CorrectionalOfficer.org, which is a national information, research and advocacy organization for law enforcement professionals as well as other interested parties, has recently rated the Criminal Justice program at Morris College as number two in its “Top Schools Supporting Careers in Criminal Justice and Corrections” ranking among 27 programs evaluated in the state of South Carolina. In making its assessment, the organization used data from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS). Criteria used in the evaluation included the number of students enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at each school as a percentage of the school’s total graduates. CorrectionalOfficer.com periodically evaluates Criminal Justice programs at two-year and four-year colleges throughout the nation and publishes national and state-by-state results of its findings.
In response to receiving formal notification of Morris College’s ranking this past week, Dr. Jacob Butler, Chair of the Division of Social Sciences in which the Criminal Justice major is located, was quite pleased at the recognition. He explained, “this rating by a national agency confirms the efforts that we at Morris College have made to create and maintain academic programs that can stand toe to toe with anybody else in terms of quality.” As additional evidence of this, it was noted that in each of the past five years, Morris College has had senior students in Criminal Justice score above the national average on the national Major Field Achievement Test, and some 130 students have earned Criminal Justice degrees from the institution during that same time. Most of these graduates are professionally employed in law enforcement careers, predominantly in South Carolina and the surrounding southeastern states. According to college records, 36 of these May 2010 to May 2015 graduates have also pursued study for their master’s or other advanced degrees.
From Dr. Butler’s view, there are a whole lot of people who deserve commendations for these achievements, starting with Morris’ President, Dr. Luns C. Richardson and its Academic Dean Dr. Leroy Staggers, who have consistently led initiatives to enhance academic programs at the institution. Beyond the college’s two top administrators, he also had special praise for the Criminal Justice faculty in his division and agencies outside the college that support the program. “Our Criminal Justice professors provide an excellent blend of academic knowledge and professional experience. Dr. Carol Black brings expertise in criminal justice and sociological theory, while Ms. Carlotta Stackhouse provides us a strong laboratory sciences background and practical experience from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division as related to teaching of our criminal forensics courses and running the state of the art Criminal Forensics Center that the school established in 2011. The addition of this facility has been a major factor in helping us increase interest in our Criminal Justice program. We also have Mr. Jordan White and several adjunct faculty who have extensive experience in criminal law and corrections. I also have to especially thank our county Sheriff, Mr. Anthony Dennis, along with all the law enforcement agencies in Sumter County and surrounding jurisdictions for the support they have given to our program through providing technical assistance and internship opportunities to our students.”
For the future, Morris College will continue making positive strides in its quest to attract highly motivated students with strong potential and provide them the best educational experience possible in order to promote their life-long personal and professional success.