Criminal justice majors focus on forensics class

Criminal justice majors focus on forensics class

Criminal justice majors focus on forensics class

Forensics is not left to television.

Students taking the CSI I and CSI II classes are learning just what it is like in the real world of crime scene investigation.

Greg Dagnan, assistant professor of criminal justice, instructs both classes.

“We do tons of practical stuff,” Dagnan said.

During the first few weeks of class, the students learned to sketch and photograph a crime scene, tape off a scene and to lift and pick up fingerprints on an ultraviolet light.

“We start with the basics,” Dagnan said. “It’s a very hands-on class.”

The three-credit-hour class is open to everyone, but is focused on freshmen.

“In the criminal justice department, we are worried about the students staying around,” Dagnan said.

He said the class allows students a view of what is available in the CSI field.

This would let students make up their mind before they advance into harder and more major-specific classes.

“It gets them passionate,” he said. “It’s not just a class, but it’s something they will use.”

Students taking the class said they get more out of the class than they though they would.

“It’s definitely something that keeps you interested,” said Shae Wolfe, sophomore criminal justice major. “It’s something new everyday.”

Shae said she had several preconceived notions coming into the class, but they changed after she started work.

“The difference between reality crime scenes and TV crime scenes is because not all one person does everything,” she said. “In reality, there’s 40 there.”

Others took the class because their advisers thought it would be a good idea to become involved in the program early.

“I was kind of interested into the CSI stuff,” said Zach Schlup, freshman criminal justice major. “This is probably my favorite class out of all of them.”

Schlup said he learned more about investigating a crime scene than he had thought he would coming into the class.

“Most people think the CSI on TV is close to reality, but in real life,

it takes a long time,” he said.

Some students took the class because they had an interest in the subject coming into the program.

“It’s very surprising,” said Adam Sirdoreus, freshman criminal justice major. “I thought it’d be just like the television show. There’s so much more to it than what the show depicts.”

Sirdoreus said he is glad he took the class because the information he is learning in the class will help him outside of the classroom and in the job force.

“I’ll be able to investigate a crime scene properly,” he said.

He said the class works well for many students.

“If you are the hands-on type of person, it’s a great class for you,” Sirdoreus said.

While some students took the class for interest, others took it because it was required for their major.

“I’ve learned a lot about that I had preconceived notions about, but they changed quite a bit,” said Derek Mitchell, freshman computer forensics major.

Mitchell said he has worked on several things he always wanted to learn, such as fingerprints and photographing.

“Not only is it fun, but it helps me learn about the field,” he said.

Mitchell said during the first week of classes, Dagnan took the students out to a mock crime scene and let them investigate it as they thought it should be investigated.

Mitchell said the class did practically everything wrong, but learned from the experience.

“We know now what we did wrong, and we know how to change it,” he said.

One student took the class out of interest and found herself considering a forensics major.

“I think it will be very useful when I’m working in my job,” said Renea Wilson, freshman criminal justice administration major.

Wilson said she can use the information both as an investigator and also on the law enforcement side.

However, she said she wasn’t prepared for the work involved.

“It’s very different,” she said. “The stuff learned is really more different than what I thought. It takes time.”

All students are welcome to take the class, and it’s even open to the public.

“I would like to tell them to expect the unexpected,” Wilson said. “You spend times on your work and not just walk in and out.”

Dagnan said he wants everyone interested to try the class.

“The one problem with the class is too many people are interested in it,” he said.

However, the department works with the large number to offer the class to as many people as possible.

“They actually get to the skill level they would be at if they had been doing this in the field,” Dagnan said.

The class is offered every semester with varying versions. Next semester, the class will be offered as half lab and half Internet based.

Dagnan said the class is too new to have any feedback from graduating students, but he said current officers in the field have returned after taking the class and said they appreciated the effort.

For more information on the class, call Dagnan at 625-9572.