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University of Wisconsin – Platteville

Written by Stephenie Slahor

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville offers online programs for a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Just as other online programs in private universities and colleges, the courses are delivered to fit the lifestyle of working adults who must adjust their educational goals to their personal time constraints and schedules.

But the University of Wisconsin-Platteville holds the status and recognition associated with a traditional, public university. Founded in 1866, the university, in 1978, began offering extended, distance learning through its Platteville Distance Education program. These accredited, online degrees were offered at the more affordable cost for which a public university is noted.

Its first completely online program was instituted in 1999, then, in 2006, it began the undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. The Higher Learning Commission regionally accredits all University of Wisconsin-Platteville programs. The university is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Currently, the distance learning courses are delivered through online or print-based delivery. Either way, students “attend” without ever going to a campus. Research and further reading can be obtained through the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Karrmann Library. For those students opting for the online format, the university offers a wide variety of software at a discount so student computers meet the requirements for online coursework.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice requires general education coursework in such fields as English, mathematics, arts/humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, then the upper division coursework emphasizes aspects of criminal justice including law, psychology, community relations, corrections, investigation and other aspects of the police sciences.

General education courses can all be taken through the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, through other University of Wisconsin colleges or independent learning, or through transfers of approved credits from other colleges or universities.

Criminal justice courses include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Police Function, Correctional Philosophy, Criminal Law, Criminal Justice Seminar, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice in Delinquent Behavior, Criminal Investigation, Police Administration, Police-Community Relations, Community-Based Corrections, and Procedures and Evidence.

The Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice offers three areas of emphasis: criminal justice management for those seeking work in police supervisory or administrative positions; criminal justice theory for those who plan to earn a Ph.D. degree, teach criminal justice or work in research; and a focus on institutional or community-based victim and offender programs.

Current tuition is $350 per credit for undergraduate courses and $610 per credit for graduate tuition. There are also some course-specific fees, an admission fee, textbooks and other costs. Students opting for the online option can take courses in fall, spring and summer sessions, logging on at their convenience to complete assignments, participate in discussions or team projects, or e-mail instructors.

For those students opting for a print-based course, Internet access is not required. Print-based courses can be taken at any time and the student has up to 12 months to complete the course(s). Course manuals direct study in units, assignments and examinations, but students create their own study schedules and their own due dates for coursework.

Current tuition for print-based courses is $248.75 for Wisconsin residents, and $564.29 for non-residents, plus administrative and application fees and other non-refundable university fees. With either program, there is no reference on the transcript of earned credits to “online” bases for the courses successfully completed.

In addition to its degree programs, the university offers a Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice for those police professionals who need additional knowledge or skills to advance to higher-level positions in their work. Five core courses in criminal justice systems, research/statistical methods, criminology, and law and social control are required, along with a research paper. These courses also meet the core requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice for those who will continue to further education.

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, Nov 2011

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