Bluefield State College students pursuing careers in criminal justice and related fields now have a more multidimensional educational experience. In early February, BSC Criminal Justice program faculty received notification that the American Criminal Justice Association has approved BSC’s application to establish an ACJA student chapter at the College.
“This new American Criminal Justice Association chapter is a product of outreach by our Criminal Justice faculty and students to connect our program to other chapter across the nation,” BSC Criminal Justice Program Director Mile Lilly said. “We will be active participants as a member of this vibrant organization.”
“We have approximately 25 students who can now join the chapter,” noted James Quesenberry, BSC Criminal Justice visiting instructor, who has been actively involved with ACJA for more than a decade as a student and instructor.
The benefits to students are numerous, according to Quesenberry. “ACJA offers national awards to recognize academic excellence among chapter student members,” he explained. "Through a campus chapter, our students can meet and interact with criminal justice professionals and connect with students who share the same interest in the field.”
“Our goal is to expand students’ education beyond the classroom,” Quesenberry continued. “Having an ACJA chapter at BSC cultivates additional opportunities for our students to gain ‘real world’ learning, sort of like a living laboratory, where they can be a part of experiences from corrections to the courtroom, law enforcement, and social work.”
BSC Criminal Justice Associate Professor Anthony Rasnick added, “The American Criminal Justice Association membership will allow students at Bluefield state the opportunity to network, learn with and from criminal justice professionals and students from across the United States. I can’t begin to emphasize how important building these relationships are for the future success of our students.”