As part of this capstone course, you are required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of field work experience. These 10 hours are to be completed with an approved agency of your choice. This experience will be documented and submitted as your final project. The field work experience is important as you complete your program to give you experience in your field of study. With these 10 hours, you will have an opportunity to shadow a professional and gain real world experience.
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Learning does not take place solely in the classroom. Field work does not only allow you to experience the professional world of criminal justice first hand, but it also allows you to make professional connections with the criminal justice agencies in your community.
Field work takes place in five steps throughout duration of this course.
Research and identify a local criminal justice agency where you could complete a minimum of 10 hours of field observation. Some possibilities include:
A police department, to complete a ride-along, a series of interviews, or shadow a professional throughout the 10 hour observation.
A half-way house, to observe case workers managing released offenders.
A court proceeding, to examine the fast-paced nature of the adjudication/correction phase.
Contact an agency by letter or phone call. The purpose of this communication is to introduce yourself, describe the purpose of your request, and establish a date and time for completing this assignment. You are encouraged to schedule your ride-along or interview between the fourth and seventh module of the class. You are NOT to just show up at an agency and request a ride along or interview.
At least one module before your scheduled meeting, mail or deliver a professional letter to the agency contact person that confirms the date and time of your ride-along or interview.
During your ride-along, agency visit, or interview, pay close attention to all that is happening. Ask questions along the way. Listen and observe. Take notes as you go.
In a 2-3 page report document describing what you observed while conducting field work. As a conclusion to the report, write 1-2 paragraphs describing how your education prepared you for the type of job you observed.
Be sure to include a cover page with the following information:
The agency you visited
The date(s) and time(s) of the field work
The name of the person you observed
The contact information for the agency and the person you observed