Crime analysis is a criminal justice occupational field that engages in the systematic analysis of data from a wide variety of sources in order to provide information about the patterns and trends of crimes in a locality, state, or nation. The work product of a crime analyst can be used to inform tactical and strategic decision making, support investigative efforts, assist in the study of resource needs, and facilitate the development of criminal justice policy.
A post-baccalaureate certificate (PBC) is an educational certificate that attests to certain advanced graduate study in an area of concentration beyond the baccalaureate level. It is graduate-level coursework, but is less than the credit hours necessary to earn a Master’s degree. The Certificate in Crime Analysis is a 15-credit hour program designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities for an entry level position as a crime analyst or to enhance the skills of a working analyst. It includes coursework in environmental criminology, research methods, statistics, crime analysis, and crime mapping. Upon completion of the required curriculum, the student is awarded the Certificate in Crime Analysis.
Anyone who has completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and meets the admission standards for graduate students in the Department of Criminal Justice at Radford University, is eligible to enroll. Also, graduate students currently enrolled in a course of study at Radford University may participate in this program.
To enroll in the program, you must first be admitted to Radford University as either a degree-seeking or a non-degree seeking graduate student. Students already enrolled as degree-seeking graduate students at Radford University are eligible to enroll in the Certificate in Crime Analysis program. Students who are interested in the Certificate in Crime Analysis, but do not presently desire to seek a Master’s degree, must first complete an application to the Department of Criminal Justice graduate program as a non-degree seeking student. This application is available on-line at the College of Graduate and Professional Studies website.
The curriculum includes coursework in environmental criminology, research methods, statistics, and crime mapping. The following table describes the 15-credit hour curriculum:
Course delivery will be through a hybrid on-line format. This is not a self-paced, self-instructed curriculum. Instead students will meet once a week in a virtual on-line classroom using Adobe Connect to receive lecture materials and instructions, skill demonstrations, and to participate in on-line discussions with their classmates. These skill-based courses will generally use the adult-learner “watch-follow-do” model of instruction.
The courses will also make use of the WebCT/Blackboard platform for course management using a variety of web-based educational materials and learning tools. Each course will last one 14-week semester and upon successful completion the student will earn 3-credit hours of graduate study. Students will complete weekly reading and homework assignments designed to assess their mastery of the skills being taught in the class.
An initial orientation session will be held to insure that all the participating students have a basic proficiency with the course software. This will necessitate travel to the Roanoke Higher Education Center in Roanoke, VA for a Saturday class covering this material and to meet your class mates and professor face-to-face. After this one-day session, the rest of the coursework can be completed on-line from any computer with high-speed internet access.
The Certificate in Crime Analysis will use a cohort model, starting a group of students at the same time and offering the courses in a sequence so that a student will be able to complete the certificate in five semesters. Cohorts will begin in the fall semester.
Class size will be limited because of the virtual class room format. Each cohort will only enroll 15 students. Although on campus graduate students are eligible to enroll in these classes on a space-available basis, priority will be given to on-line cohort students to insure that the cohort moves through the course sequence as a group.
Students will need to have access to a computer with high-speed access (DSL, cable-modem, or through a LAN) to the internet. This computer should have Microsoft Office software installed. In addition, the student should have Administrator-status on the machine to facilitate the installation of various programs. The student should also have the ability to adjust or modify any firewall or other security settings to allow full access to the course support software (Adobe Connect and WebCT/Blackboard). While it may be possible to use a computer at your workplace, the security settings on such systems generally prohibit this.
Students enrolling in the program should have a working knowledge of the Desktop environment, the use of the MS Office suite of programs, and be comfortable operating a web browser. It will be assumed that students are familiar with such routine operations as opening, modifying, saving and closing files. Students should also be comfortable in general file maintenance and storage on a computer. No special computer skills are needed, and those necessary to survive in a contemporary office environment are sufficient.