CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.

for S1T 2012

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CJ 450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.


S1T 2012 DL


White, Harry O.,, Jr.


Adjunct Professor


Ph.D. Urban Studies (Criminal Justice/Organizational Behavior;
MPA; M.Ed. (Criminal Justice Education);
BS (Administration of Justice)

Office Location


Office Hours

M-Th 0900-1100 (MST)

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 16 - March 11, 2012

Class Days


Class Time



EN 105, EN 106, passing the WCT and senior standing.

Credit Hours


Hickey, T. J., (2010). Taking sides:  Clashing views in crime and criminology (9th ed.) McGraw-Hill 
ISBN: 9780078139437

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Salkind, Neil, Exploring Research, 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Rudestam, Kjell Erik and Newton, Rae, R. Surviving Your Dissertation.  Newberry Park: Sage Publications, 1992.

Booth, Wayne C., Colomb, Gregory G, and Williams, Joseph M. The Craft of Research.  Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Bolker, Joan, Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day.  New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1998.

Fryxell, David, How to Write Fast.  Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books.  1992.

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Course Description:
CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice: 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: EN105, EN 106, passing the WCT and senior standing 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:
    Student-oriented discussions of assigned readings and topics are the focus of this course.  It is expected that students will be prepared to engage in discussions of all assigned materials in the threaded discussion portion of the course activities. Students will assume the lead voice in all discussion with the role of the professor to facilitate, guide, encourage and ensure focus. All assignments are designed to evaluate the student's achievement of the performance objectives. Tests are not for the purpose of grade assignment. Rather, to ascertain the level of understanding of the basic concepts of law enforcement and policing.    All materials contained in the text book are the responsibility of the student.

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:

You will be graded on the weekly submission of thesis tasks and discussions of current issues from assigned readings. Look under the tabs for assignment and discussion in each weekly unit.

Class participation
This activity is considered a major component of this course.  Each week there will be discussion questions posed for comment by each student.  Additionally, it is expected that students will engage others in discussing the issues raised in the thread.  To receive maximum credit for participation there is both a quality and quantity measurement. Quality is the degree to which the student addresses specific issues and comments of others.  Quantity is the absolute number of postings.  For example one could have 6 or 7 postings that did not relate to the issue and no credit would be awarded.  However, if the minimum number of posting were made that directly focused on the discussion issue then maximum credit would be awarded. The issue of quality and quantity are interrelated because simply making three comments to a couple of postings and leaving no other evidence of being involved in the discussion is insufficient for granting credit.

Participation standards
The discussions will require extensive reading and interaction between and among colleagues. Each week there are two different discussions and you must participate in both. One of the discussions concerns thesis issues in which you will interact with colleagues. The other discussion is related to the weekly readings. The minimum participation standard for both is responding to the principle questions NLT Wednesday of each week. Then post a minimum of three (3) substantive comments to colleagues for each principle question. The key to getting maximum credit is "substantive comments." In other words simply agreeing or disagreeing without offering a reason for doing so will result in no credit.  

The discussion thread is a "virtual classroom" which suggests participation throughout the discussion period. The opportunity to make comments and participate must be completed by 2400 Sunday). Comments or postings after that time and date will not be evaluated for grading purposes. Additionally, single and final day participation during the window of opportunity is inconsistent with the virtual classroom concept and will result in a lower evaluation as to quality.
Responses to Dr. White's comments are not included in the quantity component of the grading scheme.
Inappropriate sources
The use of resources such as Answers, Ask.com, Wikipedia, Encarta, Encyclopedia, Dictionary or other similar sources are inappropriate for any aspect of this course. If using outside sources, which is certainly acceptable, they must be given attribution and copy and paste is not permitted. The source should be paraphrased in your own words. See the section that discusses plagiarism for clarification of that issue.

Proctored final examination
The final exam will be on the topics discussed weekly. For the final, I will pick twelve topics and ask you to write about eight of them. The responses should be short answer or a paragraph specifically addressing the question
A final proctored examination will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location.  For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test.  Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website.  

Thesis defense
There are specific instructions in the course related to the telephonic thesis defense. It is the responsibility of each student to arrange for a date and time with Dr. White in order to defend your thesis. You should make these arrangements early in order to get the date and time you desire. Again, each student is required to initiate the request, schedule and telephone call 

Other Information on proctored exams:
It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, who is accepted and approved by Dr. White.  
A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval.  
Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.


Thesis - 39%
Defense of thesis - 4.4%
Participation in discussion area (current issues) - 13.9%
Participation in discussion area (Thesis-related) - 8.8%
Written responses to Assignment questions in drop box (Thesis-Related) - 7.9%
Final exam on current issues 26%

All graded items are based on the following matrix


Number of points















689 and below

59.9 and below

Late Submission of Course Materials:
    Even though this course is asynchronous there must be a schedule as a guide. Assignments and examinations cannot be made up, ex post facto. All course requirements and due dates are clearly indicated in the syllabus and outline. It is a matter of fairness because once the assignments and examinations have been posted there is potential for compromise. Therefore, make-up assignments and examinations are discouraged and will be available only for emergency reasons, appropriately documented. Further, the date due is the last but not the first date any assignment can be submitted. In other words papers, these tasks can be completed or accomplished at any time, before the deadline. It is a good idea to accomplish the task early so that personal events do not preclude a timely completion of the assignment.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

This is an online course which involves a great deal of participation in the threaded discussions. It is expected that all students will engage one another in a professional and courteous manner. The online classroom is an environment whereby opinions and positions can be openly expressed, regardless of their popularity. To that end any personal criticism or ridicule is not appropriate.  Debate, on the other hand, is encouraged. It is believed that exchange of different ideas will result in the intellectual growth of everyone.

Course-Specific Policies:

This course is offered online, over the Internet, using the eCollege platform. This course is different than many Online classes because it involves writing an extensive paper. You will be doing reading and writing primarily by yourself, but with close contact and guidance by your instructor.

You have some work with your classmates in the discussion area. 1) In one discussion area, you should be sharing your insights and progress on your thesis with them. 2) In the second area, you should be discussing the readings and answering questions about the current issue.

In order to satisfactorily complete this online class, you should plan to spend twelve hours a week. I would suggest eight hours be spent working on the thesis. This may include time in Discussion Area 1 or reading and writing on your own. Then you should spend some time reading and analyzing the current issues and answering the questions posed by the instructor in Discussion Area 2.

Class weeks begin on Monday and end at 2400 Sunday. You will be graded on the work you completed by the end of Sunday; that is, if you have an assignment, it is due before 2400 Sunday and if submitted later, it will be counted late. You will be graded on your participation in the two discussion areas on Sunday. Because of the difficulty of the task required in this course, you must stay current; otherwise, you will never finish.

Dr. White expects you to send thesis assignments and drafts via the Internet in MS Word, not Word Perfect or any other format. If you plan to send by FAX or postal service, you must inform Dr. White well in advance of due dates.

You should only use Park e-mail for private messages to Dr. White and for submission of thesis drafts. The class discussion is for public messages. The discussion is the virtual classroom that can be considered similar to a tradition classroom where anything you say may be heard/seen by everyone in the class.

Students should review the applicable online policies noted below. If you have questions about any of these policies, please contact Dr. White for clarification.

Online Course Policies:

Policy #1:  Submission of Work:

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday 12:01 am EST and Sunday at 11:59 PM EST. The first week begins the first day of the term/semester. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed and successfully submitted by the posted due date.
Create a back up file of every piece of work you submit for grading. This will ensure that a computer glitch or a glitch in cyberspace won't erase your efforts.
When files are sent attached to an email, the files should be in either Microsoft Word, RTF, ASCII, txt, or PDF file formats. However, if there are formatting issues relative to the grading rubric they may only be preserved in MS Word. Other platform may destroy the formatting which may result in lower grade

Policy #2: Ground Rules for Online Communication & Participation

General email: Students must only use Park email for private messages to Dr. White and other students. When sending email other than assignments, you must identify yourself fully by name and class in all email sent to Dr. White and/or other members of our class.
Online threaded discussions: are public messages and all writings in this area will be viewable by the entire class or assigned group members.
Online Instructor Response Policy:  Online Instructors will check email frequently and will respond to course-related questions within 24-48 hours.
Observation of "Netiquette": All your Online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty and tact.  Spelling and grammar are very important in an Online course.  What you put into an Online course reflects on your level of professionalism.  Here are a couple of Online references that discuss writing Online http://goto.intwg.com/ and netiquette http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html.
Please check the Announcements area before you ask general course "housekeeping" questions (i.e. how do I submit assignment 3?).  If you don't see your question there, then please contact your instructor.

Policy #3: What to do if you experience technical problems or have questions about the Online classroom.  

If you experience computer difficulties (need help downloading a browser or plug-in, you need help logging into the course, or if you experience any errors or problems while in your Online course, click on the  button in your Online Classroom, then click on the helpdesk menu item, and then fill out the form or call the helpdesk for assistance.  
If the issue is preventing you from submitting or completing any coursework, contact Dr. White immediately.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week one
January 16 -22, 2012 
Discussion topic: Definitions and Explantions of Crime
Thesis task:      Determine topic - develop a working bibliography  - develop a research and null hypothesis (identify variable is interest)

Week two
January 23 - 29, 2012 
Discussion topic: Justice Issues and Contemporary Public Policy
Thesis task:    Write a review of literature  

Week three
January 30 - February 5, 2012
Discussion topic: Sex Offender Issues and the Juvenile Court
Thesis task:    Write the methodology section of your thesis 
Week four
February 6 - 12, 2012
Discussion topic: Internet Pornography 
Thesis task:      Do more research

Week five
February 13 - 19, 2012
Discussion topic: Prison Issues (Supermax, Quarantine of Serial Killers and violent Sexual Offenders, Private vs. Public Prisons)
Thesis topic:     Put paper into appropriate APA format

Week six
February 20 - 26, 2012
Discussion topic: Criminal Justice Research, Evaluation, and Policy Analysis
Thesis task:      Write rough draft and send to Dr. White and partner

Week seven
February 27 - March 4, 2012 
Discussion topic: Future Trends in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Thesis task:      Prepare final thesis, proofread, and submit to Dr. White

Week eight
March 5 - 11, 2012 
Discussion topic: Future Trends in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Thesis task:      Defend thesis to Dr. White and complete final

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 "F".
  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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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:1/23/2012 2:02:47 PM