Course Descriptions

View Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration and Leadership course descriptions below.

Major Course Descriptions

This course provides an opportunity to examine the important psychological processes that criminal justice personnel use in interacting with the public. This course will expose students to the sensitivity, understanding, and behaviors that are influenced by others. Students will explore this complex and dynamic landscape to better develop expertise in human behavior and a transformational style geared toward success. There will be a strong emphasis on the rapid and ever-changing landscape of the criminal justice profession, and the importance of possessing a versatile blend of skills, competencies and traits to be successful leaders. Students will also focus on the need to develop healthy relationships, partnerships and manage conflict while achieving productive goals utilizing emotional intelligence.

This course will provide students with a conceptual foundation for applying leadership skills, communication, organization, and self-examination to encourage challenging their own beliefs and assumptions about what constitutes effective criminal justice leadership. Students will evaluate the critical controversies and concerns of contemporary criminal justice. This course will also evaluate the various methods of critical decision-making and innovation in day-to-day criminal justice operations in dealing with controversies. The principled-based concepts of this course will provide students with precise, clear-cut directions and the necessary tools to fulfill the day-to-day leadership role. This course will identify how challenges and controversies are met and resolved as a criminal justice administrator or as a first responder and how challenges and controversies can significantly impact an organization or career.

This course will provide students with the tools to improve in the decision making processes of criminal justice administrators and managers. In case-studies and challenging scenarios, students will engage in confronting the roles bias and racism occupy in this process, and in doing, explore why biases emerge within the field of criminal justice. Students will be challenged to evaluate the public perception phenomenon concerned with fact-based truth and virtual truth shaped by popular opinion, media coverage and/or reputation. This course will also challenge students to recognize racism, prejudice, and injustice within the field of criminal justice and identify how to properly manage them in their decision making. Students will explore guidelines and techniques for overcoming limitations and improving the quality of ethical decision making and public perception.

This course will provide students with assessment strategies on how to measure and predict crime patterns, how to view crime activities, and how to generate reports for a given neighborhood, district, or community. Acquiring a deep understanding of crime data and crime trends are essential preparations for criminal justice leaders. This course will allow students gain this understanding and analyze major sources of crime data in their jurisdictions along with their respective strengths and weaknesses. The utilization of real-world case studies and real-world crime data to effectively illustrate the reality of crime in modern America will be explored. Students will assess the effectiveness of different criminal justice agencies as well as consider the role of community-level protection and control efforts.

This course provides students with the theory and practice of human resource management of personnel in the public and nonprofit agency sectors. Besides, the course content will introduce the day‐to‐day HR issues faced by managers and administrators and an overview of current "best practices" in the field. Students will evaluate many facets of public human resource management that include the traditional personnel functions (recruitment, selection, training, motivation, compensation, evaluation, discipline, and employee termination) in a public setting. Students also examine management's resources and strategies responsible for providing supervision and personnel development within governments and nonprofits organizations. There will also be an emphasis on civil service, employment law, labor relations, diversity, equity and inclusion. This course's strategic and operational management is intended to provide students with an understanding of human resource management's impact on organizational decision‐making.

This course examines how communication tactics are crucial to critical operations and management. In this course, students will learn how to use crisis and tactical communication to help prevent conflict from turning into a crisis, strategically plan ahead for a potential crisis, and strategies for dealing with a crisis after it has become public. Students will learn to develop planning and public service approaches to the prevention of; preparedness for; response to; recovery from; and review of emergencies and critical incidents. The course also includes knowledge of social and individual behaviors that serve as a foundation for understanding how people act during a crisis, how behavioral changes may save lives and property, and how risks are or should be communicated at every critical stage. Students will also analyze and create strategic crisis communication plans and tactics. This course will help students build analytical and risk assessment skills for dealing with a crisis in their personal and professional lives.

This course provides an analysis and application of leadership coaching within a criminal justice organization. This course focuses on effectiveness, resiliency, and peer leadership models that influence leadership across various criminal justice organizations. Today, effective criminal justice leadership coaches must be fully capable of working the diversity of their personnel and organizational cultures. Students will learn to apply models, approaches, and principles of individual and team coaching strategies in this course. There will be an emphasis on ethical guidelines on coaching competencies and ethical practices. Students also examine characteristics, factors, and conditions that influence coaching effectiveness, assessment, and evaluation; diversity considerations; and professional issues and challenges. Students will learn to employ critical-thinking skills and synthesize concepts learned in the course to develop a plan for implementing effective coaching in a real-world setting.

This final course allows students to integrate research and components of crime, policy, and leadership as learned throughout the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration and Leadership program. The student will accomplish this by gathering bibliographic and reference materials on a research topic developed by the student. The capstone shall be prepared according to the standards of the academic discipline and utilize the theories, research methods, analytical skills and substantive knowledge obtained through their studies in the master’s program. The course centers on completing evidence-based research work that will serve as the essential foundation of a professional leadership capstone.