Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Student Handbook

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice will prepare students with a foundation in advanced criminal justice studies, along with the tools necessary to enable success in a variety of criminal justice careers, such as law enforcement, corrections, and social services. Further, this program is entirely online, making it a great option for working professionals pursuing full-time careers in the criminal justice field or for those who live outside of Victoria, Texas.

The program offers two tracks for completion: thesis and non-thesis. Both tracks require 24 credit hours of overlapping core coursework. The thesis track includes 6 hours of thesis research in addition to 6 hours of elective courses. Thesis research and coursework will give students experience in inquiry and research to prepare them for advanced studies at the doctoral level or further research opportunities. The non-thesis track requires 12 hours of elective courses and includes a comprehensive examination. This track is intended for students who do not have plans for additional schooling or a career with a research component.

M.A. Admissions

Admission to the Master of Arts program is based on the UHV Criminal Justice Admission Committee’s assessment of the applicant’s scores on the Graduate Record Examination (unless a waiver is submitted; please discuss with your advisor to determine if this is an option for you), the applicant’s undergraduate record, letters of recommendation from non-family members, as well as the applicant’s personal statement. All documents should be submitted to Jennifer Reeder by the deadlines below.

Admission considerations include the following:

  1. Graduate application (ApplyTexas website)
  2. Application fee ($25 on the ApplyTexas website)
  1. An earned undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or higher
  2. Official GRE scores – Waivers granted for candidates with previous graduate or professional degree OR undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher for the last 60 semester hours OR undergraduate GPA of 2.50-2.99 or higher in the last 60 semester hours AND earns a grade of B or better in the first 9 hours of graduate coursework
  1. Two letters of recommendation from non-family members. Only one of these letters may be written from a UHV source. Exceptions may be made per approval by the Program Director.
  2. A 1-2 page essay that states the applicant’s reasons for applying to the program and the applicant’s career goals
  1. Official transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions from every institution previously attended
  2. Choose a topic area, research your topic, and develop an outline of the literature and methodology you are considering. Remember you want to have a well-thought-out proposal before you visit with the potential chair of your committee.

A review of each student’s application will be completed, and admission decisions will be made on a competitive basis.

The deadline for submitted applications to the Master of Arts program is June 1st (priority) or August 1st (standard) for Fall admission and November 1st (priority) or January 6th (standard) for Spring admission.

M.A. Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice is a 36-hour program which includes either a thesis or comprehensive exams. Required courses can be found below.

Required Courses

CRIJ 6314

Advanced Ethics of Social Control

3

CRIJ 6315

History of Criminal Justice

3

CRIJ 6316

Race, Gender, and Justice

3

CRIJ 6317

White Collar Crime

3

CRIJ 6321

Research Methods I

3

CRIJ 6322

Research Methods II

3

CRIJ 6330

Criminological Theory

3

CRIJ 6332

Administration and Budgets

3

Electives (students must select 6 hours for Thesis Track and 12 hours for Non-Thesis Track)

CRIJ 6300

Selected Topics in Criminal Justice

3

CRIJ 6310

American Corrections

3

CRIJ 6311

American Courts

3

CRIJ 6312

American Policing

3

CRIJ 6313

Advanced Crime on the Dark Web

3

Thesis Track Only

CRIJ 6308

Master’s Thesis

3

CRIJ 6309

Master’s Thesis

3

Total Hours

36

 

M.A. Course Descriptions

Master’s Degree Core Required Courses (24 Semester Hours)

CRIJ 6314 Advanced Ethics of Social Control

Examines the role of law in controlling behavior, questions of individual responsibility and governmental obligation and authority, and professional ethics in corrections and law enforcement.

CRIJ 6315 History of Criminal Justice

History and evolution of criminal justice from ancient times to the current U.S. system with an emphasis on the context in which that evolution occurred.

CRIJ 6316 Race, Gender, and Justice

Examines the intersection of social class, race, and gender as they affect the criminal justice system.

CRIJ 6317 White Collar Crime

Examines white-collar crime. Explores high-profile cases, trends in criminal activity, victims, and consequences of white-collar crime

CRIJ 6321 Research Methods I

This course introduces the scientific approach to understanding the social world, the relationships between theory and research, research design, and data collection.

CRIJ 6322 Research Methods II

This course serves as an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics, with emphasis placed on the examination of research problems and issues in the field of criminology and criminal justice.

CRIJ 6330 Criminological Theory

History of criminological thought, etiology of criminal behavior, and analysis and evaluation of contemporary criminological theories.

CRIJ 6332 Administration and Budgets

Management theories, policy assessment methods, and an overview of public budgets.

Elective Courses

CRIJ 6300 Selected Topics in Criminal Justice

Topics to be related to the criminal justice field. May be repeated with varying topics.

CRIJ 6310 American Corrections

Historical analysis of the development, philosophy, and function of incarceration in America. Examination of issues, trends, and practices in institutional corrections.

CRIJ 6311 American Courts

Focuses on the role of the course in the administration of criminal justice. Includes court structures, the Supreme Court, plea bargaining, and trial proceedings.

CRIJ 6312 American Policing

An in-depth look at the relationship between law enforcement and American society. Includes policing community relations, the police subculture, social perception, and cultural differences.

CRIJ 6313 Advanced Crime on the Dark Web

Examination of crimes committed using the Dark Web.

CRIJ 6308 Master’s Thesis*

Prerequisite(s): Approval of faculty and completion of CRIJ 6321 Research Methods I and CRIJ 6322 Research Methods II. Master’s thesis research.

CRIJ 6309 Master’s Thesis*

Prerequisite(s): Approval of faculty and completion of CRIJ 6308 Master’s Thesis. Master’s thesis research.

*CRIJ 6308 and CRIJ 6309 are required for students on thesis track.

 

Suggested M.A. Schedule Based on Admission Year (Even/Odd)

Fall ODD Year

Spring EVEN Year

Fall EVEN Year

Spring ODD Year

First Semester

Advanced Ethics

Research Methods I

Elective

Race and Gender

White Collar Crime

Elective

History of CJ

Crim. Theory

Research Methods I

Admin & Budgets

Elective

Elective (Non-thesis)

Second Semester

Race and Gender

White Collar Crime

Research Methods II

History of CJ

Crim. Theory

Research Methods I

Admin & Budgets

Research Methods II

Elective

Advanced Ethics

Research Methods I

Elective

Third Semester

History of CJ

Crim. Theory

Elective/Thesis

Admin & Budgets

Research Methods II

Elective/Thesis

Advanced Ethics

Elective

Elective/Thesis

Race and Gender

White Collar Crime

Research Methods II

Thesis

Fourth Semester

Admin & Budgets

Elective

Elective/Thesis

Advanced Ethics

Elective

Elective/Thesis

Race and Gender

White Collar Crime

Elective/Thesis

History of CJ

Crim. Theory

Elective/Thesis

 

**Summer is not counted as a “semester” in the plans above. During summer, a student may take electives or work on thesis hours, depending on availability of these courses**

Students must declare, agree to and sign a degree plan with their advisor prior to the end of their first semester.

Thesis Track

Timeline

 Timeline for Thesis Track

  

  

Guidelines and Tips

  1. You may have to discuss your thesis with several faculty members before selecting a chair. Once you have decided on your chair, speak with them about who should be on the committee as members. You need a total of three committee members. The Thesis Committee should be composed of a faculty member who has substantive expertise and knowledge of the topic and one faculty member from outside of the Criminal Justice faculty--all of whom are voting members. Outside readers may be on the committee, if appropriate, but are not voting members.
  2. Discuss your topic with potential committee members and ask them if they would be willing to serve on your thesis committee. Have a backup or two in mind, in case your first choices are not available.
  1. After speaking with your chair and committee members, arrange an appointment with the chair and present your proposal. Remember they will be more willing to work with you if you provide them with a well-developed topic. Do NOT go to a professor and say “do you have any data? I want to do a thesis.” You may ask to use a professor’s data, but you should have a plan and idea before asking.
  2. Develop an abstract and outline of the topic. This is necessary to complete the committee approval form located on the MACJ Homepage. Submit the completed form to the Director of the MACJ program for approval.
  1. The next step is to prepare for the prospectus defense. The prospectus defense is a meeting of your committee to formally approve your prospectus. The prospectus should follow the APA style. This typically is the first half of your thesis and will include an introduction, literature review, and methodology. Thesis chairs may accept less, while others may require more.
  2. Prepare drafts for your chair and committee members (remember to use services of the Writing Center – proof and style before you give any committee member a draft: do not waste their time with grammar and style issues). Provide drafts at least two weeks prior to the defense.
  1. The student should submit the Declaration of Defense form (located on the MACJ Homepage) at least 7 days in advance of the prospectus defense, along with a copy of the defense to the Director of the MACJ program. The chair of your committee will direct this meeting. During the prospectus defense, you will be asked to present your proposal. This is followed by a discussion of your proposal. Generally, suggestions are made at that time to improve the design of the study. The committee will then meet in an executive session to determine if you have successfully defended your prospectus. You will then be informed of their decision.
  2. Upon passing, the title page must bear the month and year of commencement and the signatures of the thesis committee members.
  1. Repeat steps 7-9 for the final thesis defense. This will include a revised version of what was presented during the prospectus defense along with the remaining chapters of the thesis, generally the results, discussion, and conclusion. Again, the committee may require edits before final approval.
  2. Binding and distribution of thesis (from the University Catalog)
  1. The original and three copies of the approved thesis should be submitted for binding to the Senior Director of the Libraries as early as possible, but no later than 4:00 pm on the last day of final exams for the semester or term in which the candidate expects to graduate.
  2. Fall graduation—Last day of the final exams for the fall semester (December)
  1. Spring graduation—Last day of the final exams for the spring semester (May)
  2. Summer graduation—Last day of the final exams for the summer terms (August)
  1. Cost of binding
  2. The library will charge the candidate the current binding charge, which may be based on the size of the thesis.
  1. Distribution of thesis
  2. Original—Library Archives (all signatures on this copy must be originals)
  1. One copy—Library circulating copy
  2. One copy—Arts & Sciences office
  1. One copy—Chair of candidate’s committee
  2. Choice of paper

At the candidate’s option, other copies may be bound for their own use.

  1. The original copy of the thesis must be printed on acid-free paper
  2. Copyright
  1. Copyright of your thesis is secured automatically when the thesis is created, and it is “created” when it is fixed in a copy for the first time. However, if you want to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, you have two options: (1) you may handle this entirely on your own, or (2) you may submit the appropriate paperwork, along with one copy of your thesis (which may be unbound), and the registration fee of $20 to UH-Victoria by the deadline date shown above. The University will send all of this to the U.S. Copyright Office for you. The library has a packet of materials that explain copyright registration in more detail.
  2. Assistant Professor, Director of Criminal Justice M.A. Program
  3. Intimate Partner Violence, Strangulation, Life-Course Criminology, Victimology
  4. Dr. Zedaker received her doctoral degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Sam Houston State University. Her research interests are broadly related to both life-course criminology and victimology. Her work has been published in Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Maltreatment, and Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, among others.
  5. Associate Professor, Director of Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program
  6. White Supremacy, Domestic & International Terrorism, Religious Violence
  7. Dr. Akins received his doctoral degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida. His research interests are broadly related to religious and group violence, particularly white supremacy, and domestic & international terrorism. His work has been published in International Journal of Criminal Justice, Joint Forces Quarterly, and Law Enforcement Executive Forum, among others.
  8. Assistant Professor
  9. Victimology, Sexual Assault
  10. Dr. Fansher received her doctoral degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Sam Houston State University. Her research interests focus broadly on victimology, including sexual assault reporting trends, sexual assault among college students, and technology-facilitated victimization. Her work has been published in Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Law Enforcement Executive Forum, and Deviant Behavior, among others.

Thesis Information from University Catalog

The student may not begin research prior to the approval of the thesis proposal by the student’s thesis committee. The thesis must present evidence of a mastery of the literature, a significant contribution to knowledge or professional skills and the ability to do independent research.

The final draft of the thesis must be completed and submitted to the committee no later than the following deadlines:

Fall graduation—November 1

Spring Graduation—April 1

Summer graduation—July 1

Declaration of Thesis Defense

Thesis Committee Approval

 

Continuous Registration and Credit for Thesis

The student who is working on a thesis is required to be continuously enrolled in the appropriate thesis course for a minimum of 6 semester hours per year (12 months). Advice or assistance from a member of the faculty in the preparation of a thesis may not be expected unless the student is officially enrolled. Failure to enroll in thesis may delay the student’s graduation. Enrollment is required in the semester in which the thesis is completed.

An optional graduate grading system of “S” (satisfactory), “U” (unsatisfactory), or “I” (incomplete) may be elected by any school for a given period, generally the academic year. Grades in the thesis courses, whether under the optional or regular grading system, are not considered in computing a student’s grade point average. For the master’s thesis, six semester hours may be earned. Although more than this number may be required of the student, six is the maximum number of hours which may be applied toward the master’s degree.

For acquisition of three thesis credits (6308) a grade of S will be recorded. For completion of the other three credits (6309) a regular grade (A, B, etc.) will be recorded. A grade of “I” may be assigned in either case to indicate work still in progress. Students are to enroll in 6308 until a grade of “S” is achieved before registering for 6309. In rare cases where the thesis is likely to be completed in one semester, permission for dual registration may be granted by the dean of the school.

A final grade of “B” or better is required in the completed thesis. A grade of “C” indicates that the thesis is not acceptable. Students who are not progressing satisfactorily may be asked to withdraw.

An oral examination over the research study will be held upon completion of the thesis.

Comprehensive Exams (Non-Thesis Track)

Comprehensive exams will be required for students not completing a thesis and will be offered twice per academic year, once at the end of the fall term and once at the end of the spring term. Comprehensive exams will not occur during summer. The exam will test student knowledge on key criminal justice topics, including, but not limited to criminological theory, research methods, police, courts, corrections, and victim/social services. At least one question will be targeted directly to the student’s main area of interest over their graduate career. The comprehensive exam requires substantial preparation from the student. Information about the comprehensive exams will be provided during the first semester of the year of expected graduation.

Exams will be administered orally, by no less than two graduate faculty in Criminal Justice. For students residing in and around Katy or Victoria, exams will occur in-person. Students over 100 miles from either location will be allowed to take the exam virtually.

A student may receive a high pass, pass, or fail. If a student fails, they may re-take the exam within one year of the first test date. A third examination may be permitted only with the approval of the appropriate academic dean and the department.  Failure to pass the exam after three examinations will result in termination from the program.

In the event of a failure on the comprehensive exam(s), students will receive their scoring on each question and feedback from the committee members about additional areas to study and preparation tips.

Core Faculty

We have a diverse and experienced faculty. Faculty members are listed below along with their research interests:

Dr. Sara Zedaker

Dr. Keith Akins 

Dr. Ashley Fansher 

Academic Expectations and Advising

Academic Standards for Graduate Students (from University Catalog)

  1. Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) over all graduate courses attempted at UH-Victoria, regardless of whether the courses are counted toward degree requirements. Transfer courses are included in this calculation.
  2. No more than two courses with earned C’s may be applied toward graduate degree plan requirements.
  1. Failure to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) may result in warning, probation, or suspension.
  2. No credit toward a graduate degree is allowed for courses in which grades of D or F are earned, although the grades are included in the grade point average.
  1. The thesis grade is not included in the grade point average.
  2. Certain graduate courses, as specified annually by the academic school, may be graded as “S” (satisfactory), “U” (unsatisfactory), and “I” (incomplete). Such grades will not be considered in computing a grade point average.

Time Limitation

For graduate programs requiring 36 or fewer credit hours to fulfill the degree requirements, the student must complete the requirements within 5 years after formal admission to the program.

Course credit, either transfer or from UHV, may not apply to any graduate degree if at graduation the course credit is more than 10 years old. Additionally, if a student has a master’s level course that they would like to consider for transfer, they must contact the Program Director and provide the course syllabus for review to determine equivalency with courses on the UHV degree plan.

A satisfactory rate of progress toward the degree is required throughout the student’s enrollment. The dean of the school may terminate a student’s enrollment at any time if the rate of progress is not satisfactory. A student whose enrollment is terminated should be so notified with an explanation in writing by the dean of the student’s plan. A copy of this notice and explanation will be made part of the student’s permanent file.

Communication/Electronic Mail

Effective communication between the Criminal Justice Program faculty and students is critical for success in the program. It is expected that all students will maintain and access their UHV email accounts on a frequent, if not daily, basis. Program communication is handled almost completely through email; therefore, having your correct UHV email address on file is imperative.

Degree Plan Advisors (from University Catalog)

You are responsible for all requirements of the catalog under which you plan to graduate. During your first semester of attendance at the university, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences staff advisor will initiate your degree plan. The degree plan advisor will work with you and your faculty advisor to complete a plan for approval, which will be signed and acknowledged by you, the faculty advisor, and appropriate school dean. The Office of Admissions will validate the degree plan before it becomes an official document. You will receive a copy when the process is complete, ordinarily during the same semester in which the process began.

The original degree plan is kept on file electronically in Student Records. The student and their respective school will each receive a copy. Since the degree plan represents a commitment to complete the requirements and the University’s commitment to hold you accountable for meeting those requirements, it is a very important document. To change it in any way, secure a substitution form from the Department of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The faculty advisor and school dean must approve the change and student records will validate it before the plan becomes official. Please note that if you interrupt enrollment for more than one calendar year, you will need a new degree plan upon your return to UHV.

Your Degree Plan/Student Advisor for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program is:

Jennifer Reeder, Academic Advisor

(281) 396-3712

Your Faculty Advisor for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program is:

Dr. Sara Zedaker, Program Director

(361) 570-4249

 

Withdrawal

The University policy on dropping courses and/or withdrawal from the University can be found in the current Student Handbook. Deadlines for dropping classes with a “W” can be found in the University Calendar.

Timely Completion

UHV graduate students must complete their program within 5 years after formal admission. Course credit, either transfer or from UHV, may not apply to any graduate degree if, at graduation, the course credit is more than 10 years old.

A full-time graduate course load is 9 hours per semester. While part-time study is permissible, we encourage part-time students to take a minimum of 6 hours per semester to ensure they are meeting program deadlines for graduation and satisfactory progression through the program. Generally, a master’s level course requires approximately 6 hours per week of outside, non-classroom work, regardless of whether the student is full- or part-time.

Graduate Criminal Justice students who have not enrolled in classes for a one-year period must reapply for the program to gain admission status. Prior admission does not guarantee re-acceptance. 

Academic Appeals

The procedures for sanctions and appeals described below are intended to provide resolution as early, expeditiously, and amicably as possible, with as limited involvement and as little disruption to the learning process as possible. Since the institution exists to serve the educational needs of students, individually and collectively, it is not an antagonist in any process of sanction or appeals. Rather, its interest lies in ascertaining the truth of the matter at hand, in attempting to reach a just resolution, and in viewing the process as a learning experience, both for the student and the institution.

Grade Appeal

Faculty members have the qualifications, responsibility, and authority to evaluate students' performance and to assign grades. They are expected to exercise great care and objectivity, to be receptive to students' inquiries about grades assigned, and to be receptive to the advice of their colleagues in instances of disputed grades. Faculty members may change a final grade, once recorded, only by timely, written notification to the Registrar, ordinarily with the approval of their dean. Otherwise, a grade may be changed only by the chief officer or chief academic officer of the institution in accordance with duly established procedures as described below.

Within School Grade Appeal Procedure

Students who believe that a grade assigned is inaccurate or unjust should first see the instructor of the course. If students remain unsatisfied or prefer not to see the instructor, they should contact the academic school secretary to determine the appropriate administrator in the academic school who manages grade appeals (e.g., Chair, Program Coordinator, Dean, Assistant Dean, or Associate Dean). These individuals will attempt to resolve the matter using the academic school's established procedures. The appropriate administrator may handle the case, or after consultation with the instructor, convene a divisional committee to review it. If the change of grade is warranted, the instructor will be advised. It is assumed that most grade appeals can be settled in this manner.

University Grade Appeal Procedure

Students who remain unsatisfied should contact the appropriate administrator in the academic school who manages grade appeals (e.g., Chair, Program Coordinator, Dean, Assistant Dean, or Associate Dean). These individuals will attempt to resolve the matter informally and, at the student's request, determine whether the case should be referred to the Provost Office for review and advisement. The following conditions will apply:

  1. The appeal must involve a terminal grade for a course or program.
  2. The appeal must be for reasons other than simple disagreement about the relative merits of the student's performance: i.e., cases to be heard by a university-wide committee should relate ordinarily to charges of arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory treatment rather than issues of academic judgment.
  1. The appeal must, in the provost’s opinion, involve a palpable issue and evidence capable of sustaining rational argument.
  2. The appeal must be initiated by the end of the next long semester after the grade in question has been assigned.

Formal Grade Appeal Procedure

If the four conditions noted above are met, the student should petition the provost in writing, specifying the action requested and explaining the basis for the request. Any documents or material considered relevant should be cited or submitted. Upon notification of the relevant parties, the process will unfold as follows:

  1. The Academic Council will examine the appeal and supporting evidence and will determine whether a hearing is needed to address the appeal.
  2. If a hearing is determined to be unnecessary, the Council will deliberate and reach a judgment on the appeal.
  1. If a hearing is determined to be advisable or if the student or the instructor involved requests a hearing the Council will establish a meeting time when the relevant parties can attend.
  2. The student and the instructor involved may be asked to appear separately or together, at the Council's discretion.
  1. The student may bring one person to witness the hearing, but that person is not to participate unless called upon. (If the person is to be an attorney, the provost must be informed in advance).
  2. The student may have others submit testimony in person or in writing.
  1. The instructor involved may also have others submit testimony.
  2. Following the hearing(s), the Council will deliberate and reach a judgment advisory to the provost.
  1. The provost will then inform the student, instructor, and School Dean of the decision.
  2. If the decision is that the grade should be changed, the instructor will be asked to change it.
  1. If the instructor is unwilling to change the grade, the provost will instruct Student Records in writing that the change is to be made.
  2. turning in someone else's work as your own
  3. copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  4. failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  5. giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  6. changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  7. copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not.

Application for Graduation

UHV does not automatically award a degree when you complete your scholastic requirements. To be considered as a candidate for a degree, you must submit an application for graduation through MyUHV by the published deadline, regardless of your plans to participate in the commencement ceremony. You can file an application either during the semester prior to, or during the semester in which you plan to graduate. It is suggested that students apply for graduation one semester prior to their intended graduation date. The application will trigger a detailed review, revealing any requirements left to complete. If you applied for graduation in any past semester but were disapproved, you must re-file an application for graduation.

There are typically two commencement ceremonies per year, one for Spring and one for Fall. At the present time, summer semester graduates participate during the Fall ceremony. You should contact the JagStation Bookstore to obtain information on caps, gowns, rings, and invitations.

You must be on track to complete all requirements toward your degree in the semester for which you plan to participate in the commencement ceremony. If all requirements for graduation cannot be met during the current semester, you may be denied participation in the commencement ceremony. For information concerning eligibility to participate in one of the ceremonies, please contact Student Records, 361-570-4368 or 1-877-970-4848 ex. 4368.

University Policies

Title IX: Sexual Misconduct

The University of Houston System (UHS) including UHV seeks to provide an educational environment free from sex discrimination, including non‐consensual sexual contact, sexual assault, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence and stalking. We encourage you to report any sexual misconduct to UHV Title IX Coordinator (361-570-4835; University West 116). If you report any sexual misconduct to me, I am required to share that information with our Title IX Coordinators. More information about the UHS Sexual Misconduct policy and counseling and support resources available to you can be found here

Academic Honesty

Academic Integrity: “Students. . . have a responsibility to fulfill, and indeed an investment to protect, in helping to ensure that academic achievement is characterized by honesty and fair play” (UHV Student Handbook).   The University takes academic integrity very seriously.  It is your responsibility to understand what behavior violates academic honesty rules and to understand the consequences for such violations.  Please refer to the UHV Student Handbook.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is an increasingly common form of academic misconduct.  All of the following are considered plagiarism: 

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. Please refer to the UHV Student Handbook.

Your professors have the ability and discretion to run all assignments through Turn-It-In software, a plagiarism checking application. Plagiarism may result in penalties ranging from a 0 on the assignment to dismissal from the course and a note on the student’s administrative file.

Student Conduct

Students are expected to participate in a mutually respectful learning environment. If your behavior is disruptive, your professor has the discretion to remove you from class and refer you to the Office of Student Affairs and/or the Academic Dean. It is at the professor’s discretion to allow make up assignments and points for the class time in which you have been dismissed. Disruptive behavior is defined by the Student Code of Conduct as:

 “3.6 Disruptive Classroom Conduct – Disruptive classroom conduct means engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor’s ability to teach or student learning.  The classroom extends to any setting where a student is engaged in work toward academic credit or satisfaction of program-based requirements or related activities.” 

Professional Organizations

Graduate students are encouraged to pursue memberships in professional organizations. Examples are listed below.

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences does not automatically reimburse students for conference travel. It is the student’s responsibility to pay for all costs associated with membership dues, subscriptions, and travel. Students interested in travel are encouraged to discuss their conference attendance with the Program Director to determine if there are any additional university or school funds available to assist.

Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice (SWACJ)

Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice, representing Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, is organized exclusively for educational and scientific purposes.

The objectives of the Association are:

  • To provide communication among individual members, among other organizations and associations of higher education and among components and agencies of the criminal justice system;
  • To promote a high standard of education in the administration of justice;
  • To encourage progress in criminal justice planning and research

Each year, SWACJ sponsors an annual meeting providing a rewarding forum for a productive exchange of ideas on the latest developments in criminal justice education, research, and policy.

 

American Society of Criminology (ASC)

The American Society of Criminology is an international organization whose members pursue scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control and treatment of crime and delinquency.

The Society's objectives are to encourage the exchange, in a multidisciplinary setting, of those engaged in research, teaching and practice to foster criminological scholarship, and to serve as a forum for the dissemination of criminological knowledge. ASC members include students, practitioners, and academicians from the many fields of criminal justice and criminology.

The Society recognizes superior academic and professional achievement and grants several awards to both Society members and non-members on an annual basis.

 

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS)

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) is an international association established in 1963 to foster professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. ACJS promotes criminal justice education, research and policy analysis within the discipline of criminal justice for both educators and practitioners.

Providing a forum for disseminating ideas related to issues in research, policy, education and practice within the field, ACJS attributes its success in creating this dynamic professional association to the composition of its membership. As change expands the existing boundaries of the criminal justice field, ACJS is comprised of members from a variety of diversified backgrounds including:

  • Scholars who are international in scope and multidisciplinary in orientation,
  • Professionals from all sectors of the criminal justice system, and
  • Students seeking to explore the criminal justice field as future scholars or practitioners

 Through the vital interchange of ideas among these groups, ACJS members develop and share knowledge about critical issues regarding crime and criminal and social justice. ACJS is comprised of an amalgam of scholars (international in scope and multidisciplinary in orientation), professionals (from all segments of the justice system) and students.

 

Library and Learning Resources

The University of Houston-Victoria Library’s mission is to foster student success by supplying quality library resources, services, and instruction. Library collections include over 200,000 print and electronic books and over 50,000 video titles. Subscription to 234 Internet-based databases contribute specialized research materials and full-text journals. Students on campus or in distance education/off site campuses have access to these resources through traditional in-library use and through the technology of proxy service. Reference/research assistance is provided to all users via face-to-face service, email reference, and real-time chat. Interlibrary loan and document delivery are available to all students at no charge.

For more information about the library and to explore the library’s online collections, visit the UHV Library website.

Library assistance can be acquired via several methods:

  • CHAT LIVE: http://www.library.uhv.edu
  • TEXT: 361) 231-3138 (Standard messaging rates apply)
  • EMAIL: askalibrarian@uhv.edu
  • CALL: (361) 570-4166
  • IN PERSON: Ask a Librarian Desk & Check Out, University Commons, 2nd floor
  • VIRTUAL LIBRARY: Students and faculty at UHV-Katy have access in the virtual library to computers, copiers, scanners, printers, study spaces, and other equipment. A librarian is available for research assistance. The Virtual Library is located on the 1st floor, Room 123, 22400 Grand Circle Blvd., Katy, Texas, Phone: (832) 842-2865

Interlibrary Loan

UHV Library patrons can use the ILL website to request items from other libraries. Before you request materials, please check the library catalog to see if the resource you are looking for is available here in print, online, or on Reserve. Interlibrary Loan is available free of charge to all faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students of UHV and VS. You must have a current library card.

Student Support Services

UHV is committed to providing all needed services to our students, regardless of their location, class delivery mode, or degree level. Many services, such as admissions counseling, financial aid counseling, ADA services, career services, and mental health counseling, are available by phone and email as well as by visiting an office in person.

Writing Center

The Student Success Center (SSC) provides free writing assistance and writing resources to UHV students in Victoria and Katy. Face-to-face or online, the Center staff review class papers for students. The SSC also reviews resumes and cover letters for alumni. UHV students may make an appointment for face-to-face tutoring, email documents as attachments through Upswing, or sign up for virtual tutoring through Upswing.

International Student Services

The International Programs Office is responsible for recruitment, admissions, documents review, transcript evaluation, and F1 and J1 visa processing for international undergraduate and graduate students. The office services as the primary campus liaison to U.S. government agencies (Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Student and Exchange Visitor Program) in issues relevant to F1 and J1 students and scholars. Additionally, enrolled international students are offered new student orientation, immigration and academic advising, and assistance to ensure a smooth transition in their academic, social, and cultural adjustment to life at UHV.

Disability Services

The University of Houston System complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids for students who have a disability. In accordance with Section 504 and ADA guidelines, the University of Houston-Victoria strives to provide reasonable academic adjustments / auxiliary aids to students who request and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring an academic adjustment/auxiliary aid, please contact the UHV Office of Disability Services; Cheryl Worley, Manager; University North, Suite 214 -H; Office – (361) 570-4287; Fax – (361) 580-5504.

Health and Counseling Services

UHV partners with the Community Health Center of Southeast Texas to provide basic health care for no more than $25 per visit. Students with health insurance or those who qualify for a grant may pay less. The center is located across the street from the Victoria residence halls. The University also has a Memorandum of Understanding with Citizen’s Medical Center to provide ER services for students, and an arrangement for students to be seen in the Family Practice Center of Citizen’s Medical Center has also been established. Students at the Katy teaching site are provided information about health insurance and about walk-in clinics in the areas.

The University Counseling Center serves primarily UHV students' mental health and counseling (individual, couples, group) needs to students on the Victoria campus. UHV has partnered with the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) to provide counseling services for UHV students attending classes in Katy. The services are confidential and free to currently enrolled UHV students. Some of the campus mental health needs which the Center meets include: short term/episodic mental health care for students; limited psychological testing and assessment; special programs related to substance abuse, social relationships, etc.

Alumni Relations

The Alumni Relations department is responsible for building relationships between alumni, current students and friends of the university and preserving their connection to the institution. Alumni Relations offers a variety of value‐added opportunities including networking events such as various educational, cultural and sporting events. In addition, UHVconnect, a web‐based community, is a free tool for students and alumni. Additionally, there is a Facebook page and Twitter account to follow if you would like to stay connect with alumni events. For more information, please call (361) 570-4369 or visit the Alumni Relations website.

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Review and oversight of research involving human subjects or identifiable data derived from human subjects is the charge of a federally mandated committee called an Institutional Review Board, or IRB. The IRB is responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of all persons participating in UHV research projects in accordance with federal regulations and the ethical principles established by the Belmont Report.

Prior to proposing research to the IRB, please review the regulations applicable to your project. 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 46 (“The Common Rule”) specifically addresses the protection of human study subjects as promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Regardless of funding, all research at UHV is held to the DHHS standard. 21 CFR 50 and 21 CFR 56 are the general regulations that govern U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research. FDA regulations 21 CFR 312 and 21 CFR 812 govern research involving drugs and devices, respectively.

All UHV faculty, staff or students proposing to engage in any research activity involving the use of human subjects must have approval from the IRB prior to the recruitment of subjects or the initiation of research procedures. Any questions regarding the IRB and/or to receive an electronic copy of the application should be directed to Angela Hartmann.

Training Requirements

All investigators and research personnel listed on a human subject’s application submitted to the Institutional Review Board Committee (IRB) are required to complete a training course prior to protocol approval.

The University of Houston, in its written agreement with the federal government, has indicated that it has elected to apply the same high-quality standards and requirements to all human subject’s research regardless of the source of support. Because of this agreement and our commitment to high-quality, ethical research, the education requirement is extended to the following individuals:

  • Principal Investigator(s) on all projects that include research involving human subjects
  • All individuals responsible for the design or conduct human subject’s research
  • Those individuals identified as key personnel of consortium participants or alternate performance sites if they are participating in research that involves human subjects
  • Investigators who conduct human subjects research that is exempt from full IRB review and approval must also comply with the education requirement; this became mandated by NIH in 2005. (The six exempt categories are defined in 45 CFR part 46.101(b). Exempt protocols must still be submitted into ICON for administrative review.)
  • Failure to assure the education component of our assurance is considered noncompliance and has the potential to negatively affect funding opportunities for University of Houston faculty, staff, and students. It is the PI’s responsibility to ensure that all individuals engaged in research have been appropriately trained.

Two options are available to fulfill this requirement:

  1. (Recommended): The web-based Course in the Protection of Human Research Subjects through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). IRB recommends this option as its primary one because IRB personnel can access individual transcripts and verify training, making this the most convenient option for the PI. When taking the CITI training, M.A. of Criminal Justice Students will take the training for Group 2: Social-Behavioral-Educational Researchers.
  2. UHV students will register as an affiliate of University of Houston and must use their UHV email address.
  1. The IRB will also accept NIH Human Subject Research training certificates.

The IRB reviews documentation for the education requirement prior to the initial approval of an IRB application, and when a revision is requested to add additional personnel. A refresher course is required every three years.

The CITI program provides a shorter version of the original training, listed as "Refresher Course." This will meet the training requirements for research personnel who have completed the original training course.

Remember, the University of Houston extends this training requirement to all research, regardless of funding source. For more information contact the IRB office at (713) 743-9204.