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CCDC supports criminal justice curriculum with $10K grant

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 3:54 p.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 4)

Southwestern Communi

To help SWCC “aggressively” promote its new criminal justice curriculum at the Osceola center, Clarke County Development Corporation approved a $10,000 grant Aug. 9.

The grant will be used to help fund a one-year position. The hiree would be in charge of launching a campaign to promote the curriculum, particularly in Osceola.

The Associate of Arts program was launched at the Creston campus and Osceola center for the fall 2011 semester. Since it started, it has had a “modest” enrollment, said Jane Bradley, associate vice president of instruction at SWCC.

The program had seven students enroll in the Osceola program in the fall and four in the spring. This fall the enrollment is at 10.

“We’re slightly up in enrollment,” said Bradley. “And it’s up in Osceola, which is exciting. But it’s still not where it needs to be. We’ve kind of hit that point where we feel like if we want this to build in Osceola, if we really want this to be a premiere program for the Osceola center we’ve really got to aggressively market this program, make some agreements with universities for transfer, perhaps expand our curriculum.”

According to Bradley, adjunct faculty member Sue Stearns, a former juvenile court officer, who helps teach courses, has spent quite a bit of time promoting the program so far.

“But it’s all been volunteer,” she said.

Stearns has more than 30 years of experience as a court officer and recently completed a Master’s degree in criminal justice from Simpson College.

Currently, SWCC recruiters market the technical programs primarily, said Bradley. This program falls into the Associate of Arts degree category.

“We don’t want it to get lost in the shufflings of all the other offerings at Southwestern,” she said.

According to Bradley, the criminal justice program is broad and will allow students to transfer to other schools and pursue careers as attorneys, judges, peace officers, highway patrol officers and other careers. This fall, the introduction to criminal justice program will be available to Clarke High School students. Other course offerings include criminology, constitutional law, introduction to computer forensics and juvenile delinquency.

Justifying the costs

However, the program needs to grow in order to be justified from a budget standpoint, said Bradley.

“I guess it’s kind of like a business where you reach a point where you either need to expand and hire more people or maybe just relax and let it go,” she said. “We really want to push this and get this thing going.”

According to Bradley, part of keeping the program up and running includes connecting the Osceola program to the Creston program. The two programs can share classes through Iowa Communications Network (ICN). Joint enrollment will help the program survive, she said.

Bradley, who has been with Southwestern since 2008, said the college isn’t able to run the centers independently, at this point, because there is not enough enrollment.

Creston support?

CCDC board members asked Bradley if she was asking for financial support from the community of Creston. So far, the college has supported the program.

“We’d like you to approach Creston to participate, as well,” said Boardmember Bill Freeman.

Bradley said Creston hasn’t been asked for support, yet. However, college administration is seeking Osceola’s support because they want to see the program grow in Osceola.

“We want to see it as something we can really develop in Osceola,” she said.

By JENNIFER NELSON

OST news editor

Southwestern Community College administration has been looking for a curriculum program to grow at the Osceola center – they believe they’ve found a growth opportunity in the college’s new criminal justice curriculum.

To help SWCC “aggressively” promote the new program at the Osceola center, Clarke County Development Corporation approved a $10,000 grant Aug. 9.

The grant will be used to help fund a one-year position. The hiree would be in charge of launching a campaign to promote the curriculum, particularly in Osceola.

The Associate of Arts program was launched at the Creston campus and Osceola center for the fall 2011 semester. Since it started, it has had a “modest” enrollment, said Jane Bradley, associate vice president of instruction at SWCC.

The program had seven students enroll in the Osceola program in the fall and four in the spring. This fall the enrollment is at 10.

“We’re slightly up in enrollment,” said Bradley. “And it’s up in Osceola, which is exciting. But it’s still not where it needs to be. We’ve kind of hit that point where we feel like if we want this to build in Osceola, if we really want this to be a premiere program for the Osceola center we’ve really got to aggressively market this program, make some agreements with universities for transfer, perhaps expand our curriculum.”

According to Bradley, adjunct faculty member Sue Stearns, a former juvenile court officer, who helps teach courses, has spent quite a bit of time promoting the program so far.

“But it’s all been volunteer,” she said.

Stearns has more than 30 years of experience as a court officer and recently completed a Master’s degree in criminal justice from Simpson College.

Currently, SWCC recruiters market the technical programs primarily, said Bradley. This program falls into the Associate of Arts degree category.

“We don’t want it to get lost in the shufflings of all the other offerings at Southwestern,” she said.

About the program

According to Bradley, the criminal justice program is broad and will allow students to transfer to other schools and pursue careers as attorneys, judges, peace officers, highway patrol officers and other careers. This fall, the introduction to criminal justice program will be available to Clarke High School students. Course offerings include criminology, constitutional law,

introduction to computer forensics and juvenile delinquency.

Justifying the costs

However, the program needs to grow in order to be justified from a budget standpoint, said Bradley.

“I guess it’s kind of like a business where you reach a point where you either need to expand and hire more people or maybe just relax and let it go,” she said. “We really want to push this and get this thing going.”

According to Bradley, part of keeping the program up and running includes connecting the Osceola program to the Creston program. The two programs can share classes through Iowa Communications Network (ICN). Joint enrollment will help the program survive, she said.

Bradley, who has been with Southwestern since 2008, said the college isn’t able to run the centers independently, at this point, because there is not enough enrollment.

Creston support?

CCDC board members asked Bradley if she was asking for financial support from the community of Creston. So far, the college has supported the program.

“We’d like you to approach Creston to participate, as well,” said Boardmember Bill Freeman.

Bradley said Creston hasn’t been asked for support, yet. However, college administration is seeking Osceola’s support because they want to see the program grow in Osceola.

“We want to see it as something we can really develop in Osceola,” she said.

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