Written by Marti Glass, Dean of Behavioral Science, NGU Online
Historically, a criminal justice program has been a staple of modern colleges and universities for many years. North Greenville University is a relative newcomer to this particular field of study as compared to other liberal arts institutions. The criminal justice and legal studies degree program was first offered on campus as a part of the interdisciplinary studies program for the 2011-2012 academic year. The program was a success and enrollment began to grow. In 2015, criminal justice and legal studies became a separate major within the College of Humanities. The degree was designed to provide a solid educational foundation in the field of criminal justice all the while adhering to the Christ-centered focus that is NGU.
In the fall of 2013, planning began for NGU to enter into an online education program. Early in the planning, the decision was made that a criminal justice program was to be included in the NGU Online. The NGU Online program was designed to give the working adult an online platform to complete his or her degree in the same Christ-centered environment that uniquely sets NGU apart while being flexible. The first term of NGU Online began July 18, 2014 and within that term, the first online criminal justice class was offered. The online criminal justice degree was a part of the interdisciplinary programs as was the on-campus degree. In the spring of 2016, NGU submitted a proposal to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the accrediting organization, for the NGU Online criminal justice degree to be a stand-alone degree. Approval was granted August 31, 2016.
The NGU Online criminal justice degree emphasizes Christian values, practical applications, advocacy, and technology within the criminal justice field. Additionally, this degree is among the few criminal justice programs that includes experiential learning credits toward the completion of a degree. The NGU Online criminal justice student can receive college credits for their prior experience and training.
The first graduate of the NGU Online criminal justice program received his diploma at the fall 2016 commencement. There continues to be students receiving their diplomas and either entering the field or furthering their professional development. The NGU Online criminal justice program has students currently enrolled that are serving in local law enforcement agencies as well as students serving outside of the state of South Carolina.