship coordinator. In the Fall, we were much more limited as a result of continued COVID restrictions. Many of our typical sites were simply not accepting interns, although we were able to place a few.

2019 Status
Achieved
Our various efforts to increase enrollments in our internships has paid off. Our numbers (students and credit hours) have grown over each of the last five semesters.

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

2020 Status
Substantive Progress
Changes to the Advisory Board have been minimal over the last calendar year; without members leaving and joining the Board, composition of represented populations remains relatively steady. The Advisory Board has, however, been very slightly expanded, which may lower the percentage of members representing diverse populations.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
No significant change from last years figures. The LS program continues to seek diverse members of the local community for our Legal Studies Advisory Board.

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

Progress

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
Two things impacted these figures in the past year. There was a retirement in the School of Criminal Justice among tenure track faculty. The other impact was a result of covid. As faculty shifted to a 4-4 teaching load, this greatly reduced the number of adjunct teaching in the program.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
The faculty has been relatively stable for the past few years. In 2019 we hired a white female. She was a replacement position. She replaced a white female faculty member. There has been minor fluctuations in the adjunct numbers.

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

2020 Status
Achieved
The GVSU Police Academy is currently 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, Baker College CJ Program, GVSU Veteran’s Network, Student Veterans Association, International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust, the Commission on Police Community Relations, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Grand Rapids.

2019 Status
Achieved
The GVSU Police Academy is currently 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, Baker College CJ Program, GVSU Veteran’s Network, Student Veterans Association, International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust, the Commission on Police Community Relations, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Grand Rapids.

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

Objective 2.D.1

The MCJ program assessment of scholarships of discovery, application, integration and teaching is consistent across the entire graduate program.

Baseline

In winter 2016, the culminating experience of MCJ students will consist of either (A.) the successful completion of a Masters thesis or (B.) the completion of a written and oral comprehensive examination.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
The SCJ Graduate Committee is continuing to encourage the effective supervision of graduate students completing a Master’s thesis, as well as provide opportunities three times a year for MCJ Program students to take the comprehensive examination.

2019 Status
Achieved
The SCJ Graduate Committee is continuing to encourage the effective supervision of graduate students completing a Master’s thesis, as well as provide opportunities three times a year for MCJ Program students to take the comprehensive examination.

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

2020 Status
Achieved
As a result of COVID, there has been a massive effort on the part of faculty to adapt and learn new skills related to online education.

2019 Status
Achieved
Faculty in the SCJ continually participate in professional development opportunities to expand their pedagogical repertoire.

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

Progress

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
This figure changes with passing of each new year. Faculty have really been focused on teaching related trainings in 2020. Still a significant number have reported other professional development as well.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Our annual participation in these activities fluctuates.

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

2020 Status
Achieved
The three program was approved in 2018. This has been a part of our marketing strategy since it was approved.

2019 Status
Achieved
The three program was approved in 2018. This has been a part of our marketing strategy since it was approved.

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

2020 Status
Achieved
The Legal Studies program has continued offering LS 201 (now LS 101) and LS 490 online, both during regular-length semesters and during the accelerated SP/SU sessions. The Legal Studies program also continues offering LS 422: Commercial Law (LS 322 starting in SP/SU 2021) in an online format during SP/SU session. The Legal Studies program is offering LS 320: Property & Probate Law (formerly “LS 420” through Winter 2021) in an online format in SU 2021.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
We continue to expand our online offerings within the major. We have plans to continue this expansion further.

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.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
In 2020, the academy staff continued to identify curriculum areas where the use of force could become a critical factor during police-citizen encounters. Practical scenarios were updated and modified 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.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
The SCJ Graduate Committee is currently developing a program change to offer current and newly-developed graduate courses in a hybrid competency format.

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

2019 Status
Achieved
In 2019, the academy staff continued to identify curriculum areas where the use of force could become a critical factor during police-citizen encounters. Practical scenarios were updated and modified 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.

2018 Status
Achieved
In 2018, the academy staff continued to identify curriculum areas where the use of force could become a critical factor during police-citizen encounters. Practical scenarios were updated and modified 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.

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

2020 Status
Achieved
We continue to move forward with planning and data collection that will be necessary for future reports and applications to the ABA. These are annual activities.

2019 Status
Achieved
Achieved. The program was reapproved 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

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
The Legal Studies program successfully completed the required Interim Report necessary to maintain ABA approval. The Interim Report was submitted in August 2020. Amendments and clarifications were made at the ABA’s request and were submitted along with an ABA-required supplemental report regarding the University and the program’s measures taken in response to COVID-19. Application for Reapproval due November 15, 2023.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
As the program was just reapproved last year, we are well into the next cycle of the reapproval process. This is the only reason we have suggested we are making substantive progress. We complete work annually towards achieving reapproval. Application for Reapproval is due November 15, 2023.

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

2020 Status
Substantive Progress
The SCJ Graduate Committee is continually working to improve the overall MCJ Program (admissions, enrollment, retention, graduation, and job placement), and has submitted significant program changes into SAIL to achieve these objectives. Additionally, the MCJ program has worked with Institutional Marketing and utilized support from Recruitment Officers on applications and admissions.

2019 Status
Not Yet Initiated
The SCJ Graduate Committee is currently working to improve the overall MCJ Program (admissions, enrollment, retention, graduation, and job placement).

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

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
This number fluctuates on an annual basis. This past year was particularly difficult due to COVID. Despite the difficulties, 69% of SCJ faculty participated in one or more external/community/professional relationships.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
This figure goes up and down on an annual basis. This year, a total of 64% of SCJ faculty were engaged in some form of community engagement.

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