"Most of the professors offer an opportunity for hands-on experiences. You have to do the classwork end of it too, but it’s nice to go and see the different aspects of everything that’s in the field."
Q: Why Lyndon?
A: I came to Lyndon as a graphic design major. I wanted to go Lyndon, but my mom said I couldn’t go to college unless I picked a major. Since I had taken graphic design classes in high school, I went with that. In middle school and high school, I had done work for the fire department, and I had watched a crime scene investigator. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. After taking a semester of graphic design classes, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was looking at other majors, saw Criminal Justice, thought about it, and I was just like, let’s do it.
Q: What are highlights of the program?
A: Overall, I would say the internship is probably my favorite thing. I’m interning at the correctional facility in St. Johnsbury, working in the work camp with non-sexual, non-violent offenders. I process intake forms for new inmates coming to the work camp, I talk to the inmates about their plans, help them get ready for whatever they’re going to do afterward, and pretty much just see where they’re at.
Q: Is that what you’re going to do after graduation?
A: That is what I would like to do after graduation. To be a case specialist you have to have experience. Most of the time you start as an administrative assistant, so those are the jobs I’m applying for anywhere and everywhere.
Q: What would you say to prospective students about the Criminal Justice program?
A: They bring in professors who have experience in the field. I took a class with a game warden, then a juvenile justice class that was taught by two women who brought us to the juvenile detention and rehab center for hands-on experience. Most of the professors offer an opportunity for hands-on experiences. You have to do the classwork end of it too, but it’s nice to go and see the different aspects of everything that’s in the field.
Q: Would you recommend the CRJ program to someone else? If so, why?
A: Yes. Even though it is new, it’s a different outlook. When you think of criminal justice programs, most people think of police officers and game wardens. You just think of the law enforcement aspect, you don’t see the whole picture. When I first came into the program, I never thought I would want to do casework. You need to know all the laws, and why these people were incarcerated, you need the criminal justice background as well. Along with criminal justice courses, the psychology and sociology courses round out the knowledge base. It just makes you go “oh, this such a bigger field than I thought.” There are many more opportunities than you would think.