NovaSE Criminal Justice PhD

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by JLJ, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. JLJ

    JLJ New Member

    It would be very helpful for me in my search for a terminal program to know if there is anyone out there that could provide any information as to how hirable, or the probability of a graduate of Nova Southeastern Uni‘s PhD in Cininal Justice is of being hired as a professor with a four year University. Any NSW grads out there with tenure with this degree?

  2. Library Mouse

    Library Mouse New Member

    I can't speak for the Criminal Justice program, but one of the professors in my MLIS program has a doctorate in education from Nova. Granted, it is an MLIS program, so I don't know how much the education degree factored into the decision to employ her.
    Tireman 44444 likes this.
  3. JLJ

    JLJ New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I am sure as DL becomes more acceptable many fields will be accepting scholarship stemming from those forms of programs. However, I am look to find out if anyone from this specific program has ever been hired as a professor at a 4-year university. If so, they may have a new applicant.
  4. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member


    Nova is accredited, so I would assume some graduates of all of their programs found a job in some 4-year institution. What I don't know is how many failed to find such position. That's a better question to ask.

    Having said that, my personal opinion on Nova is pretty high. After all, it's a large university in southern Florida with not one but two medical schools; it caused some scandal among the ranks of academia early on because of distance and blended programs on doctoral level, but IMHO had long blended into the group of respectable second-tier research universities. I would expect their degrees are perceived accordingly. I don't know enough about CJ faculty job market OR the type of your target job to speculate if "respected second tier" is employable at where you want to end up. I'd guess yes, if the rest of the CV is right.
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Criminal justice/criminology hiring is based on the rank of the program and not the rank of the school. Some second tier schools are ranked high in criminology. Considering that U.S. News hasn't ranked criminology programs since 2009, I'm assuming that schools are still referring to old rankings.

    Only 25 or so schools were ranked, so you should be competitive at most schools. A Nova Southeastern graduate would have absolutely no chance at a school like University of Maryland. Even Texas State University, which has a relatively new PhD program, only hires graduates of top 25 or 30 criminology and sociology schools.

    But, since Txstate's program was started after the last ranking, the graduates get hired at unranked schools. According to the last doctoral program coordinator, all but one of the students found a job in academia. They're teaching at schools like Texas A&M Commerce, but a job is a job. He said that no PhD in CJ or criminology should have a problem with finding a job due to the lack of PhDs in this field.

    I found the list. Don't waste your time applying to any of these schools unless you've published amazing research to overcome the lack of a ranking.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  6. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Welcome fellow librarian...well soon to be
    Library Mouse likes this.
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I wouldn't say that, life experience goes a long way sometimes. I had a tenured professor at UMass-Lowell who didn't even have a doctorate, but he was a retired Air Force Counterintelligence Officer who had expertise in terrorism that can't be taught at any school. The course I took with him was incredible, he could have had a GED for all I would have cared.
  8. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    1. UMass - Lowell has no criminology/CJ rank/reputation to maintain, so they can afford not to be picky.

    2. One's chance of landing a tenure-track position at a 4-year without a PhD (or at least a JD for the few schools that still recognize it as being equivalent) is probably less than 1%.

    Ironically, you said he had expertise that can't be taught in college, which means that you also couldn't have possibly picked up much in college.

    University of Maryland - College Park is regarded as the top criminology/criminal justice program. Their professors come from top schools in criminology, public policy, and sociology.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  9. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the critical job market information! If I'm on the market again, I would love to land a job at the likes of TAMU-C.
  10. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    He's referring to programs that consider themselves "top". These care about "pedigree" more than your average program; you'd need to be truly exceptional to land that kind of a job with a "non-top" PhD. Can be done of course; I knew a guy in undergrad who's now tenured at Brown (Economics) with PhD from U. of Iowa. Of course, UI has a good program, and the guy combines great publication record, a stint teaching at Princeton, and truly frightening command of advanced quantitative methods. It can be done, but it's an exception.
  11. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Here is the wave of the future:
  12. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Nice find, me again. I think we have to keep in mind, however, that this is a D.C.J.
    program, not a Ph.D. program. What is most useful about CALU site is the link to the
    Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice, which lists many doctoral programs in C.J. You can surf to their member list, which lists many doctoral C.J. programs, although it does not include the type of doctorate or how the program is delivered. But it's a small enough list that you can look each program up individually.

    My take is that colleges and universities that hire faculty prefer people with a Ph.D. over those with a D.C.J. The latter degree is admittedly (according to CALU, which is a very reputable school) a professional doctorate, not an academic or research doctorate.

    Also, I'm surprised that no one has ever mentioned this before, my anecdotal opinion is that colleges lean toward hiring/preferring teachers who have been law enforcement officers - i.e., cops, as opposed to related types of professionals in, say, corrections, C.J. administration, other areas of the justice system (such as the courts), juvenile justice services, etc. For job candidates, having been a cop is the gold standard IMO. Perhaps Bruce (a cop) or sanantone (a corrections professional) could give us their impressions on this notion.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen this preference in my area. It might exist in people's heads, but it doesn't show up in who is hired.

    My CJ instructors at San Antonio College were mostly lawyers. One of them was in management at a probation department.

    I remember having one instructor who was a police sergeant at Colorado Technical University.

    At traditional, 4-year schools, most professors will have no law enforcement experience. Among the professors I've taken classes with or met at Txstate, one was a former state trooper, a few worked in mental health, a couple worked in social services, one was in the military, and a few had law degrees.

    At the college where I worked (they had a strong preference for experience in the field), one CJ instructor was a military investigator, I had only worked in security and dispatch at the time, one guy was in the military but in a non-LE position, one couldn't pass the Bar, one was a paralegal, one worked in finance or real estate, and I can't remember what the other two did. I believe one taught most of his life.
  14. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    There are so many variables to consider when hiring someone to teach criminal justice, to include:
    - Is it a for-profit or a non-profit? For-profits might be more inclined to hire CJ personnel.
    - Is it a 2-year, 4-year or graduate program? Associate programs might be more inclined to hire CJ personnel.
    - Does the candidate have a Masters degree or a Doctorate?
    - If the candidate has a doctorate, does he have a "specialization" in CJ on his transcript? Or does he have a PhD with a "specialization" in education?
    - Is the candidate in the right place at the right time, during the third equinox and when the tide is low during a half-moon cycle? Timing can be important.

    Is having a PhD better than a DCJ? Refer to all the above variables before deciding.
  15. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I thought there were only three types of doctorates (first professional, professional and research). Isn't a research doctorate also referred to as an academic doctorate, e.g. Ph.D., S.J.D, D.Phil.? The D.CJ. is considered equivalent to a research doctorate by the U.S. Department of Education. Same is true for the DBA, DPA, Ed.D., which are all professional doctorates. See attachment. I am surprised that Nova's Ph.D. in CJ is not a member of the invitation-only, Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

    Attached Files:

  16. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I think the word better is relative. I think someone would be better off with a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice if they want to teach at a research-intensive university. I want to teach at a community college or a similar technical college so I've applied to the D.CJ. program. I have over 5 years of policing experience and currently working in juvenle justice. I think the D.CJ. is a better degree in my situation, even though 2-year colleges don't usually require a doctorate to teach.
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    You can't see the forest because all those damn trees are in the way. My point was that academic credentials aren't the be-all and end-all, actual experience can often overcome any perceived credential shortcomings.

    For example, take someone like Bill Bratton. He was most recently the New York City Police Commissioner (twice), and before that, he was Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Superintendent-in-Chief of the Boston Police Department, Chief of the New York City Transit Police, Chief of the Metropolitan (MA) Police, and Chief of the MBTA (MA Transit) Police. How many colleges would be thrilled to offer him a tenured position, in spite of his only having a B.S. in Police Science from Boston State College? Do you really think that the University of Maryland would toss his application in the trash if he had a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern?

    Another example; Neil Armstrong was a tenured professor at the University of Cincinnati with no doctoral degree.

    I have absolutely no idea what that's supposed to mean or imply.

    If you think that Maryland would automatically reject someone for lack of a prestige degree, then you're as elitist as you apparently think they are.
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I'm elitist for pointing out facts? What? Experts in their fields are usually hired as lecturers and visiting professors. I'm just being honest and not giving false hope for something that rarely happens.

    I'm sure Maryland has received many applications from people who graduated from unranked schools, and look at who they end up hiring. They are elitist. It is what it is. That's how you play the rankings game.

    Given who these schools hire and what professors who have mentored doctoral students have seen, this "often" doesn't seem quite often. One of my classmates was a police chief. I give him a 1% chance of being hired at Maryland or any school close to it. If they really wanted someone with extensive experience, they could find someone who graduated from John Jay. There are experts who attend top schools.

    Hardly anyone gets to the level of Neil Armstrong, and he taught in the 1970s. Plenty of CJ programs in the past would hire people with JDs, but that practice is going away. Plus, there are accreditation guidelines for faculty that schools usually follow.

    You're pointing to exceptions and people who are at the top 0.1% in their fields. This is not "often." That's the real definition of not being able to see the forest from the trees. You're so focused on exceptions that you can't see the overall pattern in hiring practices.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  19. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Getting a doctorate to teach at a community college is going way overboard. Having a Masters is sufficient for all CJ AA programs. Having an AA is sufficient for teaching in the AS. And the AAS requires even fewer credentials.

    It appears that "they" (whoever "they" are) are trying to push the PhD for researchers and all other degrees for everybody else i.e. EdD, DBA, DCJ, DM, et al. However, if a candidate has a DCJ with publishing's, then he may have an advantage over a PhD who got his degree and then never pursued any publishing's. Again, there are just so many different variables to consider.

    Recently, a PhD holder lost his full-time position teaching CJ because his doctoral "specialization" is in education. Conversely, another doctoral holder (not a PhD) retained his full-time position because he has a "specialization" in CJ printed on his transcript. It appears that having the correct doctoral "specialization" is going to be a strong determinant for full-time employment in the present, as well as in the future.

    The push by "them" (whoever "those people" are) is to put the PhD on an academic pedestal by requiring original research, as opposed to applied projects. Nonetheless, it seems that the DCJ is totally awesome because you can get your meal ticket punched with it. Will it ever be a highly recognizable credential to laypeople? Nope, probably not. Most laypeople only recognize the PhD credential.

    One last anecdote: As you know, a PhD means "doctor of philosophy." A PhD who has a "specialization" in education on his transcript is no longer allowed to teach philosophy because the university wants the instructor to have a "specialization" in philosophy on their transcript. Again, the "specialization" seems to be the biggest determinant in many instances. Your mileage may vary.
  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I've said this on many discussion posts, I want a doctorate for personal achievements not professional. If for some reason it has professional benefits, good, if not, no problem. However, if im going to earn a doctorate, I'd prefer it to be in a field that I actually love and in my case that's criminal justice.

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