CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.

for SP 2007

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CJ 450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice


SP 2007 HO


Plumb, Greg


Professor of Criminal Justice


B.A. History & Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia 1973
J.D. University of Missouri-Columbia 1975

Office Location

Mabee 226

Office Hours

Wednesdays 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6506



Web Page


Semester Dates

January 16 - May 11, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

1:50 - 4:40 PM


EN105, EN106, passing the WCT and senior standing

Credit Hours



No textbook is required for this course.  All materials will be available in the Park University Library or online.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
This capstone course addresses current issues and trends in criminal justice with emphasis on group discussion. Each student will be required to prepare, submit and defend a senior thesis. Successful completion of the thesis is mandatory. This course will satisfy the EN 306 requirement for Criminal Justice majors. PREREQUISITES: EN 105, EN 106, passing the WCT and senior standing. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Professor Plumb's educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning, focusing on the interactive.  Lectures, readings, quizzes, group work, class discussion, examinations, writing, and use of the Internet are significant components of this learning process. Students will be required to analyze, criticize, and synthesize information learned and apply this information in the examination of case studies and in the preparation of the senior thesis, based on Professor Plumb's experience in the criminal justice system as prosecutor and defense attorney.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Assess the ethical and value questions in the criminal justice system.
  2. Criticize factual situations, applying this knowledge.
  3. Improve the ability to effectively gather, evaluate, and communicate information (in both written and oral forms), including the use of the Internet for communication and research.
  4. Design and construct the research, writing and defense of a thesis.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

A variety of methods will be used to assess the learning that occurs in this course.  Students will be assessed on their class participation, performance on periodic written assignments, and the senior thesis.  There will also be opportunities to work in groups, and to be assessed based on individual and group performance.  See “Grading” below for greater specificity.


Students will be evaluated on the total number of points each student earns as compared to the greatest amount of points that may be earned in each class activity.

In determining the number of points assigned to an activity, the major factors will be the following questions:
  • Was the work completed?
  • Was the work completed correctly?
  • Was the work completed on time?
All assignments are due at the beginning of the class period they are due. Course grades are determined on the following allocation of points:
  • Participation                     200
  • Written assignments          100
  • Senior thesis                     600
  • Defense of thesis              100
  • Total                             1,000
Point accumulation for grades:
  • 900 - 1000 points - A
  • 800 - 899 points   - B
  • 700 - 799 points   - C
  • 600 - 699 points   - D
  • 0 - 599 points       - F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

For each class period an assignment is late, points will be deducted.  No course materials will be accepted after the last class meeting in the last week of classes.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. Attend class and be prompt.  Class attendance is part of class participation, which is a portion of your grade.  Roll will be checked at the beginning of each class period.  Since tardy entry to a class disrupts the class, your lateness for class will receive a reduction in points.

2. Due to abuses by students in past semesters, there will be no excused absences.  You are either present or absent.  To partially make up for an absence, you must submit to the instructor by the beginning of the next class meeting you attend, an essay of one to two pages in length, summarizing the assigned reading for the class period missed.  The essay must be submitted by e-mail with the essay as an attachment.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE UP ANYTHING MISSED IN CLASS.

3. Be prepared for class.  This means that you have read the assigned readings and are prepared to discuss them.  This is a senior level course, and the expectation is that you will function at that level.  This course will consist of class discussion, small group discussion, group work, and individual guiding in preparing the senior thesis.  You are expected to take part in the discussions and group work.  Your in-class participation is another portion of your grade.

4. Examinations.  There will be no examinations in this course.

5. There will be periodic written assignments in this course.  Further information about these will be provided in the website for this course.

6. Senior Thesis.  A senior thesis is required in this course.  The specifics of this requirement and the rubric for scoring this requirement will be developed the first class meeting.

7. Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to a disk, a hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

All materials, including links to reading assignments, written assignments, and the senior thesis will be found in the website for this course.


Week 1 Introductions, Review of Research Concepts, & Discussion of Senior Thesis (useful ideas, suggested time line, & frequently asked questions (FAQ))


Week 2 Effective Note-taking & Plagiarism, Refining the Topic & Proposal, & SPSS with group application


Week 3 Research Hints, Proper APA & Legal Format of Source Citations, & Thesis Topic due


Week 4 Group Presentations on Current Issues Before the U.S. Supreme Court & Thesis Initial Reading List due


Week 5 Using Case Studies


Week 6 Creation of Group Research Projects Using SPSS


Week 7 Progress Reports on Status of Research & Thesis Annotated Bibliography due


Week 8 Effective Openings, Smooth Transitions, & Strong Closings


Week 9 In-class editing of drafts by peers


Week 10 Practice Presentations & Individual Review of Thesis - Rough Draft of Thesis due


Week 11 Data Entry of Group SPSS Research Project & Individual Review of Thesis


Week 12 Completion of Group SPSS Research Project & Individual Review of Thesis - Final Draft of Thesis due


Week 13 Analysis of Group SPSS Research Project & Individual Review of Thesis


Week 14 Thesis Defenses


Week 15 Thesis Defenses & Summary




Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:1/5/2007 3:04:12 PM