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A theoretical seminar supports Criminal Justice internships

Professor Dennis McCarty's Seminar in Applied Criminal Justice

Professor Dennis McCarty's Seminar in Applied Criminal Justice

You've landed your dream internship, but your immediate supervisor is an unreasonably demanding boss, who makes you seriously consider forsaking your career aspirations. What do you do?

For many student interns this is a situation where they either quit or just try to suffer through the experience as best they can. However, for UAlbany Criminal Justice students, there's a full semester seminar that goes in tandem with their internship - a course that teaches them real solutions for the workplace and helps them succeed in the job.

Julie Horney, Dean of the School of Criminal Justice, says that they recognized early on that there was a need for such a course. "The idea for the linked classroom experience came from our faculty, who insisted the internship should have a strong academic component. In particular, an ad hoc committee for undergraduate internships, chaired by Professor Alissa Worden, drafted a proposal for the course structure and developed a course that complements and enhances the field experience."


"The linked classroom experience helps them to reflect on their field experience, to relate their observations in the field to the theories and empirical findings they study in their classes, and to learn about meeting the expectations of the professional world."


Julie HorneyJulie Horney, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
School of Criminal Justice

From the draft of the proposal, Professor Dennis McCarty developed The Seminar in Applied Criminal Justice and first offered it in fall 2004. In addition to teaching the course he is also Chief of Program Services for the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services in the Office of Public Safety. He has nearly thirty years of experience in the criminal justice field and can teach Criminal Justice majors with authority on how to succeed in the workplace. His seminar is full of helpful tips on everything from how to write a "killer" resume, to how to "nail" the interview. "The seminar seeks to explain how organizations function, but I also try to integrate the internship in ways that allow the students to launch successful careers," says McCarty.

"This was one of the best classes I ever had," said Tara Mastrolembo who took the first offering of the seminar last fall. "The things I learned were really important to my future. Dr. McCarty taught us all about what jobs are available for the Criminal Justice major, and most importantly, how to get that job and move up in the company/agency. We went over resumes and interviewing techniques, and he also had guest speakers come in and talk to the class."

Colleen Foley, a senior who is taking the course this semester along with her internship at the Albany County Department of Probation, agrees: "Before this course and the internship experience, I really didn't know what was out there in the field for me."

Professor Dennis McCarty, Colleen Foley and Sabrina Gonzalez

From left: Professor Dennis McCarty, Colleen Foley and Sabrina Gonzalez

The seminar has three major components: understanding the workplace, observing the workplace and succeeding in the workplace. Students learn important insights into the career paths of top organizational leaders and must also develop their own personal career plan to guide their professional activities following graduation. "The course has specific structure and sequence," says McCarty. "Students are encouraged to raise questions about any issue that is relevant to the environment in which they are working."

"The course has really helped me to focus on the internship," says Sabrina Gonzalez who is working in the Federal Probation Office. "It's made me realize that the workplace is a dynamic organization and that's something I'd never thought of before. I've been able to observe all types of people in the workplace and see what works and what doesn't when it comes to motivating people."

Related Links:
School of Criminal Justice
School of Criminal Justice Internship Program

Tell Us Your Story



After the seminar and internship

Alyssa GuntherAlyssa Gunther
Setauket, NY
Graduates: May '05; Criminal Justice & Communication major
Internship: Law office
Next step: Law school
Alyssa's comments:
Dr. McCarty's class perfectly accompanied the internship. It was also interesting to hear about everyone else's experiences and to hear the tips that Dr. McCarty had for us concerning our internships and beyond. I am preparing to enter law school in the fall, and know that I will take with me what I learned during my internship and Dr. McCarty's class.

Luke Donovan
Colonie, NY
Graduated: Dec 04; Criminal Justice major & Sociology
Internship: Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Next step: Works as a residence counselor for the Center for the Disabled and as a direct support professional for the Schenectady Association for Retarded Citizens.
Luke's comments:
I completed an internship at the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. The biggest help was the contacts I received from the internship. I also used my internship supervisor as a reference for every job application. I thought the seminar and internship were very valuable aspects of my UAlbany experience.


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