“From an obscure discipline scorned by most academics, with only two small doctoral programs as recently as 1970, criminal justice has exploded to 350,000 undergraduate majors at colleges and universities,’ said Freda Adler, a professor of criminal justice at Rutgers and a former president of the American Society of Criminology.”
(New York Times, December 5, 1998, “A Newcomer in the Liberal Arts: Criminal Justice”)
The criminal justice faculty members at Bethany College have been a lawyer in private practice specializing in immigration, and a court administrator, probation officer, and police officer. This expertise as practicing criminal justice professionals and their academic experience allows them to deliver a theory based yet streetwise curriculum.
This ensures the integration of theory and research with practical up-to-date knowledge and skill from the field. A program of this type is unique in the north central Kansas! Building on the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed through the general education program, the Bethany criminal justice program covers law enforcement, the judicial system, corrections, and the interaction of the three.
This system-wide perspective in criminal justice prevents the program from becoming too narrowly focused in any one field and prepares graduates for leadership in multiple areas.
Students gain practical experience through Bethany’s Experience-Based Education (EBE) program. Through EBEs, students earn academic credit for on-the-job observation and work experiences in law enforcement, court services and corrections. Special on-campus programs and field trips are sponsored by Law and Order Club, the criminal justice student organization. Students secure positions in law enforcement, court services, and corrections shortly after graduation.
Douglas Smith, associate professor of criminal justice, has been at Bethany College since 2005, but has taught at the college as an adjunct instructor since 1978. He teaches classes in police, probation, delinquency and administration, and criminology. He also founded the Bethany College Law and Order Club.
Smith has over 35 years of experience in criminal justice. He worked in the 28th Judicial District Court, Salina, Kan., as Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, Director of Court Services and Trial Court Administrator I.
He was a board member of the Salina Youth Care Foundation and was twice elected president of the Kansas Association of Court Services Officers. He served on committees for the Kansas Supreme Court and assisted in developing an interdisciplinary investigation team for child abuse cases. His work on this team garnered acclaim from the National Association of District Attorneys and the Federal Department of Health and Welfare.
Smith earned his Master of Administration of Justice from Wichita State University.