AASCU Innovations Exchange
Your Source for Innovations in Public Higher Education

Richard Stockton logo
Project Title:Stockton CSI: A College Residential Summer Camp for High School StudentsInstitution Name:The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Innovation Category:Program Design and Delivery Project Director:Christine Tartaro, Professor of Criminal Justice and Stockton CSI Co-Director, or Joshua D. Duntley , Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Stockton CSI Co-DirectorContact Information:Tartaro: (609) 626-6035 or christine.tartaro@stockton.edu; Duntley: (609) 626-3570 or joshua.duntley@stockton.edu, Website:http://www.stocktoncsi.com
Project Description:Richard Stockton College hosts the Stockton CSI summer forensics camp for high-school students. The camp is a residential experience where students learn about and then take on the roles of police officers who discover a body, investigators who question suspects and witnesses, and attorneys and expert witnesses who take part in a criminal trial. The camp includes field trips and guest speakers. Students learn that many aspects of some popular crime dramas are misleading. Camp staff members--faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates--teach campers about the training and required educational backgrounds for criminal justice and crime scene professions.
Objectives:
  • Give students a realistic look at various criminal justice careers. Dispel myths and misconceptions about criminal justice careers.
  • Teach students to constructively collaborate with one another to solve problems.
  • Teach students about the best education and training options for each criminal justice job discussed at camp.
  • Introduce high school students to college life.
  • Encourage good students to choose Stockton for their college education.
  • Enhance the college’s reputation by providing a positive experience to students from across the United States.
Outcomes:
  • Student knowledge about forensic and investigation issues improved (results were statistically significant).
  • Student knowledge about education and training for criminal justice careers improved (results were statistically significant).
  • Student opinion about the quality of the camp, based on opinion surveys, have been consistently strong.
  • Student opinion about the college and the faculty, based on opinion surveys, have been consistently strong. Several former campers have chosen to attend Stockton.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:Since this is a new program, there have been administrative challenges preparing for and operating the camp. Successful operation of the camp involves several offices, including Academic Affairs, Event Services, Plant Management, Administration and Finance, Computer Services, and the Campus Police. Coordinating the work of several offices is always challenging, but systems of collaboration and communication were developed. In addition, program staff have had to adjust to handling disciplinary and motivational issues that are common when working with high school students.
Evaluation Approach:Program co-directors administered quantitative pre- and post-tests to assess students’ knowledge. The directors also administered opinion surveys with open-ended questions at the end of the camp to gauge students’ opinion about the camp and its instructors. The directors analyzed the data and presented the results to the administration and at a scholarly conference (Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences). The directors have used the data to discuss ways to improve future camp sessions.
Potential for Replication:The Stockton CSI program is valued by the college because of high levels of satisfaction among the campers, national media publicity, positive assessment outcomes, and demonstrated ability to attract strong high school graduates to the college. The potential for replication is strong. However, replication depends on the motivation and work of key faculty, and collaboration among college offices.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Herman J. Saatkamp Jr. , Presidentpresident@stockton.edu
(609) 652-4521
Date Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011