To help victim service providers advance their careers, Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice will offer a new, online Master of Science degree in Victim Services Management beginning in Fall 2013.
Designed for working professionals or those who want to assist victims of crime, the Master of Science in Victim Services Management is a 36-hour program delivered entirely online. The program, which can be completed in two years, includes 24 hours of required courses, such as victimology and research methods, as well as applied courses, like crime victim services management. Students also select from 12 hours of elective courses on topics relevant to the study of victim services.
“With new opportunities growing in the field of victim services, this degree will help professionals in the field to be able to better manage agencies and understand the trends and challenges facing their clients and programs, “ said Dr. Leana Bouffard, Director of Victim Studies and the Crime Victims’ Institute at the College of Criminal Justice.
“The program will train those who want to work in victim service offices or positions in law enforcement agencies, corrections, prosecutor’s offices, courts and other agencies, including nongovernment organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Graduates also can serve in crime-specific programs for domestic violence shelters, anti-drunk driving campaigns and agencies that protect children, the elderly, immigrants and those who are physically or mentally abused. This degree prepares graduates to work in various areas of victim services, including but not limited to, direct service provision (e.g., rape crisis centers or victim service providers), organizational management, and social policy development.
Sam Houston State University is among the few colleges across the country that offers an undergraduate degree in victim studies and even fewer that offer graduate level courses in this area. The College was one of the first to provide victimology classes more than three decade ago.
In addition, the College is home to the Crime Victims’ Institute, which was created by the Texas Legislature to study the impact of crime on victims, on their relatives and on society as a whole and to make recommendations on criminal justice policy. The Institute recently conducted research on such issues as the health consequences of bullying; intimate partner violence and employment/education; alcohol impaired driving in Texas; adolescent sexual behavior and the law; the choking game; community policing and victim services; gang membership and victimization; and elder abuse, to name a few.
“This is one of only a few Master’s Programs in Victims Services available across the country, which will make Sam Houston State University a leader in this field of study,” said Dr. Bouffard. “In addition to helping practitioner, students will be exposed to cutting-edge research in victim studies through the College’s Ph.D. program.”
The program will be delivered by the College’s internationally renowned faculty, who have published widely in scholarly journals in the victim services field. It also joins a growing list of online opportunities at the College, including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management; a Master of Science in Criminal Justice; and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management.