CRJ 495: Criminal Justice Major Capstone

Course Description

This course is designed to allow students to integrate knowledge acquired during previous courses taken as part of the criminal justice major. In this course students will create an original, scholarly work synthesizing knowledge gained regarding criminal justice theories, methodology and systems and apply same to a contemporary issue, policy or problem in the field of criminal justice that is relevant to the student’s concentration within the major. Students graduating with a concentration in Victim Advocacy will be required to focus their research on a topic specific to that field. Students will work independently with support and input from student colleagues and the professor as well as engage in threaded discussions regarding current topics grounded in relevant criminal justice literature.      (3 credits)


  • Students must have completed most of their concentration courses and take this course in their last semester. Academic Counselor approval is required to register.
  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Synthesize learning of the criminal justice major through a research project.
  2. Analyze a current topic, issue or problem in the criminal justice system by conducting scholarly research.
  3. Describe a criminal justice topic, issue or problem with clarity and logical organization.
  4. Explain current criminal justice theories and events to peers in a group setting.
  5. Use the group setting to collaborate regarding the research project planning and drafting process.

Course Activities and Grading


Discussion (Weeks 1-8)


Project Plan (Week 2)


Final Project (Week 8)




Required Textbooks

  • There is no required textbook to purchase. All required materials are provided in the course.

Additional Resources

Course Schedule



Readings and Exercises




Topic: Where do I begin?

  • Introduce yourself
  • Read Assigned Material from the OWL
  • Review the Lecture Material
  • Post to the Discussion
  • Engage in a 1:1 conference call with the Professor
  • Begin Drafting your Project Proposal



Topic: Project Proposals: Peer Review and Submission

  • Read assigned Material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Post your Project Proposal to the Discussion Board for Peer Review By Wednesday
  • Provide Peer Review to Project
  • Proposals on the Discussion Board
  • Submit Your Final Project Proposal by Sunday



Topics: Avoiding Plagiarism & First Draft

  • Participate in the Discussion
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit your First Draft of your Project by Sunday



Topic: Second Draft

  • Read assigned Material
  • Participate in the Discussion
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit your Second Draft



Topics: Causes of Crime

  • Readings:
    • No assigned reading this week.
  • Participate in the Discussion
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in a 1:1 conference call with the professor regarding progress.



Topics: Ethics in the Profession and Third Draft

  • Readings:
    • No assigned reading this week.
  • Participate in the Discussion
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Your Third Draft



Topics: Proofreading and Finishing Touches


  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Review Project for final submission



Topics: Final Draft and Reflection

  • Readings:
    • No assigned reading this week.
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Submit Final Project
  • Complete the Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.