Portland State University's Students Gain National Perspective through Online Criminology and Criminal Justice Program

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Students and faculty in Portland State University's (PSU) online Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) degree program have discovered an added dimension to online courses that enhances their learning experience. This enhancement comes through the class Crime, Grime and Fear where students who work and live throughout the United States share unique crime data from their local community.

Students and faculty in Portland State University's (PSU) online Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) degree program have discovered an added dimension to online courses that enhances their learning experience. This enhancement comes through the class Crime, Grime and Fear where students who work and live throughout the United States share unique crime data from their local community.

Students in PSU's online program live in 12 different states, some living as far away as Maine. In Crime, Grime and Fear, students build a professional PowerPoint presentation on criminal activity in a section of their local community. The presentation includes maps, satellite photos, pictures of the target location, and crime and census research. The benefit of the online program comes when students discuss their findings with classmates leading them to gain understanding about communities far from their home.

"This course is designed for students to gain experience in problem solving and to understand the criminal, social, and physical dynamics underlying a target community of their choice, ideally a neighborhood or small section of town," said Dr. Brian Renauer, the instructor of Crime, Grime and Fear at PSU. "The end result is a polished professional report worthy of input into their local government, and an understanding of other target communities all around the country."

Students develop a thorough review of community assets, disorder and problems to create hypothetical criminal justice and community interventions that address the underlying problems in the target community and strengthen any positive activities or organizations that already exist.

Student reaction to the added benefits of the online course has been very enthusiastic: "Participating in the class discussions with students from all over the country has been great," said Jennifer Hearn, a student in PSU's program who resides in Kimball, Mich. "My mind is opened to a variety of different ideas. Instead of being limited to research from my small community, I have been able to learn so many things about others and how the criminal justice system works in other places."

For more information about the Portland State University (PSU) Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice distance education program, contact a PSU Enrollment Advisor at 866-225-7127 or visit the program Web site, http://www.online.ccj.pdx.edu.

About Compass Knowledge Group
PSU has enlisted the help of Compass Knowledge Group to help market the program and recruit students. Founded in 1993, Compass Knowledge Group, Inc. or "Compass" located in Orlando, Florida partners with higher education institutions to create successful distance learning programs. Our industry-leading consultants assess institutional readiness and degree program viability. Using best-in-class marketing, recruitment, and student retention services, Compass Knowledge Group introduces degree programs to the world and enables colleges and universities to succeed in the competitive online education marketplace.

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Patrick Wampler
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