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Criminal Justice Cohort

CJC - Criminal Justice Cohort:
A Humanities-Enhanced Associates Degree in Criminal Justice

Professor and four students holding clipboards standing over a mock crime scene.Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of criminal justice often prepare students more holistically for careers in this field. Infusing justice-related themes into writing and history courses can inspire students to think more expansively and to communicate more effectively—skills necessary to becoming good law enforcement and public safety professionals.

The Criminal Justice program features a special course section from English composition, literature, and history, each designed to include law enforcement-related themes to appeal to students of Criminal Justice. Students in the group of both the A.S. and A.A.S. programs in Criminal Justice take these course sections together, which will help new students become better acquainted and share their common interest in the law. A tutor, who is exclusively assigned to this student group, is available to assist students in these subject areas. Service learning and co-curricular opportunities will be made available for students to supplement in-class instruction.

CJC was awarded a $96,932.00 grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has been endorsed by the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department, the Schenectady City Police Department, and has been acknowledged by four-year institutions (e.g. John Jay College of Criminal Justice) as an innovative and relevant addition to SUNY Schenectady’s program offerings. View the Criminal Justice Cohort brochure.

CJC Special Course Sections

ENG 123 College Composition CJ Section

This course section provides a foundation in academic discourse by developing effective communication skills with an emphasis on expository writing; an oral presentation is required. Furthermore, because this composition course is designed for Criminal Justice students, reading and writing focus on a wide range of issues pertinent to that discipline, such as poverty, crime, and mass incarceration. Moreover, this course seeks to inculcate a strong sense of civil and community service by including a service-learning component.

ENG 124 Literature and Writing CJ Section

Typical introductory literature courses seek to familiarize students with literary concepts and hope to foster an appreciation for literature that celebrates the knowledge gained from deep thinking or analysis. In addition, this course section encourages students to participate in “experience-taking” which involves critically and empathetically thinking about the lives of diverse others through the analysis of fiction, poetry, and drama.

HIS 229 American History CJ Section

This course section in modern U.S. history is specifically designed to introduce students to the methods and skills historians use to reconstruct the past through a criminal justice lens and encourages students to make connections between class content and their professional goals. This course section covers the significant political, social, and cultural currents since Reconstruction, but also includes a focus on the historical development of crime and criminal justice, and historical trends in the definition, social context, and response to crime. As a service learning course it encourages students to apply the methods and skills of historical thinking to challenges typically encountered by professionals in the field of criminal justice.


The CJC - Criminal Justice Cohort: A Humanities-Enhanced Associates Degree in Criminal Justice has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.