The program is available to full-time county juvenile probation officers in Pennsylvania who graduated from an accredited college or university with at least 18 credits in the behavioral or social sciences, and who have been, or will be, employed in the Juvenile Justice System for at least two years prior to admission. As space allows, county juvenile detention staff (and other juvenile justice professionals) may be admitted to the program upon the recommendation of the Juvenile Court Administrative Judge.
CONDITIONS OF ADMISSION
Students agree to attend the program continuously for two academic years, and to maintain their current employment status for the duration of the program and for at least two years after graduation. Students who fail to meet these conditions will be required to reimburse the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for all, or a portion of, tuition and boarding costs paid on their behalf.
There are two primary requirements for admission to the Graduate Education Program:
- Acceptance into the Shippensburg University School of Graduate Studies.
- Endorsement by the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission.
Applicants must meet all requirements of Shippensburg University’s School of Graduate Studies as defined in the current Graduate Catalog. Applicants should have a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice, or a closely-related social science field from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average of 2.75/4.00. Applicants who do not meet the minimum grade point average requirement must successfully take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and submit their scores as part of their application. The standard for successfully passing the GRE or MAT is at or above the 50th percentile.
Interested applicants must follow application procedures for both the Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research (CJJT&R) and Shippensburg University. The application process is facilitated online through Shippensburg University. For your reference, below is the list of required materials:
- A completed Graduate Education Program Application (see JCJC Website: www.jcjc.pa.gov or Admissions Application for the Shippensburg University, School of Graduate Studies).
- A letter of Interest for Endorsement and Admission to the Administration of Juvenile Justice JCJC Graduate Education Program and the Shippensburg University School of Graduate Studies. This letter should address the following issues: a) why you are a strong candidate for endorsement; b) any reasons why you may still be a strong candidate despite having an undergraduate GPA below 2.75/4.00; c) complete description of juvenile justice work experience; and, d) how you expect to use the graduate education experience to improve practices in the county from which application is made.
- The Recommendation Form is to be completed and signed by the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer in your county. (Note: Applicants who are employed at county-administered detention facilities will also need a letter of endorsement from both the detention center administrator and the county’s Juvenile Court Administrative Judge).
- A copy of your résumé.
- A copy of your undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts. Official transcripts are required.
- A copy of your official GRE/MAT scores (applicable only if your undergraduate GPA is below 2.75/4.00).
Since there are a limited number of positions available for each class, admission is on a competitive basis. The timeline for enrollment and the application process is as follows:
March: Application deadline each year to begin in the fall semester. Interested applicants must follow application procedures for both the CJJT&R and Shippensburg University as outlined above.
April: JCJC Endorsement Interviews at Shippensburg.
May: JCJC Endorsement; the Commission members endorse candidates at the May meeting. Prospective students receive Endorsement letters from CJJT&R and instructions for registering for classes.
August: Administration of Juvenile Justice JCJC Graduate Education Program Orientation and classes begin.
The Master of Science in Administration of Juvenile Justice (MAJJ) Program at Shippensburg University provides a quality graduate program that promotes advanced inquiry and application of new knowledge. One of the core values of Shippensburg University is to inspire and guide students to become successful leaders in their professions and their communities. The program aims to serve the juvenile justice educational and research needs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The emphasis of the program is scientific, because it is assumed that graduates will be better qualified to participate in the profession if they are prepared as research-oriented students of juvenile crime and delinquency.
Program faculty participate in research and service activities that benefit criminal and juvenile justice and social service agencies locally, statewide, and nationally. The faculty’s involvement in research and community affairs enhances the classroom experience, as faculty members are able to engage students in discussions of current dilemmas and controversies. In most of our coursework, juvenile crime and delinquency are viewed as social phenomena and are analyzed with methodologies developed in the social and behavioral sciences.
The program’s major strengths are its applied perspective and strong emphasis on theory, policy, research, and analysis. Philosophy, format, and implementation stress the practical application of a higher level of knowledge, skills, and strategies.
The curriculum is guided by the following assessment objectives which are evaluated on a yearly basis:
OBJECTIVE 1: Comprehensive Knowledge of Juvenile Justice: Students will understand more readily the operations of both the juvenile and criminal justice system and the many issues (both theoretical and practical) that confront the administration of justice in a democratic society.
OBJECTIVE 2: Critical Analysis: Students will understand more readily how to interpret, analyze, and evaluate issues of importance in the field of juvenile justice.
OBJECTIVE 3: Communication: Students will be able to more readily express their knowledge and critical analysis ability through both written work and oral presentation.
OBJECTIVE 4: Exposure to Human and Cultural Diversity: Faculty will expose students to the issues of diversity in the juvenile justice system and provide opportunities for students to participate in experiences that promote diversity.
OBJECTIVE 5: Exposure to Ethical Problem Solving: Faculty will expose students to the nature of ethics in general and the role of normative ethics in the juvenile justice system and provide opportunities for students to participate in juvenile justice-related situations (hypothetical or actual) that deal with ethical issues.
OBJECTIVE 6: Exposure to Technology: Faculty will expose students to the use of technology in the field of criminal justice in general and provide opportunities for students to participate in juvenile justice related situations that deal with technological issues.