When you're a little kid, you always have this dream to become an astronaut or a police officer or a firefighter; I forgot that dream until I took a law class my senior year. I realized how much the idea of the criminal justice system clicked with me. At the time, I wanted to use my degree to get into counterterrorism, which is something I still plan on down the road.
My program is awesome! The professors in the Criminal Justice department are phenomenal. All of my professors have had or are still having real-world experience. They've worked extensively in local police, as social workers and as substance abuse counselors. They've brought their field experience to light in the classroom and made the learning experience based on real-world knowledge, experience and techniques, allowing for more aware and ready students.
Champlain has made me into the man that I am today. I am confident to enter the job market because I'll have a comprehensive degree from one of the better criminal justice programs in the country. The classes that I have taken have given me great confidence that I have been well prepared for the job market and the furtherance of my career.
Will, Criminal Justice MajorArlington, MADIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Kathryn is in the midst of it all—the Champlain College community, downtown Burlington, and building her professional career.
"The internships were amazing. My duties included the acquisition of discovery, working with attorneys on upcoming cases and clerical work. I was able to work alongside the investigators. I learned how to speak more eloquently and how to organize my findings because I was required to make presentations to attorneys and investigators. The real-world application is invaluable, and the internships also made me more confident participating in class discussions. You learn through experience, which is why Champlain is so adamant about getting students out into the field to gain experience in their chosen jobs. Champlain encourages the full learning spectrum so you are fully prepared. "
"I love the open campus. The community is right there. In the midst of downtown Burlington, you are integrated within the residential area, not separated from the surrounding community. It makes you feel like you are part of the real world. I love Burlington's lakefront, the farmers' market, the downtown scene, the sunsets and the opportunity to walk everywhere."
Kathryn, Criminal Justice majorWellesley, MADIVISON OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
I lived in New York before coming to Vermont and I had experienced some pretty tough situations. Thinking back on my struggle, I didn't want it to be in vain, so Criminal Justice made sense. I didn't want to be a part of the problem, I wanted to be a part of the solution to individuals that had lost their way but could either be apprehended and/or rehabilitated. Vermont is very supportive of restorative justice, the idea that people can be rehabilitated into productive members of the community; when I had my first restorative justice class, I knew this was the major for me. The Criminal Justice Program encourages students to go out in the community and find a way to earn some hands on experience. One opportunity I had while studying at Champlain was to intern at the State Attorney's Office for my capstone field experience course. During my internship I saw how much went into making the world a better place, and how many people give their life to the cause.What I like the most at Champlain College is learning by experience and how committed the professors are. I can't possibly mention all of the help that was offered, received, and is still available to me. They have turned my education into one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences of my life. It is my purpose to make them proud and show them how much they've helped me become a better person and professional.
Kadie, Criminal Justice MajorWinooski, VTDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
One Thanksgiving, my cousin was visiting and he borrowed my computer to look at colleges in Vermont. I noticed he bookmarked Champlain College. After further investigating the school's website, it seemed like Champlain would be a good fit for me. I called the Admissions Counselor for transfer students and signed up to attend an open house. It was love at first sight. I soon transferred from Burlington Community College (BCC) in New Jersey, to the city of Burlington to attend my dream school.
The biggest attraction was that the Criminal Justice major professors all had extensive experience on the force and utilized hands on activities. I was originally a graphic design student at BCC, but I never a felt a passion for it. I felt like I couldn't grow because, although I was designing what the clients wanted, designing wasn't the career I craved.
I switched into Champlain's Criminal Justice major because of the excitement and action involved in the career. I did a ride-along with the New Jersey State Police Sargent First Class Heltzman. After going on it, I was confident I was in the right major, and that I'm in the field that I want to spend the rest of my life in. Brandyn, Criminal Justice MajorChesterfield, NJDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
AFTER CHAMPLAIN, Camille started working as a Restorative Reentry Coordinator at Winooski Community Justice Center.
"I've always been interested in how the criminal justice system works. I told my dad I wanted to be a lawyer when I was six. When I started looking at colleges, I knew I wanted to do something in the criminal justice field and help people.
Champlain has a really good Criminal Justice program. I've loved all my professors. They've been in the field for so long, and they make class fun. Every class I take opens my eyes to all the different paths within criminal justice and law.
For one of my classes, I did a group project on the reintegration of felons. It helped me realize I want to go into the nonprofit sector of Criminal Justice and do an internship with substance abuse in prisons.
I've got a really good base here, both in my education and my connections, that's really going to help me when I graduate. I would love to work at the Dismas House or for a women's correctional facility. I'm talking to a couple of my professors to see if there are any internships or jobs we can find through their connections. These are all things I'm really passionate about and want to work with, and I feel confident that I'll be able to find something that I really want to be doing right out of school."
Camille, Criminal Justice MajorMinneapolis, MNDIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES
Like many people, I watched CSI and realized that was a real thing. In high school, after taking a forensic science class, I did a summer program at the University of New Haven for forensics and criminal justice. I learned I liked the criminal justice side more, so during my senior year, I interned with my local police department. That really solidified my goals of studying criminal justice in college. After taking classes my first semester here, I knew I was in the right place.
One thing that's great about Champlain is the experience that our professors have. My professors are state troopers, officers, district attorneys and judges. What they bring to the major is incredible, and they all want to help you succeed. They have great connections that they're willing to give to you.
There's so much you can do as a Criminal Justice major. Even as a police officer, there are hundreds of different jobs and paths you can take within that field. Ideally, I want to be a police officer in a high school or middle school, where I'd help monitor students that have known domestic problems, or who have a history of drug/alcohol abuse. Through Champlain, I can attend the Vermont Police Academy to make me closer to this dream.
I've already learned so much; I can't imagine the intellectual leap I'll make by 2017. I definitely have faith in this school and the professors to help direct and prepare me.
Meghan, Criminal Justice MajorHolliston, MADIVISION OF EDUCATION & HUMAN STUDIES