The more I look into the past, the more I get encouraged to work with my all towards the future. The good thing about the present is that it gives me the best environment to work for the best future possible. I landed in Criminal Justice almost by accident and the journey at the University of Phoenix has been long. The future looks promising. Past, Present, and Future “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”.
This quote by Marcel Pagnol, a French Writer, Producer and Film Director (1895-1974) always stimulates me to think more critically about my life. After completing high school, I was at the verge of being a full blown criminal. I was slowly giving in to the influences of peer pressure but was saved by timely response of my parents who had keenly observed my behavior change from the innocent and focused youth to a rowdy one, a clear evidence of drug abuse.
After undergoing correction and lengthily counseling, I decided to help others change while at the same time helping the Federal government in its criminal justice system. That is how my interest and passion for the field of criminal justice was born. The field of criminal justice basically involves leadership and management in the American criminal justice system with a bias on the courts, law enforcement, and corrections. Future and current trends, the juvenile justice system and research methodology are also considered.
After thorough research on criminal justice, I settled for the University of Phoenix as the best institution that could help me achieve my dreams. The journey to the University of Phoenix started one year after attaining high school diploma; which was one of the basic requirements. Further I had secured approval from a local non governmental organization (NGO) allowing me to be practicing all learnt in class in the actual work environment which was another requirement for a person who had no previous work experience. This boosted my chance for admission.
The NGO was Subgroup on Juvenile Justice which has the principle mission of promoting information exchange that will eventually be used by the United Nations bodies charged with children rights as well as proposing actions and interventions in the field of juvenile justice. (Walker, 1992) I strongly felt that learning was critical in my personal growth and development which could only be achieved through attainment of a university degree in my area of passion. This could in turn help me deliver nothing short of the very best at the work place. By then my level of professional competence in problem solving was very low.
My oral and written communication skills were also not admirable. This is especially so because I had not been used to working in teams mandated in reporting constructively in a given field which is characteristic of the field I was to pursue, criminal justice. The results of most assignments, personal or otherwise, needed to be submitted in a specific format, a thing I was not used to. Criminal justice requires constant reference to past and current data which after processing is applied in the areas needed by not only the Federal government but also by other non governmental organizations, local and international.
These were skills which I did not possess by the by the time I was joining university of Phoenix. My career goals are to achieve the highest achievements possible in the area of criminal justice. Academically, the journey has started with this Degree in Criminal Justice and I hope to advance to the highest possible level. In line with this academic advancement, I hope to grow career wise taking new challenges every day at higher positions. Of most importance, I want to serve people especially the youth in the best way possible.
This will make me achieve job and career satisfaction. My experiences at the University of Phoenix since my first day of joining have been invaluable. Not only have I gained much in academics but also created a very good social network of friends cutting across all programs. They have been instrumental in the success of nurturing my leadership skills by electing me as a student leader in the students’ union. I now feel that I am in a professional position to handle responsibilities of varying magnitude with relative ease.
My writing and speaking communication skills have improved greatly. These have been developed in part by the role I played as student leader which involved among other things acting as a link between the student body and the administration which required a lot of persuasion and negotiation skills to arrive at the best point of agreement meeting the needs of both parties. I have also improved greatly on information preparation and handling skills which have been nurtured through the numerous researches that I have conducted both independently and in teams.
This information has been helpful to the Federal government and other bodies interested in Criminal Justice including non governmental organizations and human rights groups. However it is the area of Juvenile Justice that I have enjoyed researching and collecting data on most. (Walker, 1992) Courses leading to this degree have been enjoyable . Foundations of Criminal Justice was the first course I took. It is a general overview of the criminal justice system and other related agencies. The processes and challenges involved in administering criminal justice covered in the course made me like the field all the more.
I learnt about the police, courts, prosecution and the correctional system. It is however the correctional system I liked most since it helps people reform and take positive direction in their lives. Skills for Professional Development is another course which I enjoyed very much, it helped me improve greatly in critical thinking, research, communication and teamwork. It challenged me to set my personal and educational goals which I am happy to admit helped me greatly in excelling in and out of class.
Throughout my life at Phoenix, I was able to utilize to the maximum library resources successfully courtesy of skills learnt in this course. (University of Phoenix, 2009) There are two general courses that had the greatest impact in my current and potential employment and these are Interdisciplinary Capstone Course and Skills for Lifelong Learning. In the latter there was a topic by the name Personal Management and Moving Forward which have helped me greatly in setting and achieving both academic and work related goals.
Interdisciplinary Capstone Course has provided me with the opportunity to integrate and then apply whatever learnt in class in a professional manner at the work place. In addition it has enabled me reflect and evaluate professional and personal growth, the benefits of life long learning and the benefits these have in my current and future life. Juvenile Justice Systems and Processes and Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice on the other hand have been the two core courses that have the greatest impact in my current work and hopefully in potential jobs.
All along I have been working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice has always been helping me understand policies and procedures relating to courts, enforcement and most importantly corrections involving pluralistic society. Juvenile Justice Systems and Processes armed me with causation theories that have been helping me develop system responses to problems facing juveniles. Of most importance referral and preventive techniques have been helpful in correcting juveniles. (University of Phoenix, 2009)
Closer interaction of students at a learning environment across various programs should be encouraged even if it is once in a month. If this was the case during my life as a student, I would be delivering better since there is close relationship between Criminal justice and other disciplines for example sociology. Having completed the Bachelors Degree at University of Phoenix, I am now in position to deliver better and more professionally in my current and future assignments which I passionately look forward to. As discussed, the sky is not even the limit in my career and academic advancement.
I hope to advance gradually while at the same time doing my level best to help more and more criminals reform especially the juveniles. In the next five years, other getting a master in Criminal justice, I plan to get a degree in law since the two are highly correlated. Other than career and academic advancement, I hope to cultivate on interpersonal communication skills as they are vital in this field. (University of Phoenix, 2009) I will join professional bodies like American Board of Criminalistics which provides peer-developed and reviewed certification based on proficiency testing and written examinations.
Other than being professionally recognized these bodies will provide a networking avenue with like minded people. (Walker, 1992) References University of Phoenix (2009) Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration Retrieved December 10, 2009 from http://www. phoenix. edu/programs/degree-programs/criminal-justice-and-security/bachelors/bscja/v003. html Walker, Samuel (1992). “Origins of the Contemporary Criminal Justice Paradigm: The American Bar Foundation Survey, 1953-1969”. Justice Quarterly 9(1).