Exciting New Criminal Justice Courses!

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Florida Tech Online is adding some new courses for the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice!
The first course, CRM 3610 Criminal Justice and the Media is a required course for the 2014-2015 catalog year, and may be used a a restricted elective for previous catalog years.  The course has pre-requisites of CRM 1000 Introduction to Criminal Justice and PSY 2510 Research and Computer Literacy.

This course examines the influence of the media on policies and practices in the criminal justice system, explores the growth of social media from peer-to-peer medium to powerful societal influence, and analyzes the effect of media on the context and social construction of the public’s view of the criminal justice system and its participants.  It is a rich and detailed examination of how the media permeates our lives and influences our perception.

This is the first course so full of material that we used two developers: Professor Jim Reynolds and Professor Keith Touchberry.  New Media, especially social media, are trumping the “legacy media” of newspapers, TV, and movies in scope and reach, so we divided the work to give both forms equal coverage.  Even so, we know we left things out simply for lack of time, and because the New Media are constantly changing.

In this challenging class you will study the ways crime, criminals, victims, and crime-fighters are portrayed by the media.  You will be tasked with developing your own media production designed to impact public opinion and policy on a criminal justice topic, and conduct an in-depth study of the social construction of a criminal justice issue.

Because the media permeates almost every facet of our society, and New Media has expanded the reach and effect of public perception we believe this class will be one of those you remember long after you graduate.  You certainly won’t look at a TV show or a website the same way anymore.

medium_5684332726Our second new course, PSY 3101 Psychology of Disasters, was developed for the new Criminal Justice with Homeland Security Option degree program, but will be available as a Restricted Elective for BA-CJ and BA-Applied Psychology majors.  This course requires PSY 1411 Introduction to Psychology and PSY 3012 Research Methods 1.

PSY 3101 Psychology of Disasters has been developed by Dr. Jeffrey T. Mitchell, an internationally renowned expert on disasters, critical incident stress, and post-traumatic stress.  Dr. Mitchell’s work outside academia and his research pertains to interactions with public safety professionals and their reactions to critical events.

The Psychology of Disasters course provides an overview of the psychosocial aspects of disasters.  The course provides an understanding of the factors that frequently set the stage for the occurrence of a disaster. The course provides important definitions regarding disaster psychology and describes the various types of disasters. It compares and contrasts the psychological reactions to natural, technological and socio-technological and economic disasters. The Psychology of Disasters also provides important information about early psychological intervention and long term recovery options for survivors of disasters.

You will study and critique a variety of historical disasters and their impact on the victims, responders, and society, and look closely at how many of the events could have been prevented or mitigated for lesser impact with better preparation.  The role of human behavior before, during, and after a catastrophe is significant and in many ways predictable.  Dr. Mitchell’s course will be helpful to anyone in the public safety and homeland security field.

Watch for these exciting courses on the Florida Tech Online schedule in the Fall/Winter terms.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/65492342@N06/5961512696/”>marsmet463</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/meteopassione/5684332726/”>Niccolò Ubalducci Photographer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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About Author

Jim Reynolds holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Central Florida. His Criminal Justice educational background includes the Graduate Studies in Criminal Justice program at UCF, the 104th Administrative Officers Course at the Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville, the Chief Executive Seminar of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, and over 1000 hours of advanced and specialized training in a 27-year law enforcement career. Jim is a retired Deputy Chief of the Melbourne Police Department, where he served in every rank, including Interim Chief of Police. He was the Director of the Brevard Police Testing Center, a county-wide law enforcement selection program, for four years, and currently is the Academic Program Chair for the Florida Tech Online Criminal Justice Program.

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