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UTC offers new online criminal justice program

The University of Tennessee has begun its fall 2010 semester with the launch of its newest online program, a criminal justice competition program, at its Chattanooga campus.

Cindy Carroll, assistant director of UTC’s Office of University Relations said the program is not only the first of its kind offered completely online at any of UT’s campuses, but also is one of the few offered nationwide.

“Each cohort of up to 25 students will be offered regularly scheduled courses. Participants are encouraged to take six credit hours or two courses each semester — those who keep this academic schedule can expect to graduate in three years,” she added.

Carroll said students who apply for the new online Criminal Justice program must have completed an Associate of Arts or Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Students with 60 hours of college work who have a degree in another field will be advised at UTC to be sure general education coursework requirements have been met.

Chuck Cantrell, UTC assistant vice chancellor, credits the university’s 10-year relationship with law enforcement with the idea for the program’s inception.

“It was really to meet the professional needs of working law enforcement officials,” he said.

“They have been coming to UT Chattanooga for the summers for several years, basically as a leadership academy experience.

“The folks were saying, ‘We really liked your program so much that we would like to be able to complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UTC.’ So that was the catalyst for the creation of this program … to cater to working professionals in law enforcement,” Cantrell added.

Carroll said UTC’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center’s Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy, held for the last 10 years on the UTC campus, is A seven-week law enforcement leadership and management program designed for progressive and innovative police managers.

“More than 240 law enforcement chiefs, sheriffs and command-level officers have graduated from this university-level educational experience as a direct result of the unique educational partnership between LEIC and The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,” Carroll added.

Dr. Helen Eigenberg, head of UTC’s Department of Criminal Justice said those students who missed the registration deadlines for the fall 2010 cohort may join in spring 2011.

“Students accepted to the program must apply to UTC and to the UTC Department of Criminal Justice. They need to be computer savvy. And while it is true students in this program can do their online work anywhere, they must be self-motivated and complete work on time. This program is not self-paced or independent study,” she added.

Cantrell said students from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville also may participate in the program as long as the core requirements have been met.

Eigenberg said UTC is committed to meeting the demands of professionals in the field, and police officers, those in probation, parole and corrections and victims’ services would all benefit from this completion degree.

“Increased education for police officers allows them to write better and develop better problem-solving skills. Data shows that a better educated police force means less civilian complaints and less excessive force used,” she said.

“All graduates become more marketable, more prepared to request a promotion or transfer,” Eigenberg added.

For additional information on this program, visit UTC’s Web site at


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