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 SRU Gets OK to Offer Criminology, Criminal Justice Major for Fall 



July 13, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854;



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa.  –Slippery Rock University will launch a major in criminology and criminal justice this fall following approval today from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s board of governors. The new program includes an optional concentration in community corrections.


The program will prepare graduates for employment as corrections officers as well as for careers in law enforcement, juvenile probation, drug enforcement and customs. SRU will establish professional partnerships with regional agencies to provide students with real-life learning opportunities while they work toward their degree.


           The new major, a bachelor of arts degree, is housed in the department of sociology/anthropology and social work. SRU’s sociology major with a track in criminology has grown to 121 students, and a survey of students in the track indicated they would rather receive a degree in criminology, said Dr. William Williams, SRU provost.


“Employment opportunities will be excellent for all related jobs in Pennsylvania and the U.S.,” Williams said.


“Criminology is an exploding field, and this new major will assist students in finding jobs and marketing themselves, and they will be getting a great liberal arts education,” said SRU’s Dr. Esther Skirboll, chair of sociology, anthropology and social work.


Courses will be offered both through regular classroom instruction and distance education, making the degree available to both traditional, on-campus students and those seeking on-line courses.


The program will include an optional concentration in community corrections, developed in response to recent legislation that allows for the diversion of non-violent offenders into alternative sentencing programs in the community.


The curriculum was designed to meet the certification criteria of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and SRU will seek program accreditation.


SRU has developed articulation agreements with several community colleges in the region to allow students with associate degrees in criminal justice to transfer into the new bachelor’s degree program.


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