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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 18-Apr-24

Fall 2024 | CRJ-1010-VO02 - Introduction to Criminal Justice

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 14 (as of 07-21-24 3:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Anne Buttimer
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Philip Crossman

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Social Sciences
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the American criminal justice system, tracing its history and development while assessing its strengths and weaknesses. The roles of the agencies that comprise the criminal justice system (representing law enforcement, courts, and corrections) are examined. Students explore career opportunities in the criminal justice system, including positions as a law enforcement officer, court personnel, attorney, paralegal, corrections, justice advocacy, and victim services.

Essential Objectives

1. Describe the historical development and major components of the American criminal justice system including law enforcement agencies, the courts, rehabilitation, and corrections, as well as victims' rights and services.
2. Identify the major U.S. Constitutional amendments and Supreme Court decisions applicable to the American criminal justice system.
3. Describe various psychological and sociological theories used to understand and explain criminal behavior.
4. Identify the major elements in the American penal system, including probation, parole, corrections, and restorative justice.
5. Describe the objectives and outcomes of various societal responses to criminal behavior including incarceration, restitution, social service intervention, and other alternatives to the criminal justice process.
6. Explain how societal definitions of criminal behavior and responses to that behavior have created disparities based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender expression, and sexuality in the criminal justice system.
7. Critically examine how data on crime, recidivism, crime prevention, and the use of force by law enforcement and corrections are collected, reported, and used in an ethical manner.
8. Evaluate at least one innovative criminal justice intervention practiced locally, nationally, or internationally.
9. Discuss the importance of cultural competence and trauma-informed practice in criminal justice professions and identify skills and strategies for supporting and collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
10. Explore the scope and diversity of career opportunities in the field of criminal justice through assignments such as informational interviews, job shadows, or other career exploration activities.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a no cost textbook or resource class. ***

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


Learning Methods

This is a discussion focused course where students and faculty interact via written postings in Canvas several times during the week. This is essential on your part for your learning.

Evaluation Criteria

How to Answer Discussion Questions – use college level writing skills. If your week 1 essay indicates that you don’t yet have the skills to be successful, I’ll recommend that you work with the writing mentor at CCV’s Learning Center Online Live (LCOL). Contact information is at the LCOL tile in the portal. Your work each week is graded according to the grading rubric in week 1.

Do not copy/paste material from our book or any research source as your answer or part of it. That’s plagiarism and a violation of CCV’s Academic Honesty Policy, see below. Our book takes the form of a basic outline of topics, from there students further explore by working with our CCV librarians and me. The library’s link is on our course screen left and in the portal at the Library tile.


Using APA in-text citations and a References section in all work, weeks 2-10 - any sources you use, be that our book, sources you find working with a librarian, or sources you find yourself (they must be authoritative, meaning reliable; check with me first) must be cited using APA citation format. Here’s our Vermont State College’s Library’s pages about citations. We use APA because our class is a social science. https://libraries.vsc.edu/research/integrating-citing

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments



*Week 1 Begins Tuesday 9/3 Ends Monday 9/9 - Introductions

Syllabus Reading: Read the course syllabus. You are responsible for knowing and following all the information there.

Textbook Reading: Read the Contents section because this will give you a preview of some of our topics, as well as expose you to additional topics in criminal justice that you’ll want to take future classes at CCV to study, such as Criminology (study of why people commit crimes) and American Judicial Process (study of our state’s and nation’s criminal courts). Then read pages 1-8. The authors' bios are interesting because they show you the range of educational and professional background they have, and this will help you to understand all the many careers path in criminal justice.

Discussion: Write a 350-400 word essay in which you discuss your education and career plans and goals, to include CCV, any college you plan to attend after CCV (or that you’ve already attended) and your professional working world plans. What led you to take this class? Discuss how you see your study of the material in this course assisting in each stage of your education and work. Be specific about schools you’ve attended or are attending, also be specific about work experience you’ve had. It’s all part of what brought you to this class. We will do a lot of career exploration work in weeks 10, 11, 12. Read those weeks now, thoroughly, so you can start to think about the job shadow or informational interview work you’ll do in our formal career exploration module in those three weeks.

An answer of this length should be two to three correctly written paragraphs. This assignment serves the dual purpose of us getting to know one another and gives me a chance to assess your writing skills. Writing at a full college level is vital to your success in our class. See the grading rubric in week 1 for details.

This is due by Friday 6 pm VT time. Same due times each week. Put the assignment due times in your phone or calendar now, set alerts, and set reminders for enough time in advance to complete your work before it's due.

THEN - answer any questions I ask you by 11 pm Saturday VT time. These instructions apply for the whole semester. Be sure you have the due times in your calendar/device/phone for the whole semester and schedule time before they're due to get your work done, do this for the whole semester.

*Week 2 Begins Tuesday 9/10 Ends Monday 9/16 - The Basics of Crime, Criminal Justice, and Criminology part 1

Read: Chapter 1 – Crime, Criminal Justice, and Criminology starting on page 9, read through Section 1.7 The Three C’s: Cops, Courts, and Corrections that ends on page 35.

Discussion: You’ll recognize this self assessment from pages 9-10 of our book. Write a three to four sentence, no more, no less, response to each statement in which you explain why the statement is true, or not, or accurate, or not. You’ll need to do some basic online research, this is the week to start working with our Vermont State Colleges librarians, see link at course screen left and at the library tile in our portal. You must use authoritative (reliable) research sources. You may not know whether a site is authoritative or not, so working with our librarians will help you develop skills you’ll use all semester. Share these instructions with our librarians so they know how to guide you. Use correct APA in-text citations and a References section. Follow directions for this from the library link above, and or work with Mr David White in our LCOL (Learning Center Online Live), contact information is in the LCOL tile in our portal.

Don’t type the question at the start of your answer, we all know what the questions are. Number each answer to correspond to the question. There is no right or wrong answer, rather this is to get you thinking and researching.

  1. Black Americans commit more crime than any other racial group.
  2. The United States has the lowest recidivism rates in the world (return to prison).
  3. The death penalty is cheaper than life imprisonment.
  4. Politicians shape our thoughts on crime, even if they are inaccurate.
  5. Children are most likely to be killed by a stranger.
  6. A stranger is most likely to physically harm you.
  7. White-collar crime costs our country more every year than street-crime.
  8. Juveniles are more violent today than ever before.
  9. Immigrants commit more crime than native-born people.
  10. Violent crime has risen in the United States over the last 20 years.

*Week 3 Begins Tuesday 9/17 Ends Monday9/23 - The Basics of Crime, Criminal Justice, and Criminology part 2

Read: Chapter 1 –starting on page 36 with Section 1.8 Crime Control and Due Process Models, through Section 1.15 Victim Rights and Assistance that ends on page 64. Also read Vermont’s laws about victim rights. They are found in two sections of the Vermont Statutes, Title 13 (there are 33 total Titles of Vermont law, dealing with Crime to Property to Taxation and much more). This link is to the official site of the statutes at the Vermont Legislature’s site. Crimes and Criminal Procedure (vermont.gov)

Links to an external site. and Crimes and Criminal Procedure (vermont.gov)

Links to an external site.

Discussion: You’ll recognize most of these questions from our book. Select one (1) and write a 350-400 word essay that you research using our book, the footnotes in our book at the bottom of some pages, and our librarians if you need more research. Don’t copy the question into your answer, instead use the number I gave it below so we know what question you’re answering.

  • 1) From Section 1.8: Discuss what the primary goal of the criminal justice system should be: to control crime, ensure due process, or both? Explain how this opinion may get influenced by individual factors, such as age, gender/sex, race/ethnicity, economic situation, a country born in, and more. Could goals change if more education was given to the public about criminal justice? If so, make an argument in favor of education. If not, make an argument against educating the public on criminal justice issues.
  • 2) From Section 1.9: Provide an example of discretion, which can be from a teacher in school, a dean, an officer, a judge, or boss. Describe how that person’s use of discretion impacted your life outcomes today. As an example (don’t write about this), you were breaking the speed limit driving to the hospital because a family member had just been rushed there by ambulance. An officer pulled you over for speeding an you explained the situation. The officer was understanding, gave you a verbal warning only, and let you go, cautioning you to stay at the speed limit the rest of your drive.
  • 3) The fear of immigrants bringing crime to the United States is popular rhetoric right now, especially among politicians who use it to misinform and scare the public who are perhaps as ill-informed as politicians are. The links in our book are mostly no longer active so instead of using them, work with our librarians to find authoritative, current sources of information about whether immigration causes or adds to crime in the US currently and in the recent past.
  • 4) Find a case for each tier of the wedding cake model in the news (2023 or 2024) in Vermont and write a 100-150 word summary of where it fits and why. Also discuss how news coverage may influence the case outcome in court and in public opinion. Working with our librarians will help you to narrow your search to Vermont crimes. Sadly, there are plenty to choose from at each level of the wedding cake model.
  • 5) Some people have an undercurrent of belief, perhaps not even conscious, whereby they blame victims of crime for being victims. Statements such as “she shouldn’t have been wearing a short skirt” or “he flashed that fancy watch and wad of cash” or “they have an expensive car in the driveway” and more perpetuate the idea that victims are somehow responsible for being victims. They’re not. At a prosecutor’s trial skills training I attended years ago, a gifted Assistant United States Attorney (federal prosecutor) said “it’s against the law to be a criminal, it’s not a crime to be a victim.” Well said. Where does victim blaming come from and how can we stop it?

*Week 4 Begins Tuesday 9/24 Ends Monday 9/30 Police part 1

We don’t cover chapters 2,3,4,5 – those are Criminology chapters for CCV’s Criminology course. You’re welcome to look at the chapters if you like, it’s interesting material!

The criminal justice system has three components, studied in the order someone would go through the system. First, police. Second, courts. Third, corrections. This is where we’ll focus our attention for the next few weeks.

Read: Chapter 6, Policing. Start with Section 6.1 Policing in Ancient Times on page 191 through Section 6.7 Police Misconduct, Accountability, and Corruption that ends on page 246.

Discussion: Go back to week 1 (scroll down to the bottom of the list of weeks) and re-read your introductory essay where you wrote what you might want to pursue as a criminal justice career. It’s fine if your ideas are already changed about that, that’s part of the growth of education. For this week we’ll focus on law enforcement officer jobs in Vermont. Go the list of open positions at the Vermont Criminal Justice Council site which lists virtually all open law enforcement officer positions in Vermont, and find three that you could imagine yourself doing upon graduation from CCV. If you don’t plan to become a police officer that’s fine, the goal of the assignment is to learn about policing, our topic for this week and next. https://vcjc.vermont.gov/about-us/employment

Links to an external site.

Read the various items at the left of the screen to understand what the Vermont Criminal Justice Council is and then select three (3) different positions from those listed. Write a 150 word summary of each where you include this information:

  • 1) Name of the department?
  • 2) Level of education required for the job?
  • 3) What level of police officer certification does the job require (this is why you first need to read the information at the left of the screen)?
  • 4) If provided, salary level, prior experience needed, and other requirements to apply?
  • 5) Why did this position catch your eye?
  • 6) Link to the job announcement.

Don’t copy the questions, instead number your answers to correspond to my questions. Yes, you need APA in-text citations and a References section. If all the information you used came from the Vermont Criminal Justice Council site, cite to that. If you used the department's or agency's website, cite to that.

*Week 5 Begins Tuesday 10/1 Ends Monday 10/7 – Police part 2

Read: Chapter 6. Start with Section 6.8 Current Issues: Police Shootings through Section 6.13 Current Issues: Body Cameras ending on page 260. We’re not covering section 6.14 but you’re welcome to read it.

Discussion:This exercise is found at the bottom of page 260 of our book, modified slightly by me. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/04/01/us/police-bodycam-video.html

Links to an external site.NOTE - the videos on the link are down, but the questions for the exercise are still there. This Today Show video is the exact same videos as were in the newspaper, please use this link for the videos, and use the newspaper for the questions in the self assessment. https://www.today.com/money/police-body-cameras-can-you-always-believe-what-they-show-t92581

Links to an external site.

Links to an external site.

“People are expecting more of body cameras than the technology will deliver,” Professor Stoughton said. “They expect it to be a broad solution for the problem of police-community relations, when in fact it’s just a tool, and like any tool, there’s limited value to what it can do.”

Write a 350-400 word response to the questions below.

  • First, go to the above link and complete the activity. Be as honest with yourself as possible.
  • Second, after the videos and this experiment, has your view of policing and the role of video changed? Do you think body cameras are worth the expense or could we do without? What are the pros and cons?

*Week 6 Begins Tuesday 10/8 Ends Monday 10/14 – Courts part 1

Read: Chapter 7 Courts starting with section 7.1 Introduction to the US Court System on page 265 through Section 7.7 Federal Appellate Review of State Cases that ends on page 285. THEN read https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/sites/default/files/documents/Guide%20for%20New%20Legislators%20011619.pdf

Links to an external site.

You’ll also find it helpful to visit the Vermont Judiciary’s site Vermont Judiciary

Links to an external site. You can find a lot of information by clicking the Menu item at the upper left corner and reading the various links that will appear.

Also read this short lecture about Vermont’s courts.

We have a relatively simple process to understand courts in Vermont so it's a good place to learn about state courts, yet it includes several of the methods our book describes, meaning we can learn a lot in a compact manner. First, go to https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/about-vermont-judiciary(Links to an external site.)

Links to an external site. for a quick introduction to our courts.

Here are our courts:

1) Vermont Supreme Court. One in the state, courthouse on State St. in Montpelier near the State Capitol buidling. Five justices. This is our state's sole appellate court meaning it hears appeals from trial courts. Justices are selected using the merit systemand serve six year renewable and reviewable terms and must retire in the year during which they turn 70 years of age.

2) Vermont Superior Court:Civil Division. One in each of Vermont's 14 counties. This is a trial court that decides liability in civil cases (torts, contracts, etc.) Judges are selected using the merit system as above. Juries are used in this court in some cases.

3) Vermont Superior Court: Criminal Division. One in each of Vermont's 14 counties. This is a trial court that decides culpability in criminal cases. Judges are selected using the merit system as above. Juries are used in this court in some cases.

4) Vermont Superior Court: Family Division. One in each of Vermont's 14 counties. This is a trial court that decides family law issues including divorce, child custody, child support. Judges are selected using the merit system as above. Juries are never used.

5) Vermont Superior Court: Environmental Division. There are two, one in the northern part of the state, one in the southern. This trial court hears cases related to Vermont's complex land use law called Act 250, they also hear appeals from town/city zoning board decisions. Judges (there are two) are selected using the merit system as above.

6) Vermont Superior Court:Probate Division. One in each of Vermont's 14 counties. This is a court that decides cases about wills, trusts, estates of deceased people (called decedents), name changes of adults and children, and adoptions. Judges are elected in non-partisan elections every four years by the people of each county.

7) Vermont Judicial Bureau. There is one court comprised of several judges, they travel to each county several days a month. This is traffic court. They also hear underage drinking violation cases and fish and game violation matters. There are no juries. Judges (called magistrates) are selected using the merit system as described above.

Vermont also has an odd holdover from the late 1700s when we first became a state. Back then there was great distrust of educated people (they were all white men) because it was thought they could interpret and decide the law for themselves at a time when many people couldn't read or write and had to trust those who could. This was the educated class of lawyers, judges, doctors, bankers.

To counter this fear that educated people would harm or cheat the masses, comprised of farmers, loggers, tradesmen, the first Vermont Constitution, written in 1777, included something called an assistant judge, also called a side judge because they sat at the side of the real judge, one on each side. They were ordinary men from the farming, logging, tradesmen class who sat on cases in Superior Court. Back then it was the only court in our state and it heard all cases, civil and criminal. Side judges were elected by the voters of each county (all white men - voters and judges) to "assist" the real judges in making factual determinations in case. Side judges were not allowed to interpret the law (legal precedent) because they had no legal training and hence no ability to make legal decisions. Instead their job was to make sure the real judges made honest and accurate factual determinations in the cases they heard.

We're long past the need for them but we still have them. In 2010 when the Vermont court system was completely updated and restructured there was a concerted effort to abolish this judgeship because there's no need for them. The people who hold these jobs get a nice paycheck and didn't want to lose it and they rallied Legislators, who had to vote on the terms of the restructuring, to keep them. So today in the 2020s when judges in Vermont aren’t cheating anyone we still have side judges. They've turned out to be the cheats themselves in some cases, most notably Judge Jane Wheel in Chittenden County (Burlington) in the 1980s who padded her expense account outrageously, then denied it, and was prosecuted criminally and stripped of her seat.

Discussion:This week we’ll study Vermont’s state courts specifically through our discussion.

Write a 350-400-word where you put yourself in one (1) of these roles below and explain how you would prepare to represent yourself in court using these resources, and what other options to self-representation you have, and which Vermont court the case would be heard in. Vermont has seven courts, each of Vermont’s 14 counties has a Vermont Superior Court: Civil Division; Vermont Superior Court: Criminal Division; Vermont Superior Court: Family Division, Vermont Superior Court: Environmental Division; Vermont Probate Court, and Vermont Judicial Bureau (traffic court). There is one (1) Vermont Supreme Court for the entire state, it’s located in Montpelier.

Note the Latin phrase for appearing in court by one’s self without an attorney is called proceeding pro se. Here are your options for types of cases, begin your answer by stating which one you’re using. What court will the case be heard in? Will there be a jury?What types of evidence will you offer the court, both physical and in the form of testimony from witnesses? What do you have to prove, or disprove, to win your case?Don’t type the facts of the case into your answer, instead use the number of the question in your answer so we know what you’re answering.

If you're unsure how to proceed from here please email me no later than 12 noon on Thursday to ask your specific questions so I can guide you.

1) You are being sued in a breach (breaking) of contract case where the amount in dispute is $25,000.

2) You have been arrested for burglarizing your neighbor’s home and stealing $15,000 worth of electronics.

3) Your partner is suing you for divorce and custody of the two children you share and is seeking child support.

4) Your aunt (never married, no children) died and named you as executor of her Will (capitalized because it’s the proper name of a document), you were aware of this and agreed to do it. Now your three siblings are contesting the Will in probate court because your aunt left you $50,000, and each of them only $30,000.

5) You own a small family ski area in Vermont that the State is alleging has been polluting a nearby stream and river with runoff from the skiing operations. The case is heard in Environmental Court.

6) You were stopped by a Vermont police officer on Interstate 89 for doing 20 miles an hour over the speed limit (speed limit is posted at 65 mph, officer says you were doing 85) in your 2009 Honda Civic Coupe. You know you weren’t going that fast because the car’s engine was partly blown and the car wouldn't do more than 55 miles an hour.

7) You rent a small house from Jose' Landlord under a one year written lease for monthly rent of $1,500. The lease calls for Jose' to provide as part of your rent, snow plowing and shoveling and sanding/salting. He never once did so last winter despite plenty of snow and ice storms. You had to hire a plowing service and pay yourself, and buy and spread sand/salt. You kept receipts from all that total $450. You're suing him to recover this amount.

*Week 7 Begins Tuesday 10/15 Ends Monday 10/21 – Courts part 2

Read: Chapter 7 starting with Section 7.8 Courtroom Players: Judges and Court Staff on page 286 through Section 7.10 Courtroom Work Group: Defense Attorneys that ends on page 308. Also, the topic of judges and how they're selected in our state and nation is an important one. Please read on, open the links, and read there, too.

The best summary of how Vermont's judges are selected is found here. https://ballotpedia.org/Judicial_selection_in_Vermont

Links to an external site.

Here is what the American Bar Association (ABA) says about electing state court judges. https://bit.ly/3xcsPzM

Links to an external site.

What does (retired) Associate Justice (US Supreme Court) Sandra Day O'Connor say about the practice of electing judges? About 15 years ago after her retirement from the High Court (a nickname for the U.S. Supreme Court) she started a series of education and outreach efforts to reform the practice of elected judges. Here are some of her interviews, talks, and materials on the subject. Please read and view each one.


Links to an external site.


Links to an external site.


Links to an external site.

Public Defenders in Vermont – https://defgen.vermont.gov/

Links to an external site. Open the links at screen left and read to get a general understanding. As you read this be thinking of possible careers!

Prosecutors in Vermont - https://prosecutors.vermont.gov/

Links to an external site. and https://ago.vermont.gov/

Links to an external site. As you read both be thinking about possible careers!

Current career openings in Vermont’s Judiciary - Employment Opportunities | Vermont Judiciary

Links to an external site.

Discussion: This week we’ll continue our study Vermont’s state courts specifically through our discussion. You’ve read about judges in Vermont, public defenders, and prosecutors. Pick any of the jobs listed at any of the three sites – your choice, although this will be a more meaningful learning experience if you select a job you see yourself doing at some point – it can be an internship, too. Write a 350-400 word explanation of the job, the title, the pay, the education and experience needed, and the prospects for advancement. What would attract you to this job, or help you to understand that it might not be the right career for you? (It’s as important to know what you don’t want to do as it is to have an idea what careers would be right for you.)

*Week 8 Begins Tuesday 10/22 Ends Monday 10/28 – Corrections

Read: Chapter 8 Corrections starting with Section 8.1 A Brief History of the Philosophies of Punishment starting on page 311 through Section 8.13 Who Goes to Prison? ending on page 344. Also, go to the Vermont Dept. of Corrections site and read half of what’s there, you’ll read the other half next week. Read what’s at screen left and scroll down, there’s a lot of information here which is why we’re taking two weeks to read it all. Divide your reading as works best for you. https://doc.vermont.gov/

Links to an external site.

Discussion: This week you get to tell your classmates and me about three interesting items of information you discovered at the site. It can be anything of substance that you can write 150 words about that’s related to our book reading this week. Clearly indicate the three topics you write about and include a link to the specific page. Use one paragraph for each topic. (You’ll have a total of 450 words, number your three paragraphs 1) 2) 3) .

*Week 9 Begins Tuesday10/29 Ends Monday 11/4 – Community Corrections

Read: Chapter 9 Community Corrections starting with Section 9.1 Diversion on page 347 through Section 9.16 Current Issues in Corrections: Re-Entry and the Future of Corrections ending on page 385. Also, return to the Vermont Dept. of Corrections site to finish reading what you didn’t read last week. https://doc.vermont.gov/

Links to an external site.

We’ve finished reading our book but don’t forget about it as you’ll need to refer closely to it through week 15! The rest of the chapters are about topics beyond the scope of our course. You’re welcome to read them if you like as they’ll give you a sense of future topics you can study in criminal justice in other courses.

Discussion: Re-read the Careers in Corrections pages https://doc.vermont.gov/content/careers-corrections

Links to an external site. being sure to include everything at screen left and everything you find as you scroll down the long page. Find three different career options at the Dept of Corrections that might be of interest to you, and write 150 words about each option. Use a separate paragraph and number it 1) 2) 3). Be sure to include the title of the position at the start of your paragraph. What are the educational requirements? Do you need prior experience? If yes, what type and how much? What is the pay scale? What are the jobs duties and responsibilities? What are the career advancement opportunities? You’ll need to write concisely to fit all of this in 150 words. It can be done!

ALSO – read everything in weeks 10,11,12 now to plan and be prepared. If you wait for week 10 you’ll run yourself short of time.

*Week 10 Begins Tuesday 11/5 Ends Monday 11/11 – Career Exploration part 1

Read: Go back to our book readings and class discussions in weeks 4 (police), 7 (courts), and 9 (corrections) and review the career options assignments you completed. Also look at the updated lists at the websites in those weeks for job openings at various Vermont police agencies, in the Vermont Judiciary, and with the Vermont Dept. of Corrections. Save that information. Decide which of those three fields could be of interest to you in doing a job shadow or conducting an informational interview. What is a job shadow? It’s a one day (usually, it could be several days) experience where you go to a professional workplace and spend the day with one or more full time staffers who have a career you’re interested in knowing more about. You see what they do and how they do it. They explain the requirements of the job they do, how they got the job and why they enjoy doing it. What is an informational interview? It’s where you conduct a 20-25 minute interview in person or by phone using questions you’ve prepared in advance as a way of learning more about a particular career choice.

Over the next few weeks you’ll write a cover letter and resume in which you request a job shadow visit or an informational interview with the agency or department you decided on, above. You will then send the letter to request either the job shadow or an informational interview which you’ll conduct in week 12. If you’re stuck on this, please email me early in the week (Tuesday) so we can get you successfully on track.

Also read everything that CCV’s Career Services staff have posted in our week 10 module. This is required reading.

Discussion: There are two parts to this week’s discussion, you must do both. You will have two postings this week, both due by 6 pm Friday as usual. The first is your 100 word essay, see below. The second is your cover letter and resume where you'll attach those two documents to one posting. Use Word for your documents which is the standard CCV word processing program. If you need to download Office 365 to get Word you can do so for free as a CCV student by using the Office 365 link at course screen left.

  • Post a 100 word essay in class where you explain which job you’re going to request a job shadow or informational interview for. Why is this of interest to you? How will you dress for the job shadow, or the informational interview if you do the latter in person. What requirements might you need to fulfill, such as a criminal background check? This is your grade for the week.
  • Using the materials from Career Services, write the cover letter and a resume that you’ll send. Submit both documents as one attachment, to the discussion board. Our Career Services professional staff will read and correct your documents and upload them back to you with recommendations for improvement. You must follow these recommendations.

*Week 11 Begins Tuesday 11/12 Ends Monday 11/18 – Career Exploration part 2

Read: Career Services has posted additional information for you in week 11’s module, read it carefully.

Discussion: There are two parts to this week’s discussion, you must do both. You will have two postings this week, both due by 6 pm Friday as usual. The first is your 100 word essay, see below. The second is your cover letter and resume where you'll attach those two documents to one posting. Use Word for your documents which is the standard CCV word processing program. If you need to download Office 365 to get Word you can do so for free as a CCV student by using the Office 365 link at course screen left.

  • Post a 100 word essay in class where you state the educational and other requirements for the job, the starting salary, and any opportunities for promotion and advancement in that agency in your career path. This may involve working with our librarians to find Vermont specific information about your career path. Also use all the resources Career Services posted. This is your grade for the week.
  • Thoroughly edit your cover letter and resume from last week and submit both documents as one attachment, to the discussion board. It will be returned to you with recommendations for improvement. You must follow these recommendations. Send your letter to the person you want to job shadow or interview. You should wait no more than three days and then call the person to schedule your shadow or interview. Do not wait for them to contact you.

*Week 12 Begins Tuesday 1/19 Ends Monday 11/25 - Career Exploration part 3

.Read: Read any documents Career Services posted for this week.

Discussion: Post a 350-400 essay where you explain the following. Who did you interview or shadow? What is their title? What agency do they work for? What date did you do the shadow or interview? What were the five most important points of information you learned from the person? What suggestions did the person give you for pursuing a career in their field? How have your ideas about this particular career changed as a result of this assignment? What are the next steps you’ll take in your career exploration journey as a result of meeting this person and having had this experience?

*Week 13 Begins Tuesday11/26 Ends Monday12/2 – Criminal Justice Reform

Please note this is Thanksgiving week – plan your time accordingly.

View and Read: This week you’ll view one online documentary: True Justice about the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and its founder and director, attorney Bryan Stevenson. Also read the EJI website. Note: there’s a lot of information at the site, give yourself plenty of time to read it all. Bookmark it for future use. https://eji.org/projects/true-justice/

Links to an external site.

Discussion - Write a 300-350 word answer of two paragraphs about any aspect of attorney Stevenson’s, and the EJI’s work. Explain why you viewed those issues and or cases as especially important and discuss how this week’s video and website readings have affected and influenced you.

*Week 14 Begins Tuesday 12/3 Ends Monday 12/9 - TED Talks part 1

The primary goal of the weeks 14 and 15 assignments is to assess if students can use the critical thinking skill called issue spotting which means being able to understand what something is about (TED Talks) that relate directly to topics we studied over the semester. If you think of this as a final exam-type assessment of your learning and skills you're accurate.

Discussion: TED Talks Week – go to: https://www.ted.com/ and find the tab at top of screen Discover. First item is Topics. At Topics scroll to C and open topics for Crime or Criminal Justice OR at Topics scroll to A and open topics for Addiction OR at Topics scroll to B and open topics for Brain (make sure they have a CJ connection) at Topics scroll to E for Education or scroll to F for Forensics or scroll to G for Guns OR J for Justice System or L for Law OR N for Narcotics OR T for Trafficking or V for Violence OR P for Poverty. If you find a Talk under another topic heading and you’re interested in it, view it and see if it fits this assignment. If you find and watch a Talk and you’re not sure it fits this assignment, email me with the link, and type your proposed “how this relates” section (see template below) and we’ll discuss whether it’s an appropriate Talk for you to use.

The thesis of a Talk is one-to-two sentence(s) that concisely state what the author seeks to prove in giving the Talk. The summary of Talk is 200-250 words that state what the Talk is about. The two are different. Be sure you understand what a thesis statement is and then craft your thesis statement for each Talk.

Copy the bolded headings into your posting and put both Talks in one posting box. Do not copy the un-bolded words into your answers.

My TED Talks

Full Title of Talk:

Author’s Name:

Thesis of Talk: Not sure how to do this? http://guidetogrammar.org/grammar/composition/thesis.htm

Links to an external site. Read all of it and focus on the short paragraph just above the yellow box, and the contents of the yellow box. One to two sentence limit for this section.

Summary of Talk: 200-250 word limit for this section. That means a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 250 words.

How Does This Talk Relate to our Class Readings, Discussion, and Learning? This should include a focused explanation of the week, topic, chapter, section number, case(s), website(s) from our class that relate to your Talk. 200-250 word limit for this section. That means a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 250 words.

Link to Talk: give the URL for the Talk.

Use same format in one posting for Talk 2.

*Week 15 Begins Tuesday 12/10 Ends Monday12/16 - TED Talks part 2

The primary goal of the weeks 14 and 15 assignments is to assess if students can use the critical thinking skill called issue spotting which means being able to understand what something is about (TED Talks) that relate directly to topics we studied over the semester. If you think of this as a final exam-type assessment of your learning and skills you're accurate.

Do not use a Talk that any classmates used in week 14. The opportunity to use someone else's work is too great so please don't use any week 14 Talks. Go back to week 14 and make a list of the Talks each of your classmates used, and look for two Talks for this week that no one used last week. There are many criminal justice related Talks to choose from.

Discussion: TED Talks Week Again! Using the same directions from week 14 find two (2) Talks you didn't use last week and complete the assignment.

END of course.


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Here's the schedule by day for each week all semester.

Tuesday: per CCV’s schedule the new week starts.

Friday: post your Discussion answer by 6 pm VT time. Use college level writing skills (see Grading & Writing Rubric in week 1 in Canvas). I will grade your work for the whole week when you post your discussion answer. You still need to answer any follow-up questions I ask you (see Saturday just below). Your grade is awarded based on my good faith belief that you'll answer anything I ask you no later than 11 pm Saturday. Be sure to read my reply to you in class and my Canvas grade book comments to you as soon as I make them. Canvas is set to send your CCV email a message that there are comments there for you to read, this should also remind you to read my posting to you in class. Even if you don’t get the email notice, go to class to read my comments and go to the grade book comments. If you omit answering my questions by 11 pm Saturday, I deduct 25 points from your discussion grade because your discussion work for the week is incomplete.

Saturday: Answer any follow-up questions I ask you no later than 11 pm Saturday VT time. Please do not post anything after 11 pm Saturday because everyone deserves to know that the week is complete so they can read all posts and know they’ve read them all.

Sunday and Monday:By mid-morning Sunday I’ll have made my final posts in class, then use either day to finish reading all postings in class.

Missing & Late Work Policy

*Work posted past the due time of 6 pm VT time Friday incurs a 10 point per hour or any segment thereof points deduction.

* Not answering my follow up questions to you is a 25 point deduction because your discussion work is incomplete.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.