College of Business and Public Management
Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Mary Brewster, Ph.D., Department Chair
The Department of Criminal Justice at West Chester University has been serving the criminal justice community since 1974. As one of the first academic criminal justice programs on the East Coast, the department has been and remains on the cutting edge of the discipline. It continues to grow, evolve, and keep pace with the developments and advancements in the field. West Chester University's Department of Criminal Justice provides an excellent education for both new criminal justice students and seasoned professionals.
The study of criminal justice continues to be a popular choice for both undergraduate and graduate students. Some students are attracted to the problems and challenges of a rapidly changing field. Others are looking to increase their knowledge base to advance in their chosen professions. The criminal justice degree provides career-oriented individuals the opportunity to obtain employment and/or career advancement positions in a number of public and private agencies, including crime victims' centers, law offices, child welfare agencies, juvenile delinquency centers, offices of the district attorney and/or public defender, probation and parole offices, correctional facilities, and law enforcement agencies.
DECEMBER 13th: Graduate Commencement
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Hollinger Field House
DECEMBER 15th: Undergraduate Commencement
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Hollinger Field House
Neal Kokatay graduated from West Chester University with his B.S. in Criminal Justice in 2014 and a M.S. in Criminal Justice in 2016. He was hired by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) in June 2016 and appointed to the position of Parole Agent I. He graduated as the valedictorian of the 126th basic training academy and was assigned to the West Philadelphia sub-office. In 2017, he was promoted to Parole Agent II. As a parole agent, Neal was required to balance the unique roles of social worker, counselor and law enforcement officer. His duties included, but were not limited to, counseling offenders, coordinating efforts with treatment/service providers, and enforcing the board imposed conditions and criminal law to protect public safety. He attained the rating of commendable on both of his performance evaluations. Read More
“West Chester University's Criminal Justice Department gave me the skills and confidence I needed in order to perform as a Police Officer. The courses, practicum, professors and staff were each an integral part of the preparation I needed to help me gain full time employment in the criminal justice field.” - Officer Nathan P. Kutz, Badge #8306, Ocean City Police Department, Maryland
"The West Chester University Criminal Justice Department delivers an uncompromising level of excellence and dedication, providing students with the edge needed to compete in today's difficult job market." - Paul Iffrig (Class of 2013) and President of the Criminal Justice Club
Brandon Oyama (2014) transferred to WCU from Green River Community College in Washington State and was a member of the Men's Tennis Team. He completed his practicum with Pierce County Juvenile Court in his home state. Brandon states, "WCU was a good choice for me. The faculty are helpful, the courses are interesting and relevant to my future occupation."
Frank Pawlowski is a 1976 graduate of West Chester University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. He enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police on June 22, 1978. Following Academy graduation, he was assigned as a Trooper to the Troop J, Embreeville Station in Chester County. As he progressed through the ranks he also served at the Avondale and Lancaster Stations, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Bureau of Professional Responsibility. Read More
Daniel J. DeSimone graduated summa cum laude from West Chester University with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice in 1986. His Criminal Justice practicum at a Fortune 500 company provided him key private sector experience, which when combined with his five years' service in the United States Air Force, served as the foundation for his selection as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Dan served faithfully for 23 years as an FBI Special Agent, holding various positions of increased responsibility in his six different field and headquarters FBI assignments, most notably as the FBI's Chief of Undercover & Sensitive Operations. Following his FBI career, Dan was appointed as Senior Director of Investigative Resources at Thomson Reuters, where he serves as the company's chief interface with law enforcement agencies across the United States and members of the corporate security ranks. For his career in public service and his actions in private life, Dan was awarded Vatican knighthood by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011. In 2014, Dan attended West Chester University's Criminal Justice 40th anniversary campus event.
"I began working for the Ocean City Police as my internship while at West Chester University and that has become my career. WCU prepared me for a career in law enforcement by having Criminal Justice Practitioners that could offer real world practical examples that helped emphasize their teaching points." - Corporal Vance Row, Ocean City Police Department
Attorney Jennifer R. Sletvold graduated summa cum laude from West Chester University with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1994. She then went on to the Dickinson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 1997. She served for two years as a law clear to now Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. She has since been in private practice representing businesses, employers and individuals with a wide variety of legal matters in state and federal court. She is also an adjunct professor at Northampton Community College, teaching Contracts Law, Business Law I and II, and Law for Emergency Services. She lives in Bethlehem Township with her husband, United States Army veteran and attorney Robert E. Sletvold and their two young sons. She is currently running for Judge of the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas. In reference to her undergraduate education, Jennifer Sletvold states, “my experiences as a criminal justice major at WCU gave me the tools I needed to become a lawyer and college professor. I was well prepared academically and practically thanks to the excellence of the criminal justice department."
Robert and Stephanie were dating when they enrolled into West Chester University's Criminal Justice Graduate Program. Robert was in his second year as a deputy sheriff and Stephanie was in her second year as a probation and parole officer. They initially chose West Chester's program because it offered the necessary flexibility for their busy schedules. West Chester University provided a variety of evening course available each semester. Along with the convenience of scheduling, West Chester University provided a highly qualified, highly experienced, and highly varied faculty to teach the courses. The Graduate Program in Criminal Justice wasn't simply about teaching an advanced curriculum in criminal justice. It was about preparing criminal justice professionals. It was about improving the research, writing, and communication skills of the students. It was about developing a professional network of experts and forming life-long relationships. Stephanie and Robert both have based their own teaching philosophies on the foundations provided by the faculty and administration of West Chester University's Graduate Program in Criminal Justice. Read More
Tyree C. Blocker, the current Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner, is a 1986 graduate of our Master's program. Commissioner Blocker started his criminal justice career with the Pennsylvania State Police in 1975 as a trooper, working in patrol, criminal investigations, staff services and organized crime with Troops J, T, K, and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations. He worked his way up through the ranks during his 30 year career and retired in 2005 with the rank of major. Over the course of his career, he supervised the administrative operations of 3 Troops, in 13 locations and 750 Troopers in 10 counties, including Philadelphia.