Students bringing justice

A look into Ferris’ criminal justice program

The criminal justice program at Ferris is just one of the university’s many high-ranking majors.

Ferris is ranked in the top 30 of criminal justice programs in the country and top five in Michigan. Criminal justice junior Stanley Williams chose Ferris specifically for the dignified ranks.

The criminal justice degree is split into three paths. Students can choose between law enforcement specialist, corrections or generalist. Williams is a generalist in the program hoping to soon be a detective.

He says he likes many things about the program.

“I really enjoy working with the kids, or juvenile delinquents, and learning more about crime history and where crimes occur using the COMPSTAT (an organizational and management system used by police departments),” Williams said. “I also think the program has very informative and helpful career fairs and speakers which can help me get connections for internships.”

As a law enforcement specialist, students focus on administrative and management positions in county, state and federal agencies. With a corrections focus, there is an emphasis on criminal justice other than law enforcement, including probation, parole, community corrections, and more.

The generalist route focuses on all aspects of criminal justice as well as technical skills. With a degree in criminal justice, students can expect to earn positions in city police, sheriff departments, adult probation and parole, juvenile services and casework, just to name a few. There are currently 525 Michigan-based employment opportunities for graduates looking to stay in the state.

Students in the program may also get a chance to attend field trips, including to nearby jails or prisons. This past semester corrections students toured the Ionia Prison as well as the Newaygo County Jail.

Some students said it can be quite nerve-wracking being inside the jails and prisons as a student. However, the tours give students the opportunity to have real world experience and a sense of the prison or jail environment so they can later talk about it in class.

The criminal justice major isn’t for everyone though. The major involves a lot of report writing which can be tedious at times. Williams also mentioned that you must be very detail-oriented to make it in this field.