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CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH METHODS - SPRING 2017 SYLLABUS

CRJU 340-05, #16474, TTH 5:30-6:45, H-224
CRJU 340-06, #17091, F 1:00-3:45, MH-406

Faculty information (UPS item 1)

Instructor: Julius (Jay) Wachtel
Office: LH 624
Hours: TH 4:30-5:15, Fr 12:00-12:45
Telephone: (657) 278-6740. Please note that the instructor only answers the phone while in the office and does not check messages. E-mail is strongly preferred.
E-mail: jwachtel (at) fullerton (dot) edu

Weekly schedule is subject to change – please use the web schedule

Course information (UPS item 2)

Objective and learning goals

This course presents an overview of the research process. Its primary objective is to provide students sufficient fluency in statistics and research methodology to make appropriate use of scholarly journals in criminal justice and criminology. Students learn to frame research questions, formulate hypotheses, collect, analyze and display data, arrive at supportable conclusions and present their findings. Students are exposed to measurement issues and concepts, learn to use descriptive statistical techniques and are introduced to sampling and hypothesis testing.

Required text

Statistics for Criminal Justice and Criminology in Practice and Research: An Introduction, by Jack and Jerry Fitzgerald (Sage Publications, 2013).

Required calculator

RM_calculators

Students must bring an inexpensive, solar-powered calculator with no special functions except a square root key to every class session (available for $5-10). Cell phones and scientific or graphing calculators are not permitted while taking exams.

Required flash drive

An inexpensive flash drive is required for running your slide show in class. Students will not be able to download their presentations from the Internet – it uses up too much time.

Grading standards and policy, exams, presentations (UPS items 3, 4, 5)

Grading standards and policy

100 points can be earned: up to 70 for the exams, up to 20 for a panel presentation, and up to 10 (5 @) for attending presentations by other students. Term grades will be assigned using the conventional scale (A=90, B=80, C=70, D=60, F=59 or less), curved if necessary at the end of the term to reflect class performance.

Plus/minus grading is NOT used. For this course to count towards Criminal Justice degree requirements students must earn a grade of "C" or above.

Other than for the special exam (see below) there is no extra credit. Missed points for attending other students' presentations cannot be "made up."

Any instance of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism or cheating, will result in a grade of zero or "F" for that activity, and/or a term grade of "F", and/or referral to the Dean. It is the instructor's policy to not change grades except for a computational error. Please do not ask for special consideration.

Examinations

Three exams covering concepts and statistics. Exams 1 and 2 are worth 20 points each; the final is worth 30 points. Required non-scientific calculators must be used during exams. No cell phones or other gizmos - required calculators only!

If illness keeps you from taking an exam on the scheduled date, please e-mail the instructor.  Makeups must be taken during the next class session, of if the student is still ill, by the end of the week following the week during which the exam was given. Only ONE of the first two exams can be "made up." Makeups are not allowed for the final. Students who have done well on the midterms but cannot take the final due to a bonafide emergency may, at the instructor's option, be allowed an "I"ncomplete.

Each exam is a mandatory component of the course.  To earn a grade higher than "F" every exam must be taken.

Special exam

At the instructor's discretion, an optional special exam may be administered in class between the first and second exams. Its purpose is to insure that misunderstandings of basic concepts, as tested on the first exam, are corrected. Five points can be earned, and will be applied only if the term grade falls below a "C". These points cannot be used to earn a term grade higher than "C". No makeups will be administered for this exam.

Special notice about exams and online materials

The website has links to the PowerPoint slides used in class and supplemental materials. These, plus the text, class discussion and student presentations are all fair game for exams. Here's the best rule: if it's mentioned in class, it's important.

There is no guarantee that the website will always be "up." Final versions of slide shows may not be posted until the day of class.

Exams are prepared with those who come to class in mind. Neither an exam date nor grading will be adjusted because the website went down.

Presentations

There are six panels, each with five or six students. Each student is assigned to a panel. Students participate in one practice delivery (rehearsal) and make one presentation during the term. For information and instructions see "panel presentations."

Participating in a panel and making presentations are required components of the course. Failure to make a presentation will result in a term grade of "F".

Classroom management

Cell phones, pagers and laptops

Please set cell phones and pagers to silent mode.

Absolutely no use of laptops or other electronic devices in class. NO recording. Laptops and other devices are distracting to users, other students and the instructor. Students with special needs are excepted (please bring your form on the first day of class.) Please take notes the old-fashioned way and plan your online activities accordingly.

Why the rule?  For an illustrated reason, click here.

Accommodations, academic integrity (UPS items 6-7)

Accommodations for documented special needs: click here

Academic dishonesty: click here

Emergency Instructions (UPS item 8)

Emergency instructions homepage: click here

Active shooters and hostage-takers – escape and shelter in place information: click here

  • Depending on the suspect's proximity, quickly decide whether to stay or run.
  • Either way, spread out.
  • If shelter in place, lock or barricade the door.
  • Take whatever cover is available. Use furniture to your advantage.
  • Quietly plan what to do if suspect gets in. Confronting the shooter is an option.
  • If run away, keep spread out. Use multiple routes.
  • Don't charge into arriving officers. Keep both arms visible.
  • Call 911 asap. Don't wait for others to do it.

Earthquakes and fires

  • In case of earthquake, drop and cover.
  • In case of a fire, leave immediately. Use the stairs.
  • Assembly point is the adjacent faculty parking lot.


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