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Criminal Justice Degree Opens Doors to Variety of Careers

Todd Billcliff, '2005

Some descriptionMy decision to attend Roberts Wesleyan University came by word of mouth from friends. Although I am from out of state, some of my friends that I graduated High school with attended Roberts and suggested it to me as a place to attend college. I've always had a desire to get into a field of work that encompassed human service. Criminal Justice seemed to be a good fit because it dealt with the "people aspect" of a career I was looking for as well as my interest in investigating and analyzing matters.

The Criminal Justice program at Roberts shaped my mindset for my career. By that, I mean that my career requires me to have an analytical and methodical approach to situations. The classes I had at Roberts demonstrated the importance of that mindset in the Criminal Justice field and how experiences and your reactions to those experiences affect your future decision-making.

I found that the Criminal Justice program at Roberts provided me with a better experience than those in similar majors in other schools. The CJ program at Roberts provided many unique experiences between guest speakers, class trips, and classes that were taught by professionals in the field.   The smaller classroom size also allowed more personal experiences, discussions, and relationships.

Interestingly, my career at Paychex began when I ran into a friend I had graduated with from the CJ program at a retail store. He strongly recommended Paychex and told me about what his department did for the company. The work sounded very interesting, and it was a field I was exploring at the time. I interviewed for the position and accepted the position shortly after. I now specialize in fraud prevention at Paychex, which entails anything from validating new businesses and people to investigating claims of identity theft or anything relating to suspicious or fraudulent situations. Paychex has also provided me with great opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally.

I would give current and prospective students advice to remain open-minded when it comes to career paths. When I entered the program, I intended to get involved with law enforcement.   When I almost completed my college education, I realized I did not necessarily want to pursue that career path. I realized that there were many other fields out there than I had previously thought, my current career being one of them. There are many positions available for those with CJ degrees other than law enforcement that provide great career opportunities. My other piece of advice would be to keep contacts and connections, as this has been extremely helpful to me and has opened many doors!

Tyler Pratt, '2013

Some descriptionI chose Roberts because all of my classes had a faith-based aspect that aligns with my Catholic faith.  This past semester I had an Ethics in Criminal Justice course that compares those ethics to our faith. I agree with the restorative justice distinctive that focuses on making “whole” a situation that is broken, which is what they teach in our program.

Since I was able to spell the word P-O-L-I-C-E, I wanted to be a police officer. The Criminal Justice program at Roberts has great professors, especially Ron Hallman (Associate Professor of Criminal Justice).  He is dedicated to helping me succeed and helped me obtain my internship, which is required at Roberts, with Gates Police Department. I am also on the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department and serve as the Lieutenant of Student Patrol at Roberts.

On November 9, 2012, I was presented with a letter of commendation from Gates Police for demonstrating a calm demeanor and willingness to help while rendering aid to an unresponsive male. My internship was an exciting opportunity to apply what I learned in the classroom. I am in the process of going through the civil service application process because my goal is to be a police officer in the greater Rochester area.

Stacey Hull, '2009

My name is Stacey Hull, and I am an alumnus of Roberts of the class of 2009. I graduated in December of 2009 with majors in both Psychology and Criminal Justice. I loved my time at Roberts and made many long-lasting friendships with both the faculty and students at Roberts. I participated in many activities while at Roberts, including Summer Ministry, Intramurals, and In Jesus’ Name to just name a few.

Also, during my junior year, I was the Student Association Chaplain. Despite being busy with homework and activities, I felt that I matured both spiritually and mentally while attending Roberts.  Roberts was a perfect fit for me to develop as a person and prepare me for my future career in Law Enforcement.  After a career with the Gates Police Department, I have accepted another opportunity as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer working with the ATF.

Chris Grimm, '2009

I graduated from Roberts Wesleyan University with a degree in Criminal Justice, and the experience and education that I received greatly benefited me in life after Roberts. The classes that I attended, as well as the internship that I completed, prepared me to undertake the challenges of a career in law enforcement.

The professors and the well-balanced program create an environment for students to succeed and to be competitive in the many different positions of the criminal justice system.

Jason Scott, Ph.D. '1995

When I entered Roberts Wesleyan University as a freshman criminal justice student twenty-three years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and I could have never anticipated where my degree would eventually take me. At that time, I knew that I was interested in the topic of crime and justice, but it was my experience as a student in CJ and Psychology at RWU that fostered a greater curiosity and love of learning.

At Roberts, I experienced faculty that were enthusiastic about sharing their passion for criminal justice and encouraged me to explore the important connections between research and policy and Christian faith and justice.

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Smith Hall - 585.594.6310 - herbert_samantha@roberts.edu