By Zack Rosen,
Admissions Counselor / Coordinator of Social Media and Online Recruitment
“Tell me, and I forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I understand.” That proverb is the essence of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven.
The mission is to integrate traditional liberal arts and sciences education with the highest quality professional education to prepare our students to become leaders in society and within their professional fields. Our educational programs are designed to meet this goal by creating what we have named our “Student-Centered Professional Practice-Oriented Learning Environment.” The creation of this learning environment is guided by the recognition that students learn best and have the best retention of their learning when they are actively engaged in their educational experience.
UNH’s unique and comprehensive criminal justice and forensic science programs have earned us an international reputation for excellence, and deservedly so. Classes are taught by leading professionals in the field and are enhanced by state-of-the-art research centers and labs. Our undergraduate program in criminal justice offers an unparalleled variety of concentrations in areas such as international justice and security, law enforcement, and victim services. Our undergraduate program in forensic science was one of the first in the nation, established almost thirty years ago, and is fully accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. From forensic science to criminal justice and legal studies to fire science, we stay on top of the latest trends in security — locally, nationally, and globally. We cover everything from the home to the streets — and workplace to cyberspace and create curricula that meet the needs of our students and our ever-changing world. In addition to our various strengths at the undergraduate level, we are the first university to offer a master of science degree in national security and public safety.
The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences is composed of three strong academic departments that work together to provide a broad range of educational programs and research opportunities across the areas of public safety and security.
The departments are home to over 30 full-time and more than 40 part-time faculty members. Over 80 percent of the college’s full-time faculty members hold the appropriate terminal degree in their respective academic disciplines. These disciplines include criminal justice, law, psychology, sociology, chemistry, biology, and criminology. Additionally, our faculty members have extensive work experience in their respective areas, including service as crime lab directors, crime analysts, DNA specialists, police officers, crime victim advocates, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, fire protection engineers, fire chiefs, and federal and state investigators. The combined field experience of our faculty exceeds 400 years of service in various public safety and security organizations across the United States.
Our academic departments work together closely to enable the College to offer some of the most innovative programs available in the United States. For example, the advanced investigations program was developed by Dr. Henry Lee to help educate investigators in the use of scientific investigative tools to solve complex cases. The advanced investigation program is housed within the Forensic Science Department but makes extensive use of resources drawn from the fire/arson investigation program in the Fire Science Department in order to teach students about the latest techniques in fire and arson investigation. Students focusing in investigations also receive instruction from leading experts drawn from the criminal justice program who have extensive experience managing complex and high-profile cases. These same students can benefit from courses in forensic psychology taught by faculty housed within our Criminal Justice Department. Our ability to draw upon a wide range of experts in areas related to public safety and security has enabled the College to remain at the forefront of innovation as providers of public safety and security education.
The Criminal Justice Department also includes a National Security and Public Safety Program. Taught by faculty distinguished both by their academic credentials and by their professional experience within the National Security Intelligence Community (IC), this program offers graduate students who are American citizens the opportunity to prepare themselves for a career within the IC or related fields. For students who may not be ready to commit to a 36-credit master’s degree program or those who already hold a master’s degree but wish to pursue additional learning in National Security, the program also offers the National Security Graduate Certificate as an alternative.
In addition to housing the four academic departments, the Henry C. Lee College serves as the home for a number of centers and institutes. For example, the College is home to the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, which serves as a training and research center for crime lab personnel from the United States and around the world. The College is also home to a national crime scene investigation training and research program and a national cold-case training and research center. Faculty within the College also maintain centers and institutes in the areas of forensic psychology, cyber crime, forensic computer investigations, and crime victims’ rights and remedies as well as a joint “Connecticut Innocence Project” with Yale University School of Law.
The College’s programs are organized around students’ educational and developmental needs. Our classes, clubs, internships, and student activities are designed to encourage students to become fully engaged in the learning environment and to take advantage of all the learning opportunities available at the university. Our faculty members are drawn from among the most well-recognized professionals in their specialized fields. They have the ability to integrate core academic learning and the professional application of those core academic competencies to deliver “Real-Life Learning.”