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Champlain College

Written by Stephenie Slahor

Originally founded as a business school in 1878, Champlain College of Burlington, VT is a private college offering not only a core curriculum, but also a philosophy of working with students to create an experience-based approach to education in which the emphasis is on the intellectual, practical and career experiences that contribute to success at work.

The college has become known for its ability to respond quickly to emerging needs in the marketplace. As an example, 87 percent of its last year’s graduating class were successfully employed in their fields of study, which is far above national averages for colleges.

At the undergraduate level, the college offers a Criminal Justice specialization in its psychology program. Coursework involves studies in criminal law, social justice, domestic violence, deviant behavior, substance abuse and forensic science. Completion of an internship in a relevant work setting gives students an opportunity for mentoring experiences.

In 2009, the college’s launched its Master’s degree program in Digital Forensic Management. The curriculum is a 36-credit program in computer analysis and examination, digital and cyber crime investigation, and electronic discovery and litigation support. The program courses feature work-based projects in which students apply what has been learned in class to solve problems in information assurance, data security, cyber crime and other digital information problems in the workplace. Applications to the Digital Forensic Management program are accepted year ‘round, beginning in September, January and May.

Champlain College also offers a Master of Science degree in law for those who are not lawyers, but who want to understand the field as it pertains to contracts, information privacy, litigation, constitutional issues, regulatory law, liability, labor and employment law, and alternative dispute resolution.

Accessibility to coursework through online learning is key to the college’s graduate programs. Before beginning a program, students attend an online “Basic Training” course that familiarizes them with navigating the online classroom. During their coursework, students can use the college’s “Champlain Angel” online course software, which allows keeping up with the course’s progress over the semester.

Students in the college’s graduate program come from across the country so interaction for discussions and perspectives is a part of the learning experience. Communication with instructors and classmates is through discussions and e-mail. All content stays available for the entire semester, should the student need further review of concepts.

An e-mail function is built into the online learning system for communicating privately with the instructor or other classmates. Lectures and assignments are posted for the entire semester and can be read or printed out for future reference. Testing is done through both word processing format, which is then returned to the instructor as an attachment to a private e-mail, or through testing software built into the online course delivery system.

Each instructor has his/her own course requirements, which are stated in the individual course syllabus so that students are aware of due dates for assignments and examinations. Students are advised to devote at least 13 hours per week to attending online classes and completing course assignments. Enrollment in graduate level courses is limited to 15 students so that student-instructor interaction is enhanced.

The New England Association of Schools & Colleges accredits Champlain College. Application to Champlain can be done online, and financial aid is available. A graduate admission representative can be contacted for further information. Tuition for the 2011-12 school year (September through July) is $749 per credit for the Master’s program in Digital Forensic Management, and $729 per credit for the Masters of Science degree in law. Program-specific information sessions are offered online and on campus.

Stephenie Slahor, Ph.D., J.D., writes in the fields of law enforcement and security. She can be reached at drss12@msn.com.

Published in Law and Order, Dec 2011

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