Jason M. Counts of Carrollton received his diploma on May 10,
a bit of history was made at The University of Mississippi. Counts
became the first individual to complete requirements to earn a
Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.
The new degree
was approved in spring 2002 by the Mississippi Board of Trustees
of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Before, students who
sought academic preparation for criminal justice careers received
a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with emphasis in criminal
"Criminal justice is a good program and I
definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue a career
in law enforcement," said Counts, the son of Thomas and Vellie
Counts of Carrollton. He also complimented his professor, Dr.
Chester Quarles. "I wouldn't have made it through the program
Counts plans to pursue a career as a federal game
The Bachelor of Science in criminal justice is
one of two new degree programs offered by the Department of Legal
Studies in the School of Applied Sciences. Students can also pursue
a Bachelor of ParaApplied Sciences.
"We sought approval of this new degree as
a result of what both
and former students told us was needed," said Dr. Linda Chitwood,
dean of the School of Applied Sciences.
"They expressed the desire for a degree that would identify
the specific course of study they had pursued."
Dr. William Oliphant, associate provost and interim
chair of the Department of Applied Sciences, added that the criminal
justice program at UM has the "potential for becoming one
of the largest majors in the School of Applied Sciences."
He anticipates that the faculty will continue to grow with the
"We believe that with Dr. Quarles in place
and new faculty members coming to join him, we will begin to see
the criminal justice program emerge not only on this campus but
in the field as a whole," Chitwood said. "In addition
to excellence in the classroom, we want both research and service
to be cornerstones of the program."
Criminal justice courses are also offered at the
Southaven branch of The University of Mississippi.
The School of Applied Sciences encompasses disciplines
that emphasize professional training, service and scholarship,
and human health sciences and includes the departments of Communicative
Disorders; Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management;
Applied Sciences; and Social Work.