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Changes coming to School of Criminal Justice and Nursing

The Hines academic center is located behind old main
The Hines academic center is located behind old main and is home to a new major for the criminal justice department, November 22.
Photo by Lexi Altschul | Staff Photographer

Texas State administration has introduced changes to curriculum for the upcoming semesters. The School of Criminal Justice is changing degree requirements and the School of Nursing is adding a new masters program.

The School of Criminal justice has proposed to shift their degree plan so students will keep only the general major in criminal justice and cut the more specific majors of law enforcement and corrections.

The school of nursing will be offering a new master of science in nursing with a major in leadership and administration.

The proposed changes to the criminal justice major will take effect in Fall 2018.

Students currently in the law enforcement and the corrections majors will be able to finish their current degree programs with no change in the availability of required courses. Students in these more specified majors will have until Fall 2024 to complete their chosen degree program. After this availability expires, these major courses will be offered as elective courses rather than required ones.

Christine S. Sellers, professor and director of the School of Criminal Justice, noted that there were many factors that prompted this change.

“First and foremost, we believe that all of our (students) should be broadly educated in all aspects of the criminal justice system,” Sellers stated, “No one working in the criminal justice system should be so specialized that they are unaware of the impact that decisions made in one system have on another system.”

The school surveyed employers at their Criminal Justice Career Fair to theorize the potential impact of the proposed change examining if they had a preference for hiring a graduate with a general versus a specialized degree in criminal justice.

“All indicated no preference for a specialized degree,” Sellers stated.

The new nursing major will be coming January 2018, with applications opening the week of Nov. 27 through Apply Texas.

The requirements for admission into the M.S.N. program are a bachelor of science in nursing degree from a nationally accredited nursing program, minimum 3.0 GPA on the last 60 undergraduate semester hours earned at a four-year college or university and three forms of reference from professionals.

Marla Erbin-Roesemann, director and professor within the school of nursing, indicated that “the major is designed to prepare nurse executives for both hospital and outpatient settings,” where students would need, “a minimum of a masters preparation to effectively manage those types of environments.”

The major looks to provide experience for students in “a number of different roles they could serve in but it’s the executive positions we are looking to prepare them for,” Roesemann said.

Students admitted to the program will receive mentored hours with a nurse executive, where they will get to see things upfront, at that level. This opportunity would allow students to “translate innovative practice research into actual care models in the hospitals and organizations,” Roesemann said.