East Carolina University's Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences welcomes the Department of Criminal Justice as its newest member. Chancellor Steve Ballard formally approved the Faculty Senate's request to reorganize Criminal Justice into the College of Arts and Sciences in January, and the integration of people and programs is now fully underway.
"Our educational mission and exemplary faculty both complement and align well with the core values of Harriot College," said Dr. William Bloss, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice. "This move places our department in close proximity to the allied social science departments of anthropology, political science, psychology and sociology, which will strengthen existing multidisciplinary partnerships while creating new opportunities for collaboration in teaching, research and service."
Criminal justice students will benefit from the diverse curricular and extracurricular programs available in Harriot College.
"Locating the department within Harriot College effectively aligns ECU with the clear majority of UNC System institutions that likewise place criminal justice and criminology programs within their colleges of arts and sciences," said William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. "Criminal justice undergraduates now constitute the third-largest major in Harriot College, and I anticipate the department's graduate program to be among our fastest growing."
Bloss said the department is committed to educating the next generation of criminal justice leaders and that ECU's program continues to grow. According to university data, since 2012, the program averages 175 Bachelor of Science graduates per year. As of this past fall 2015, the program has 550 undergraduate student majors and 48 graduate student majors.
The department aims to explore more ways to deliver high-quality distance education, integrate cutting-edge technology in teaching/learning and develop additional student internship and career options. An emphasis will also be placed on forging more research collaborations with academic and agency partners, seeking further extramural research funding, and expanding international study and research opportunities.
Recently, US News & World Report ranked ECU's online Master of Science program in criminal justice 30th in the nation for "Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs." This is the highest ranking for any criminal justice program in North Carolina. ECU's program also ranked 28th in the nation for "Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Program for Veterans."
"Our educational mission and commitment to excellence are unchanged and steadfast as we look forward to working with the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences faculty, staff and students," Bloss said.
ECU's criminal justice program, which has been in existence at the university since the 1990s and became a department in 2003, offers a master of science in criminal justice, bachelor of science in criminal justice, criminal justice minor, forensic science minor, graduate certificate in criminal justice education and two multidisciplinary graduate certificate options in security studies, and public management and leadership. The department moved from the College of Human Ecology after the college was disbanded in 2015 under a reorganization plan aimed at reducing administrative costs and focusing campus resources.