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TU Ramps Up MSCJ in Justice Administration

Spring/Summer 2015

Once again, Tiffin University is at the forefront of providing the tools necessary to meet the world’s challenges by ramping up its Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Justice Administration (JA) by offering it in a seated format in addition to the online format.

The degree has been offered online since 2000, but starting in the fall 2015 semester, TU will expand this degree by offering it on-campus on Saturdays in a hybrid format. Students will take two classes at a time in a seven-week period. The program is cohort-based. The cohort setting (students begin and end the degree together) provides personal access to faculty who bring years of executive, operations-level, clinical, academic and research experience to the classroom. Students who study in the cohort setting often build lifelong personal and professional relationships.

For additional information, contact Lacy Ellis, MSCJ Graduate Program Chair,

Meet two recent graduates

Keith Hall

Keith Hall, Class of 2006 and 2015, a 20-year law-enforcement veteran who currently serves as a sergeant with a suburban Columbus police department, says the MSCJ-JA program at TU has prepared him well for future leadership roles.

“Tiffin’s Justice Administration program appealed to me because I had recently been promoted to detective with my agency and I believed it would help make me a better leader,” he explains, adding the program highlights topics relevant to today’s range of challenges in the world of criminal justice — from identity fraud schemes and radical extremists to the legal and ethical challenges related to employee supervision and motivation.

The online version of the degree also gave the married father of two the opportunity to work at his own pace.

“One of the most difficult steps in returning to school was trying to work it into my hectic schedule without taking away from my commitments to my family and my job,” he says.

“Tiffin University’s courses allowed me to work when I had time, which was often late at night or in the early morning. I never felt rushed at any time, and my professors always answered in a timely manner when I had questions.”

Hall explains that, even though he was studying online, he managed to make valuable connections with the instructors and other students, who, according to him, were “an excellent mix of experienced law enforcement and business professionals combined with those who were just entering the professional world.”

In turn, he believes those relationships have benefitted him both personally and professionally. In addition to his MSCJ-JA, Hall received a degree in Homeland Security from TU in 2006.

He is convinced the degrees he received at TU have aided in his position as a front line supervisor with the department.

Even though he has six years before he’s eligible to retire, Hall eventually would like to run his own detective agency. He’s also exploring the idea of teaching others in the law-enforcement community.

Whatever his future holds, it’s clear that Tiffin University has offered him the vital tools necessary to tackle pertinent issues in the ever-evolving world of criminal justice.

“Personally, returning to TU has allowed me to set a good example for my children and given me the ability to better provide for our future,” Hall says. “Professionally, the degrees I received from Tiffin University and the concepts I have been exposed to have assisted me in becoming a better supervisor.”

Richelle Ettel

As a juvenile probation officer in Morrow County, Richelle Ettel has the ability to be a guiding force in the lives of at-risk children. The 2015 MSCJ-JA graduate is quick to say she loves her job.

“I work with children ages 10-21 and help rehabilitate them into being productive members of society, as well as assist them in obtaining the tools they need to graduate from school and be successful adults,” she says.

After she earned a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree from TU in 2014, Ettel realized that continuing her education was a vital part of aspiring to meet her long-range goals in criminal justice, particularly in the probation-officer field.

She chose Tiffin University’s MSCJ-JA program because it offered her the opportunity to work full time and still obtain her other personal goals.

“I have always hoped to one day be able to work in a supervisory role. I hope to work in a management role as a chief probation officer and have the ability to make a difference in offenders’ lives,” she explains. “The Justice Administration degree has set me up for success on the path to that management/supervisory role.”

Even the judges she works for in Morrow County approved of her decision. According to Ettel, they were pleased that she was able to continue to work full time and still be goal-oriented enough to finish her education at TU.

She credits the faculty and staff at TU for making that experience as stress-free as possible.

“They have always gone above and beyond to help me, and have always been more than flexible with my intense work and home schedule,” Ettel says. “Anytime I had any questions, comments or concerns, a friendly TU staff member was able to assist and direct me and fix any problem that I may have had.”

“The Justice Administration degree has opened doors in my current career and for my future,” she continues. “The skills I have learned at TU are skills I am able to apply in my everyday career. I cannot tell you how happy I am with my degree and the choices that I have made.”

Ettel believes she’s found her niche in her work as a juvenile probation officer. She has recently instituted a summer community program, book club, running/walking club, journaling exercises and a mentoring program in an effort to keep the at-risk children out of the justice system. Eventually — in addition to her goal of becoming a chief probation officer — she would like to teach college-level classes while maintaining her job as a probation officer.

“I have learned so much at Tiffin University,” Ettel says. “I am looking forward to what my future has in store for me and all the opportunities I will have by obtaining this degree.”