The transition to academia: Perspectives of former criminal justice professionals

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Mar 18, 2023.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    @Rich Douglas, I know we have had several discussions about transitioning to academia from practice. In your view, it is "not a thing." I will not argue about that. However, I wanted to share with you (and others) this piece I co-authored with five colleagues. While this was my idea, based on our conversations here, I gave my colleague first authorship since he hadn't published before.

    A few notes, this is not an IRB-approved study, it did not include a theoretical or conceptual framework, and there were no participants. Also, this was not peer-reviewed. However, I hope I can conduct a rigorous study in this area in the future.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'll certainly check it out.

    I WANT it to be a thing. I want there to be pathways for people from business, industry, and other forms of practice. In the US, we use our universities as professional training grounds. It would make sense to bring professional expertise into the process in systemic ways. But higher education acts like a club--you have certain qualifications--often not explicitly stated--you apply, you're considered by a committee, etc. There are some universities that hire like businesses instead of country clubs, and I think those are more amenable to bringing on practitioners. But most of academia is in a closed, self-reifying loop.

    Thanks ahead of time for doing this.
    nosborne48, Rachel83az and chrisjm18 like this.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It doesn't matter what it isn't, only what it is. Informed opinion seems to be a good place to start.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Okay, I read it. Good stuff, all of it applicable to practicing professionals beyond criminal justice, which makes it even more valuable.

    While one significant focus was on why people might consider this path, it is still a little short on how. There were three indicators of this that stood out:
    • Do it traditionally. Go to a traditional grad school and pursue positions the same way as your lesser-experienced classmates do it.
    • Do it nontraditionally. Go to a traditional or nontraditional doctoral program and find a school amenable (like APUS) to hiring people like you.
    • Start at the community college level and work your way up.
    We get a lot of loose chatter about getting a doctorate and going to teach, as if this was a switch one could turn on and get the desired results. The reality is a lot more messy. Chris has been a guiding light on this subject--as well as a solid case-in-point. I would encourage anyone considering such a move to read the stories of him and his other colleagues. There just might be a few nuggets in there that will help you on your own journey.
    SteveFoerster and chrisjm18 like this.

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