12 Apr 2018
The first full cohort of students to graduate from USC’s Bachelor of Criminology and Justice will have their moment in the spotlight at 9am on Friday 13 April.
Fifteen students will graduate, with many to attend the ceremony at Matthew Flinders College Performance Centre.
Lecturer Dr Nadine McKillop said the students, especially those who have completed the program’s professional placement course, were in high demand with employers.
“Some have been employed by Caboolture and Sunshine Coast/North Coast Youth Justice Centres, Caloundra Court House, Maryborough Correctional Centre and Probation and Parole at Maroochydore and Gympie, with others heading for jobs interstate,” Dr McKillop said.
“And though this is the first batch of placements, all of those employers have agreed to supervise students again this year as they were all very impressed with the students’ level of understanding of policies and frameworks and their ability to apply that theory very quickly to practice.”
“We have faced a huge challenge competing with larger universities for placements, but we have been focused on building and maintaining good relationships with placement partners and are finding that local employers are really keen to take local graduates, which is very promising for the region.”
She said other students on the placement course, not yet due to graduate, had also secured jobs. Other students have been inspired by their placement experience to further develop their skills and are now undertaking post-graduate study at USC.
Program Coordinator Professor Tim Prenzler said the Criminology and Justice program was introduced in 2015 anticipating interest in criminology on the Sunshine Coast and nearby regions.
“It’s been a big success, and our enrolments have been very strong for a regional location,” Professor Prenzler said.
“We now have just over 500 students at the Sippy Downs campus, with many of them doing double degrees combining criminology with law, psychology and social work.
“Now that we have a critical mass of students, we’d like to expand these dual offerings to include information technology because there are now a lot of jobs in combatting cybercrime.”
“We are also hoping to open new employment-focused electives in areas like child safety, customs and border protection, and counter-terrorism.”
The cohort’s graduation will be one of 11 USC graduation ceremonies from April 11-13 that will see 1,700 students graduate before expected crowds of almost 6,000 people.
- Janelle Kirkland