Forensics Option Degree | Naugatuck Valley Community College

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Download the 2019-20 College Catalog in PDF format.

Liberal Arts and Behavioral/Social Sciences Division

Forensics Option

Program Description

The Forensics Option is a two-pronged approach to employment in the Criminal Justice field. On the one hand, the Option will prepare students for entry-level employment in the field of law enforcement on the local, state, and federal level. On the other hand, the Option will prepare students for successful transfer to other institutions of higher learning where they will obtain the baccalaureate degree necessary for employment in criminal laboratories.

The program will provide an academic and learning experience that promotes common sense, ethics, civic responsibility, cultural appreciation, and respect for diversity. These characteristics are inherent issues and will be discussed in every required course in the program. The program has a strong connection with the community. Representatives of some area agencies such as the State Police Crime Lab have served as advisors in the development of the program to ensure that it contributes to the production of an educated and trained work force that responds to the needs of the region.

Specifically, the Forensics Option is designed to prepare students for the successful transfer to other institutions of higher learning as well as for entry level job opportunities in the field of law enforcement. It provides the essential skills required to gain and to maintain employment at entry level positions as police officers on the state and local level as well as Federal law enforcement officers.

General Education Core course listings and definitions appear on pages 54-57. Placement testing will determine the sequencing of courses. Additional courses may be required.

Program Requirements

Competency or Program Requirement Course Number and Title Required Credits
Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communications Choose any Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communications listed 3
Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics Choose any Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics listed 3
Critical Analysis and Logical Thinking/Written Communication ENG*101 Composition 3
Historical Knowledge Choose any Historical Knowledge listed 3
Oral Communication COM*100 Introduction to Communications or COM*173 Public Speaking 3
Quantitative Reasoning MAT*167 Principles of Statistics1 3
Scientific Knowledge◊ BIO*105 Introduction to Biology 4
Scientific Reasoning◊ DAR*158 Biology of Addiction 3
Social Phenomena SOC*101 Principles of Sociology 3
Written Communication ENG102 Literature and Composition 3
Program Requirements CJS*H101 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3
CJS*225 Forensic Science 3
CJS*H229 Crime Scene Investigation 3
CJS*H105 Introduction to Law Enforcement 3
CJS*H211 Criminal Law 3
CJS*H217 American Legal Systems 3
CJS*H255 Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice 3
CJS*H293 Criminal Justice Cooperative Work Experience2 3
SOC*H240 Criminology 3
Criminal Justice Directed Elective3 3

Total Credits: 61

Any given course may only be used to satisfy one of the competency areas even if it is listed under more than one.

1Students planning to transfer to a 4-year school should plan to complete MAT*H167 Principles of Statistics or MAT*H172 College Algebra.

2Placement is required. Students need to contact the program coordinator or the Liberal Arts and Behavioral/Social Sciences Division early in the semester prior to taking the course.

3Choose one: CJS*H250 Victimology or CJS*H224 Computer Crimes

◊At least one Scientific Knowledge and Understanding OR Scientific Reasoning course must have a lab component.


The Criminal Justice/Public Safety graduate should be able to:

  1. Given a set of circumstances and occurrences, present a well written investigative report and any other accompanying documents.
  2. Explain the basic structure and functions of the American Criminal Justice System.
  3. Explain the structure of the Federal and State court systems.
  4. Manage a crime scene.
  5. Recognize evidence at a crime scene.
  6. Collect, preserve and package evidence.
  7. Mark and record evidence.
  8. Discuss the capabilities of the crime lab.
  9. Explain the concept of transfer of evidence.
  10. Conduct basic laboratory analysis.
  11. Conduct field tests.
  12. Identify and describe a crime scene.
  13. Discuss the capabilities of various pieces of equipment used at a crime scene.
  14. Conduct a crime scene search.
  15. Name the types of evidence
  16. Describe the "linkage triangle" for physical evidence.
  17. Explain what effects the social conditions in the United States have upon the criminal justice system.
  18. Read and explain relevant literature in the field of Criminal Justice.
  19. List the major categories of physical evidence.
  20. Explain the difference between class and individual characteristics of physical evidence.
  21. Explain the legal requirements effecting the crime scene.
  22. Explain the concept of chain of custody.
  23. Explain the scientific requirements effecting the crime scene.
  24. Explain the responsibilities of the first responder at the crime scene.
  25. State the psychological theories that may explain criminal behavior.
  26. Identify the major sociological theories of criminal behavior.
  27. Describe and evaluate the ways in which data are collected on crimes criminals and victims.
  28. Present oral reports before a group.
  29. Explain the Bill of Rights and those specific rights guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eight and Fourteenth Amendments.
  30. Explain some of the basic issues and problems in policing, the courts, and corrections in America today.
  31. Explain what bearing state and local political issues have on the criminal justice system.
  32. Explain the concept of criminal law, including its purpose as an agent of social control.
  33. Define and explain the elements of: assault, sex crimes, burglary, arson, larceny, robbery and homicide.
  34. Demonstrate work skills relevant to a criminal justice agency.
  35. Integrate the theoretical and practical application of the Criminal Justice Program.
  36. Explain the impact of the development of ethical thought on the Criminal Justice System.

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