DeVry University Online
Teaching Field: Criminal Justice
Teaching Field: Criminal Justice
“Those who thrive at DeVry have a strong desire to learn, are self-motivated and have good time management skills.”
Coming out of high school, I had no direction; I just didn’t know what to do with myself. My best friend enrolled in a nursing program at a community college and I went along with her. I took a criminal law course as an elective. The instructor, David Morowitz, was incredible—vibrant, alive, engaging. He was a lawyer working in the field and brought in many real-world experiences, and he inspired me to switch to the criminal justice program. I had many interesting work experiences—as a private investigator, a loss prevention manager, and deputy sheriff—before I began teaching.
I worked in a Rhode Island Sheriff’s Department for eight years and never expected to leave. After finishing my Master’s in Criminal Justice, I needed to make extra money. A co-worker suggested teaching part-time at a local college, but I didn’t follow up. Then the Sheriff’s Department started a training program for new field officers and hand-picked me to become a training officer. I found out I really liked imparting my knowledge to others to help them succeed in the field. Since I still needed to make extra money, I finally applied at the college for what I thought was a part-time position. After the interview, I was surprised to find that they offered me a full-time, tenure-track position.
One thing most DV students have in common is the need for a flexible schedule. I can relate to that. By the time I transferred from the community college to a four-year college, I was married and working full-time. It took me a long time to finish my Bachelor’s. The kids came along, life shifted into high gear, and I still wanted to continue my education. I had to live that balance from my Associate’s degree on up through my Ph.D. in Criminal Justice.
I needed flexible access as well. My husband went back into the military, we moved every two years, and employers wouldn’t hire me because they knew I would leave soon. I had the education and the desire to work, so it was fortunate that I could work online.
Though no longer a law enforcement officer, I stay on top of the field through former colleagues and family. My daughter is a police officer; my husband works in the state Corrections Department since retiring from the military. I also participate in annual meetings that DeVry holds with its national advisory board for the Justice Administration Program. Board members are not DeVry employees; they are justice professionals representing organizations that offer internships and they share what they look for in candidates. All this input was helpful when I redeveloped our entry-level course, JADM100.
I teach mostly entry-level and senior capstone courses. I like to see the difference between where students are when they come in and when they graduate. I give weekly Live Lectures, which are very interactive and involve lots of role playing. I’m a facilitator, coach, and motivator. I create opportunities for students to practice. My teaching goal is to help students understand what the law is and how to apply it.
Those who thrive at DeVry have a strong desire to learn, are self-motivated and have good time management skills. Some students are surprised there are weekly deadlines and some just can’t adjust to having deadlines. Others may not have anticipated the true rigor of DeVry classes. Maybe they had some preconceived stereotype that online education is a breeze. It is not a breeze. Maybe they weren’t properly prepared for writing assignments in high school; we try to make up for that by offering tutoring and other resources. If they are not prepared and they don’t take advantage of the available resources, then they are in trouble.
DeVry stresses independent thinking. We don’t teach you what to think; we teach you how to think.
My daughter is considering taking a degree in digital forensics. If she decides to come to DeVry, I would support her in that decision. That’s how confident I am in the quality of a DeVry education.