Being featured on the cover of the magazine of the American Jail Association may seem like a somewhat dubious distinction, but in the case of Fort Hays State University's justice studies program, the recognition proved auspicious.
"Distance Education as a Career Builder and 21st Century Learning Tool," which appeared in the May/June 2002 issue of American Jails, described FHSU's ongoing efforts to address the educational needs of jail professionals through its Virtual College.
The article was coauthored by Dr. Robert Scott, former director of the justice studies program, and Brian Kinnaird, current program director. Kinnaird took over the justice studies program in July after Scott was promoted to assistant provost for quality management.
In the article, Scott and Kinnaird outlined a new initiative by FHSU and the American Jail Association to offer university credit for AJA training seminars offered across the country. This credit may be applied toward a certificate or degree program to meet the continuing education needs of jail professionals.
Several of these seminars are scheduled throughout the summer and fall on topics ranging from "Community and Media Relations" in Eugene, OR, to "Managing a Jail Hostage Situation" in Park City, UT, and "Facilities Maintenance Management for the Modern Jail" in Kenosha, WI.
In addition to the AJA training partnership, Scott and Kinnaird emphasized the opportunities available for justice studies coursework through FHSU's Virtual College. The strength of the FHSU justice studies program, they said, is that it is designed to accommodate the various needs of professionals who seek education as a career enhancer rather than a career foundation.
"In order to adapt to these needs, we have created a set of offerings, which maximize choice, flexibility, and stakeholder service," the article said. "One problem that has been symptomatic of other institutions' distance education efforts, which we have alleviated, is the ability to satisfy both full-time and part-time learners with a sufficiently large and well-scheduled set of course offerings."
Students and faculty from the justice studies program at FHSU will be traveling to the American Jail Association conference in Milwaukee, WI, in April 2003 to promote the initiative between the two organizations. Further information about the justice studies program is available at www.fhsu.edu/polisci/justice/.