ACU introduces criminal justice program, focuses on interactive learning

For Immediate Release
August 27, 1999

Abilene Christian University has introduced a criminal justice program in its Department of Sociology and Social Work. Students can now earn a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice.

The criminal justice learning sequence is designed to include several interactive learning opportunities, one of which occurs Monday, Aug. 30.

Jerry Cox, adviser of university studies, is teaching the Intro to Criminal Justice class. Monday at 10 a.m. in his class, personnel from Dyess Air Force Base will bring dogs trained to attack on command and locate drugs and bombs. The Dyess personnel will provide unique interactive demonstrations and explanations to students.

The media is invited and encouraged to attend the Intro to Criminal Justice class. It will be conducted in Room 101 of Hardin Administration Building on Campus Court.

Rather than a vocational degree, ACU's criminal justice program provides a theoretical foundation for students, preparing them to go anywhere in the field of criminology or criminal justice, said David Gotcher, assistant professor of sociology, who oversees the program.

"We discuss why law enforcers function the way they do and why the law functions the way it does," Gotcher said. "We take a sociological approach to criminology and criminal justice."

The program is designed for anybody with an interest in criminology or criminal justice. "We have students who will go on to law school, law enforcement, corrections or forensics. This program prepares you to go into a variety of areas of criminal justice."

Offering students a criminal justice program that also is a sociology degree is another advantage of the program, Gotcher explained. It exposes students to the theoretical perspective to help develop problem-solving skills.

"Students learn to hypothesize why a problem exists. They learn how to develop a solution and then execute that solution," he said.

ACU offers 117 baccalaureate degree programs, 35 master's degree programs and one doctoral program.


Archived News Releases - Current ACU News and Events

If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Tom Craig, director of media and community relations, at or call 915-674-2692 (cell phone: 665-5469).

Last update: August 27, 1999
This page is maintained by Tom Craig,