Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
Skip to main content
Grand Valley State University    
2013-2014 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Sep 22, 2018
2013-2014 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Criminal Justice - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities, please refer to the College of Community and Public Service  section in this catalog.

Director: Bailey. Professors: Bailey, Crawley, Hewitt, Johnson, Mullendore; Associate Professors: Hilinski-Rosick, Kierkus, Kingshott, McKenzie, Ross, Yalda, Ziembo-Vogl; Assistant Professors: Doyon, Gerkin, Jones, Kanaboshi, Stevens, Walsh; Director of Criminal Justice Training: Yunker; Affiliate Professor: Edwardson.


The School of Criminal Justice offers a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts and a master’s degree in criminal justice. Students take a variety of required and elective courses to educate them as critical thinkers and to provide them with a comprehensive knowledge of the field. The school also offers an undergraduate major in legal studies for students seeking to become paralegals. For information about the paralegal program, consult the legal studies section in the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog. Summer course offerings will be determined on an annual basis. Please check the schedule of courses.

School of Criminal Justice Mission Statement

The mission of Grand Valley’s School of Criminal Justice is to teach, prepare, advise, and assist students to make positive contributions in their chosen vocations within the criminal justice or legal system at the local, regional, national, and international level.

Graduates will possess a solid foundation of knowledge and performance skills in the criminal justice field and legal system and will also have the ability to make ethically sound and appropriate decisions in response to the challenges presented to them in their professional and personal lives.

Faculty and staff of the School of Criminal Justice will demonstrate, model, and promote a respect for diversity and commitments to integrity, intellectual and moral virtues, and lifelong learning through effective teaching, active scholarship, and service.

The Michigan State Requirements for Certification in Law Enforcement 

The School of Criminal Justice at Grand Valley State University operates a Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) approved Police Academy during the summer months. The program leads to eligibility for law enforcement licensing in Michigan. The courses taken in this program can also be used for graduation. Non-Grand Valley students who meet the MCOLES minimum eligibility requirements may apply. The Grand Valley Police Academy has achieved a reputation for excellence. Entry is extremely competitive and is not guaranteed. Those wishing to apply will be required to pass the MCOLES Reading and Writing and Physical Agility tests and meet the minimum state standards as part of the application process. Grand Valley State University students may apply for the academy during their senior year. Non-Grand Valley students must possess at least an Associates degree prior to the start date of the academy. Application packets are available on our website between October 15 and December 15. Applications should be obtained as soon as possible due to the complexity of the application process. MCOLES requirements can be found at under the Licensure and Professional Development section.

Grand Valley State University offers an abbreviated six-week MCOLES approved Military Police Basic Training Program (MPBTP) in the summer semester. The MPBTP is an abbreviated program that meets the same final requirements and provides for the same opportunity for law enforcement certification as the traditional 16-week MCOLES approved police academy program that is held annually at Grand Valley State University. This program acknowledges the experience of those who have performed as law enforcement officers in the military. Successful completion of this program leads to eligibility for law enforcement licensing in Michigan. Those wishing to apply must have performed as a law enforcement officer in the military for a minimum of 2080 hours, must have received an honorable discharge or still be currently serving, and must have graduated from a federal service school. Applicants must have discontinued employment in the specified military law enforcement job specialty for no more than five years before the start of the program. Additional requirements for application include passing the MCOLES Reading and Writing and Physical Agility tests and having certification in First Aid / CPR as a Professional Rescuer. Applications are available on the Police Academy website and must be submitted by May 1. Those selected to attend the MPBTP will be enrolled in two three-credit classes (CJ 415 and CJ 416). By virtue of their military experience, recruits attending the MPBTP meet the criteria of the additional three courses (CJ 417, CJ 418, CJ 419) that are required of recruits who attend the traditional 16-week academy program.


The School of Criminal Justice allows selected students to complete internships at specified job sites. Upper-division undergraduate students may elect from one to six hours of CJ 490 if they are approved by the internship coordinator and a job site supervisor unless otherwise specified by a particular organization. Students taking three credits of CJ 490, are normally expected to put in 15 hours at the internship site per week. One to two credits require 150 hours, three credits 200 hours, four credits 266 hours, five credits 332 hours, and six credits require 400 hours. Graduate students without prior criminal justice or private security work experience are highly encouraged to complete a CJ 640 internship (see Criminal Justice Master Degree Requirements). No more than six credit hours may be applied to the undergraduate major; no more than three credit hours may be applied to the graduate internship. To apply for an internship, contact the internship coordinator.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the School of Criminal Justice are employed in a variety of human service fields. Typically, they seek employment as: law enforcement officers at the federal, state, and local levels; juvenile caseworkers, counselors, and youth home administrators; correctional case managers and counselors; and parole and probation agents. Many other graduates decide to pursue an advanced degree. The School of Criminal Justice seeks to produce graduates who have a broad range of job and career opportunities. Graduates receive degrees that enhance their abilities to obtain employment in many fields. By combining professional preparation with a traditional liberal arts education, our program provides graduates with enhanced employment opportunities and increased job mobility.

Scholarship Opportunities

William Hegarty Scholarship
William Hegarty embraced higher education throughout his police career. Obtaining a degree while on the Oakland Police Department in California, Hegarty moved to Michigan State University for graduate studies. After completing graduate school, he joined the faculty at Michigan State.  He left MSU to become the Director of Public Safety in Jackson, Michigan in 1972. In 1974 Chief Hegarty led the New Rochelle Police Department in New York until he came to Grand Rapids. Hegarty was Chief of the Grand Rapids Police Department from 1982 to 1997 and taught as an adjunct instructor in the School of Criminal Justice at Grand Valley State University from 1984 to 1997. Chief Hegarty had a special fondness for GVSU and his teaching legacy lives on. He donated funds to establish the William Hegarty Criminal Justice Scholarship when he retired. The William Hegarty Scholarship is awarded on a yearly basis to a Grand Valley State University Criminal Justice graduate student, working in law enforcement.

Shawn D. Wiersma Criminal Justice Memorial Scholarship
On September 6, 2004, Shawn Wiersma died in a tragic auto crash. Shawn is remembered for his service to the Holland Police Department through the City Attorney’s Office, a client of the Cunningham Dalman P.C. law office where he practiced. He developed many friendships within the police department and was highly respected for his ethics and character by clients and colleagues alike. In addition, Shawn is remembered for his service as an adjunct instructor in the Grand Valley State University School of Criminal Justice. He was highly respected by students and colleagues for his vast knowledge on a wide range of subjects. He truly enjoyed and loved his teaching experience which was reflected in his close ties with his students. His commitment to education was unmatched.  Shawn is remembered for all the good he did and all the people he touched in his shortened life. To memorialize him in perpetuity, an endowed scholarship in Shawn’s name has been established at Grand Valley State University, his alma mater. This scholarship will be given annually to an entering senior student in the School of Criminal Justice who plans to enter the police or law professions.

Mullendore Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Scholarship
Kristine Mullendore graduated from the Boston University School of Law in 1977, with a Juris Doctor degree, and held positions with the Michigan Court of Appeals as well as working as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Kent County.  Since 1995, she has been an Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice/Legal Studies program at GVSU.  James M. Mullendore received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1975, and since then has been in private legal practice in Greenville, Michigan. Both James and Kristine are active members of the Michigan Bar. The purpose of the Mullendore Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Scholarship is to recognize and reward students who major in either Legal Studies or Criminal Justice with the intention of entering and contributing to the legal profession, as well as demonstrating financial need. The Mullendores also hope to encourage the students to participate in international educational opportunities.

Justice and Society Endowed Scholarship
The Justice and Society Endowed Scholarship was established by Grand Valley State University (GVSU) School of Criminal Justice faculty to recognize and reward criminal justice majors who have demonstrated academic potential to excel in their criminal justice studies at GVSU. All proceeds from the sales of the faculty-authored Justice and Society textbook were donated to establish this scholarship. The collaborative effort of the Justice and Society authors reflect their dedication to criminal justice majors at Grand Valley.

Kendal DenBleyker Endowed Scholarship
Established in loving memory or their son, Kendal DenBleyker, with an anonymous gift on behalf of his parents, Bryan and Lauri DenBleyker, the purpose of this scholarship is to continue Kendal’s memory by assisting nontraditional students pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Grand Valley State University. Kendal was a junior studying criminal justice with a goal to become a probation officer and ultimately to become a lawyer. While studying at Grand Valley, Kendal worked to pay for school and commuted to campus to save money. Family members described him as a “driven and determined Christian man who expected much from those around him, but even more from himself.”

State Bar of Michigan Legal Assistants Section Scholarship
The State Bar of Michigan Legal Assistants Section is offering students enrolled in Michigan paralegal studies programs the opportunity to apply for a scholarship. The total amount of the scholarship will range from $250 to $1,000. The deadline for submission of the scholarship application is June 1. Information on this scholarship is also available on the State Bar of Michigan website at

Public Policy Minority Fellowship Program
Public Sector Consultants (PSC) is now in its second year of the minority fellowship program, and is seeking new candidates for the fellowship from Michigan’s numerous community colleges and universities. PSC is seeking more than one candidate, from among whom the final selection will be made.  The fellowship position will be 40 hours/week and housed at PSC. The salary will include benefits and will be commensurate with the fellow’s qualifications, but no less than $30,000 annually.

Student Organizations (

Association of Criminal Justice Students
The Association of Criminal Justice Students provides all students interested in criminal justice an opportunity to unite outside of the classroom to advance their knowledge of the study of criminal justice. Members participate in fundraisers, educational activities rooted in criminal justice, and community service.

Honors Organizations

Alpha Phi Sigma is the nationally recognized honor society for students in the criminal justice sciences. The society recognizes academic excellence by undergraduates and graduate students of criminal justice. Members participate in many activities, including community service, career workshops, and fundraisers.


The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice  

Criminal Justice Minor  

Master of Science in Criminal Justice  

Juvenile Justice Minor  

Information Security Systems Minor