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SUNY Brockport launching community justice program in fall 2021

SUNY Brockport is adding a community justice major for the fall of 2021. (Photo credit: @LoretoMission via Twitter)
SUNY Brockport is adding a community justice major for the fall of 2021. (Photo credit: @LoretoMission via Twitter)

SUNY Brockport will launch a new academic program in the fall, offering a Bachelor of Science in community justice. The program is one of three interdisciplinary majors coming to the college next semester and is the first of its kind in the U.S.. 

Community justice will incorporate core courses already within the present college curriculum. The new major will combine courses from the departments of criminal justice and anthropology. Students who participate in this program will ideally exit with advanced knowledge of criminology, as well as an understanding of complex social issues and people of diverse backgrounds. 

According to associate professor and chair of the department of anthropology, Jennifer Ramsey, it is vital to emphasize certain cultural and social sensitivities to future members of law enforcement.  

“It is important that we teach our students about equality, equity, and diversity in the justice system while they are in college,” Ramsay said. “It is much easier for someone to integrate a diverse philosophy while they are still completing their studies, compared to when they are a professional in the field.” 

The program aims to inform students about societal institutions and how they impact and influence individuals’ lives. Methodologies from the anthropology and criminal justice departments will encourage students to consider the perspective of others in the pursuit of justice.  

Dr. Moonsun Kim is Chair and associate professor of the Criminal Justice Department. He will be closely involved with the addition and operation of the new major.  

“Enhanced cultural competency for criminal justice professionals is a critical concept for the program,” Kim said. “I recommend the degree to those who want to develop a balanced perspective on our criminal justice administration and community needs among different populations of people and cultures.” 

Presently, there is a shortage of law enforcement and legal professionals who recognize and understand the relationship between race, class and history. The intended goal of the community justice major is to prepare students for an array of different career paths. 

“With a BS degree, the graduates will have wide career options in the area of criminal justice, public relations, human rights, community outreach, victim assistance and social work,” Kim said. 

For more information on the course including the curriculum, learning outcomes and when to apply, visit the official page on the SUNY Brockport website.

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