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Chaminade University

Written by Stephenie Slahor

ChaminadeUniversity is Hawaii’s only Catholic university. Its on-campus and online programs emphasize academic excellence and preparation for professional careers. The university’s online program is extensive, and can be fully completed online, or in a hybrid format for either undergraduate or graduate studies. 

The school is guided by the traditions of Catholic, Marianist and liberal-arts education values, and so it encourages not only academic achievement, but also development of moral character, competence, and a personal commitment to build a just and peaceful society. 

Chaminade University’s online program allows students to log on to coursework at times convenient to the student. In addition, there is asynchronous participating in discussions and course assignments. The school uses “eCollege” to deliver the curriculum of its online coursework. Technical support is available 24/7 through e-mail or phone.

The university’s program in Criminal Justice is the largest and oldest in Hawaii, preparing students for careers in criminal justice, criminology, law enforcement, corrections and administration. In addition, there is a special undergraduate track that offers a minor particularly for students interested in Federal law enforcement and justice employment. The special track includes coursework in business, accounting and computer science. 

The undergraduate curriculum is built on studies in the behavioral sciences, criminal law and procedure, contemporary issues in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, management, juvenile deviancy, psychology, race/ethnic relations, mental disorders, and ethics. 

The graduate level studies leading to the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration offer preparation in critical thinking skills, leadership and management, program evaluation, agency administration, personnel administration, and research methods. The emphasis is on both study and practical application. 

Chaminade University requires that all work toward the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration be completed within five years, beginning with the term during which a student enters the program. 

Core courses for the Master’s degree include Constitutional law, criminology, agency administration, research methodologies, ethics, survey methods and statistics, law enforcement, correctional management and administration, forensic science, forensic psychology, managing criminal investigations, terrorism and justice, crisis/hostage negotiations, and evidence.                   

A special track in the graduate program is the Homeland Security Leadership Development course of study, which is offered in partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School. The special track is designed for civilian or military officials who have direct responsibilities in homeland security and civil defense. Coursework includes special studies in homeland security strategies, technology, planning, budgeting, critical infrastructure vulnerability, intelligence, and the psychology of fear management.  

Also, for those students not seeking a Master’s degree in the special track, there is a certification program that requires eight of the homeland security courses.

At press time, tuition for the graduate program is $655 per credit hour. A large majority of students have financial aid, grants or loans to assist with tuition costs, and the university provides assistance with the applications for such financial aid. 

Chaminade University prefers faculty members who are also practitioners in their fields of law enforcement, administration and specialized skills. One example is Dr. Ronald Becker, who is a specialist in underwater forensic investigations.

A low faculty-student ratio is a goal of the university. That ratio now averages about 17 to 1. This allows instructors to teach and to guide their students in a more intensive focus on achievement, and it allows students to obtain help quickly, if needed. 

Since 1960, Chaminade University has enjoyed accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 

The university also holds membership in such educational organizations as the American Association of Higher Education, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges, and The Leadership Alliance, which is an academic consortium of over 30 colleges that seeks to develop under-represented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia and careers. 

 

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, Jul 2014

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