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Criminal Forensic Science Courses

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This course examines concepts, field-tested techniques and procedures, and technical information concerning crime scene investigation. The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to crime scene investigation and processing. This will include protecting the crime scene, evaluation of the crime scene, identifying and developing various types of physical evidence, and the proper collection and packaging of physical evidence for scientific evaluation and comparison. This course will also include case studies that will illustrate the importance of effective crime scene processing. The primary goal of this course is to increase the knowledge and skill the criminal justice worker will need to protect, identify, collect, and package physical evidence from a variety of crime scenes.

Credit: 4 hours - Four lecture hours per week.

Prerequisite(s): None



The Basics of Fingerprinting provides the fundamental elements of fingerprint uses in the criminal justice system. The student will learn scientific foundations for admissibility, pattern interpretation and approaches to evidence examination.

Credit: 3 hours - Three lecture hours per week.

Prerequisite(s): None



This class is intended for those who expect to be on the witness stand regularly, which is a critical part of law enforcement, especially for those who will testify as expert witnesses. The class relies heavily on video-taped practice testimonies because it is not enough to just "Tell the truth." The truth must be communicated in a manner that is understandable and believable to the judge and jury. Proper dress and demeanor will be required. A field trip to the county court house will be mandatory.

Credit: 3 hours - Three lecture hours per week.

Prerequisite(s): None



Forensic DNA testing is a course describing in depth the process of forensic DNA testing utilized by today's modern crime laboratories. In addition these techniques are utilized in the fields of paternity testing, and genealogy testing. This course is designed for anyone interested in learning about how this testing is conducted. The course is ideal for law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and even the general public. Topics will include sample types, extraction of DNA, quantitation, genetic analysis, statistical concepts, quality assurance strategies, report writing and court testimony topics. The information will be presented at a level that the general public will be able to understand. This course will aid criminal justice professionals in utilizing DNA testing. The course however is open to the general public and anyone interested in learning about DNA testing is encouraged to attend.

Credit: 3 hours - Three lecture hours per week.

Prerequisite(s): None



When two objects come into contact, there is an exchange of material between them. In criminal cases, the material that is exchanged between a criminal and a crime scene, or a victim and suspect is called Trace Evidence. This evidence can range from large pieces of material to particles that are not visible with the naked eye. Criminals are often unaware that any material transfer has occurred, which makes this type of evidence valuable to a forensic scientist. Examples of typical Trace Evidence include paint, glass, soil, gunshot residue, explosive residue and arson debris. This course will discuss a special sub-class of Trace Evidence call Forensic Microscopy. This includes evidence such as hairs, fibers, fabrics, ropes, wood, tapes, glitter, unknown particles, physical matches and airbags. Most of these items require some type of microscopic examination to identify and compare them. The exam techniques, results that can be obtained in these examinations, and court testimony will be discussed. Several real case examples will be presented during the course.

Credit: 3 hours - Three lecture hours per week.

Prerequisite(s): None

For More Information Contact:
Admissions and Advising
at 1-800-481-2242 or (618) 634-3200 or e-mail

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Shawnee Community College • 8364 Shawnee College Road • Ullin, IL 62992 • (618) 634-3200
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