Who is my Advisor?
You will be assigned a departmental advisor once you declare a major and when you enter your sophomore semester. Your advisor is listed on your MyMocs sheet. If you do not have one listed or do not know who your advisor is, contact the main office (423) 425-4135.
It is important that you consult with your advisor on a regular basis. For especially "tricky" problems, including transfer issues, petitions, and graduation queries, make sure that you consult the Chief Departmental Advisor: Dr. Roger Thompson (for CRMJ majors) or Professor Karen McGuffee (for LAS majors). Remember, we also have departmental checklists that will assist in your degree planning.
General guidelines and answers to commonly asked questions are summarized in this section.
- What can I expect from my advisor?
- How do I know what courses to take?
- How do I register and/or drop and add a class?
- What do differences in course numbers mean?
- What Catalog do I use in determining degree requirements?
- What courses should I take first? How to be sure you have a clear path to graduation.
- Can work experience within the field be used to meet degree requirements?
- Do I have to have a minor?
- What performance level (grade) must be achieved for the course to count toward my degree program?
- What can I do if I do poorly in a course?
- Do I have to take an Internship?
- Can I take courses in the evening?
- Do all courses taken from other colleges and universities transfer to UTC?
- What happens if I think I have already taken the same course at another institution but that UTC has not given me credit for an equivalent course?
- What do I need to do during my senior year for graduation?
- What does a "Degree in Three" mean and does it apply to my program?
What can I expect from my advisor?
The academic advisor serves as the coordinator of your educational experience. In that role, the advisor can help you clarify your goals, explore career options, plan an educational program, and schedule classes needed to meet the requirements of your program. Also, the advisor monitors and evaluates your progress and attempts to match your needs with UTC's available resources. In order for your advisor to be of assistance to you, you must clearly and consistently convey your intentions and academic-related actions to your advisor. You should also be familiar with course descriptions and titles as well as the prerequisites for various classes. Your advisor is just that - an advisor. You are responsible for making informed choices and for registering for courses. A few days before registration is NOT the best time for this activity because so many students, especially new ones, are seeking time and assistance. To maximize the effectiveness of your advisor, plan ahead (which includes remembering to check -- and use -- the specific office hours that are established by your professor each semester).
Sign in to your MyMocs net on the UTC home page. Once you are logged on, click on the Academics tab. Then click on the link to MyMocsDegree link. You will enter your student ID and click view. Requirements that are met show with a green check mark. Courses and requirements that are in progress will display a curvy blue box (~). The overall number of hours listed at the top does NOT include the hours that you are currently taking. You also can use the clear path documents. These program outlines demonstrate a typical degree program by semester. If you follow that program, you will graduate at the end of four years.
At the top of the MyMocs Degree you will see a FAQ and Help button. The help button will take you to a Power Point that gives you a comprehensive overview of how your MyMocsDegree works.
You should be aware that occasionally, errors present themselves on your MyMocs. If you think there is a problem, talk to your advisor who can check things out for you.
You must meet with your advisor and get your PIN number to register. Registration is done completely online. There is a lot of information and a PowerPoint presentation about the registration process online. Follow the link and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the PowerPoint slides. This presentation uses screen shots so you can see exactly what the screen will look like as you work on your registration.
Dropping a class does not require the signature of your advisor, but you may overlooking a degree requirement so be sure that this will not affect your degree plan and/or consult with your advisor before changing your schedule.
What do differences in course numbers mean?
Courses are numbered from 1000 to the 4000 level. Course number on the 1000 level generally are geared towards freshmen students and are intended to provide an overview of the course material and to introduce the related vocabulary. Course levels numbered 2000 and 3000 are more specific in content, while 4000-level courses integrate the vocabulary and concepts and introduce the applications of information learned at the earlier levels. As course numbers ascend, professors assume that your knowledge and experience will allow you to handle increasingly self-directed courses of study therefore more autonomous study is usually required at the higher levels.
Most Criminal Justice majors should be in the 2011 or later catalog. There were some major changes in the curriculum that make it advantageous for you to change. Also one required course was deleted and is no longer offered. If you need to change your catalog year go to the Records online site. (If you are in an older catalog and have taken CRMJ 4100, talk to your advisor about whether you should stay in that catalog or change catalog years.)
Most Legal Assistant Studies majors will adhere to the catalog year established by the Records office when admitted; however, student may always elect to move to a newer catalog year than the one they are assigned.
What courses should I take first?
Criminal Justice students must take the two introductory courses to begin the major: CRMJ 1100: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System and CRMJ 1000: Introduction to Criminology. Students also may wish to take their law component course relatively early in the major; although, this decision will be affected by the level of the course they take to fulfill this requirement. For example, students may take LAS 1700: Introduction to Criminal Law as a freshman. Students who are more interested in LAS 4010: Constitutional Law may wish to delay taking this course until later in their academic program. Students also should take SOC 1510: Introduction to Sociology and PSY 1010: Introduction to Psychology. Both of these courses are general education social science requirements that also are required for the major and will help you in your criminal justice classes.
Legal Assistant Studies majors should take the following courses early on: LAS 1010: Law and the Legal Assistant; LAS 2100: Legal Research and Writing; and LAS 2350: Litigation I. Students also should take CPSC 1000: Introduction to Computing early on as this courses is a prerequisite for several other upper division courses.
Consult the appropriate University Catalog and the pages that describe the major. These links will take you to the 2013-14 catalog for criminal justice and legal assistant studies. If you need to find this information in another catalog year, open that catalog and click on the College of Arts and Sciences link on the left side. That will bring up a list and you can look at the major pages for that year. Criminal Justice information to see a showcase or suggested plan of study for both majors.
Can work experience within the field be used to meet degree requirements?
Yes. Individuals who have not earned a baccalaureate degree may be eligible to receive credit for work experience, in-service training and certified professional programs. There are restrictions on how these credits can be used toward your degree requirements so be sure to talk to your advisor about this process. You can also e-mail Dr. Hugh Prevost who coordinates this process.
Do I have to have a minor?
Neither Criminal Justice majors nor Legal Assistant Studies have to have a minor. It may be advantageous, however, to do so. Criminal Justice majors might want to major in Legal Assistant Studies and Legal Assistant Studies major might want to consider Criminal Justice. Other popular minors that work well with our majors are: English, Communication, Spanish, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Women's Studies and Africana Studies.
The curriculum allows flexibility for students to explore and develop their interests. Even if students don't want to minor in the areas above, they might want to take some elective classes in these departments. Special courses in forensics also are available through Chemistry and Anthropology.
What performance level (grade) must be achieved for the course to count toward my degree program?
Students must earn a grade of "C" or better in all required (core) Criminal Justice courses and average a 2.0 or better in all coursework applied toward the major. If you get a D in a required course you must take the course over and get at least a C. If you get a D in a criminal justice elective, you do NOT have to take the course over as long as you have a 2.0 combined GPA in your criminal justice electives.
Legal Assistant Studies majors must have a 2.5 overall GPA in all required major courses and related courses.
Information about calculating your GPA is available on the Records webpage.
What can I do if I do poorly in a course?
You may repeat a course and replace the grade. UTC allows a student a total of three grade replacements for grades of "C" and lower. See this link for more information.
Do I have to take an Internship?
Internships are a rewarding way for students to get experience in the field. Criminal Justice majors do not have to take an internship, but they are are highly recommended. The internship is an elective course(s). It is available for 3 or 6 credit hours. Before making a decision about this option you must consult with the internship coordinator, Dr. Hensley. Legal Assistant Studies majors must take an internships for 6 hours credit. You should consult Professor McGuffee for more information. Criminal Justice Internships are graded S/NC (pass/fail). Legal Assistant Studies Internships receive a normal letter grade.
Criminal justice courses are offered both in the day and at night. In general, it may be difficult to get core required courses completed if you cannot take some daytime coursework due to staffing shortages. The menu of classes to choose from will necessarily be smaller during evening hours but you can complete the major if you are able to take some required courses during the daytime. If you have exceptional circumstances that will not allow you to take required courses during the day, contact Dr. Eigenberg. You may be eligible to take these online.
Do all courses taken from other colleges and universities transfer to UTC?
The answer to this question is usually yes -- if the educational institution is accredited and if a passing grade was received. Some courses may count as elective credit though rather than direct equivalencies toward your major.
What happens if I think I have already taken the same course at another institution but UTC has not given me credit for an equivalent course?
Admissions does their best to determine course equivalencies; however, what is available for review is often quite limited. If you think you have taken a course that is the same as a UTC course, consult with your advisor.
What do I need to do during my senior year for graduation?
The student is responsible for applying for a degree with the The Records Office. Graduation application dates are listed on their webpage.
There also are mandatory testing dates that are part of your graduation requirements. Some students are required to take the Criminal Justice Senior Exam and all students are required to take the UTC Senior Exam. Evaluative information obtained through testing is used to improve the educational experience for future students and allows us to assess the quality of our program. You will receive information about testing once you have applied for graduation.
Both criminal justice and legal assistant studies programs participate in the degree in three program. If you attend two summers on a full time basis in addition to the "normal" semesters, you are able to graduate in May of your third year. This program requires a very heavy workload and it not suited for all students. If you are interested you can look at the degree program or talk to your advisor for more information.