GWU Classroom Crime Scene Investigation

Criminal Justice Administration Students Enjoy Applying Knowledge, Skills in Experiential Environment


The 2017-2018 academic year brought a new traditional undergraduate program to the Gardner-Webb campus, and students say their learning opportunities within the curriculum are second to none.

In the Criminal Justice Administration program, students enjoy a unique opportunity to study cybercrime, homeland security, terrorism and intelligence, while incorporating science and technology into investigative strategies. Homer Craig is the Criminal Justice Coordinator and is an instructor in the program. He also spent a 30-year career as a law enforcement detective who fought criminal activity ranging from illegal drug use to homicides.

Recently, as part of the Criminal Investigations course at GWU, Craig developed four crime scenes based on real-life cases he had investigated. The students in his class split into teams of four to six people and spent several class days working the case assigned to their group.

Lauren Mahoney, who graduated with a double major in Criminal Justice Administration and Sociology in May, interned with the State Bureau of Investigations last summer. She loved the Criminal Investigations class because it gave her a chance to further develop what she learned in class and through her internship observations. “This project gave me a chance to experience [the investigative methods] firsthand and let me be the person who was taking care of everything—rather than just watching,” Mahoney explained. “I got to put my knowledge to the test.”

Craig was thrilled to see the way the students embraced the activity. “You’ve got some students that you wonder if they are really ‘getting’ it,” Craig shared. “They come over here and process the crime scene and find evidence, and they really get it. And they’re excited about getting it.”

A bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration prepares students to work in careers that include law enforcement, crime scene investigation, crime analysis, fraud investigation, private investigation and security, probation, correctional administration, homeland security, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) or Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Learn more about Gardner-Webb’s Criminal Justice Administration program