A Q&A with the Coordinator of the Public Safety Administration Program

Under the guidance of Dr. H. Eric Schockman, Woodbury’s Public Safety Administration (PSA) Program within the College of Liberal Arts launched in the Fall 2018 and recently wrapped up its first semester. Below, Dr. Schockman offers an overview of the program and a glimpse of what students can expect from the PSA course of study.

What sorts of skills does the Public Safety Administration curriculum develop?

Schockman: The PSA program offers students from various social, racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds a strong foundation for academic success in a multicultural and diverse environment. The program provides students with an intensive, innovative and comprehensive curriculum that promotes informed leadership, perseverance and community service. Additionally, students are called on to integrate practical knowledge developed through PSA academic classes that focus on writing skills, professional communication, critical thinking, analytical skills, and preparation for the hiring process. The program places a premium on professional integrity, as exemplified by both the faculty and an ongoing emphasis on character as a fundamental value for those committed to careers in the criminal justice system.

To what extent is PSA an interdisciplinary field of study?

Our PSA program provides a practical, unique interdisciplinary approach centered on developing critical thinking and analytical skills that prepare students for the study of criminal justice and human behavior.

How integral are fieldwork and internships to the major?

We actively research criminal justice internships and facilitate student participation in a variety of work experiences specific to various fields within criminal justice. The program encourages students to apply to internships because of their potential benefits and networking opportunities – practical, hands-on experience within the field, skills development, personal and professional growth, enhanced opportunities to develop interpersonal communication skills, and so on.

Describe a typical course of study for a student who opts for the PSA major.

Coursework is intended to provide every student with a thorough grounding in the field. In addition to Intro to PSA, a typical major might encompass classes like Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, Introduction to Forensic Science, Enforcement and Corrections, Community Policing, Juvenile Justice, Homeland Security and Terrorism, Report Writing, Criminal Investigation and Gangs. By any measure, it’s a broad spectrum.

Is the program focused primarily on public sector jobs?

Not really. Throughout the disciplines within PSA, we’re looking at public sector and private sector job alike.

For students concentrating on PSA, what are the most likely career options/career paths?

There are literally dozens of discrete job titles under the PSA umbrella. The career paths for most PSA students can be grouped accordingly: local/state/county law enforcement (Police Officer, Deputy Sheriff, Detective, Park Ranger, etc.); federal law enforcement (FBI Special Agent, DEA Agent, Secret Service Special Agent, CIA Agent /CIA Analyst, etc.); correctional counselor (Parole Officer, Probation Officer, Victim Witness Assistant, etc.); CSI careers (Crime Scene Investigator, Latent Print Examiner, Blood Spatter Analyst, etc.); legal/court positions (Judge, Defense Attorney, Prosecutor, Paralegal, Bailiff, etc.); private security (Bounty Hunter, Fraud Investigator, Private Investigator, Executive Protection, etc.); and other non-sworn positions (Victim Services Advocate, Child Protection Social Worker, Civilian Investigator, etc.).

Whatever the chosen career path, through the PSA curriculum, students will be able to evaluate and address the causes of crime as well as tackle difficult topics facing law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.

Want even more information? Listen to an interview with Public Safety Administration instructor Chuck Geletko

Learn more about the Public Safety Administration program

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