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This introductory program is a CTE (Career Technical Education) learning pathway that supports career and college readiness. The course follows the Arizona Law and Public Safety curriculum and offers 1 vocational/art credit at most AZ colleges and universities in AZ. The study of crime scene investigation involves forensic science subjects like fingerprinting, toxicology, trace evidence, death scene investigation and questioned documents. Students work in teams when learning to process “mock crime scenes.”
Ms. Shari Anton, M.E.d., has been a teacher for close to 25 years. She graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Sociology/Criminology. Ms. Anton received her master's in secondary education at the University of Phoenix. Prior to teaching she worked as a Diversion Court intake officer, Battered Women’s Safe House counselor, Child protective Specialist, and a Deputy Sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s department in California. Currently, Ms. Anton is a CTE STEM teacher at SMHS in PVSchools. She teaches Criminal Law, Law and Public Safety, and World History. She also teaches a summer course at Gateway Community College in forensics and other science disciplines. Her career background and teaching experience led her to develop, train and mentor the PVSchools North Valley Police Cadets. This program is open to all high school students within our district. Ms. Anton has many former students who are now working as police officers, forensic science technicians, criminal justice employees, military MPs, and in corrections. She encourages her forensic science/CSI students and the police cadets to use learned skills and to successfully perform “mock” crime scene practicums, as well as compete in law enforcement and crime scene investigation competitions.
Students learn a variety of skills that benefit them in the long run: effective oral and written communication; quick thinking; ability to form solutions; problem solving; and the ability to lead others. Students learn how to work collaboratively – a skill necessary in both collegiate and professional environments – as well as technical and life skills:
Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation 1-2: Meets Vocational requirement at most AZ colleges/universities.
Semester 1 - Students analyze and discuss the history of forensics and CSI. They establish teams and roles so that they may learn to work as a unit throughout the year on projects and when conducting labs and performance assessments. Students are introduced to the CSI process and are taught how the process operates so that they can successfully complete a practicum processing a “mock crime scene”. They spend hours and hours learning the steps, legal ramifications and reasoning for always being thorough and never cutting corners. Students learn about the many different areas of Forensic science and perform labs such as fingerprinting, drug testing, trace evidence collection, blood spatter, death scene investigation, autopsy, decomposition and question documents. Students may attend a field trip, as they arise, to support instruction. There are many professional guest speakers who work in the criminal justice system and or field of forensics. The course demands maturity, and a serious interest in CSI and the CJS. It is not an elective for anyone who is not a serious student, interested in CSI or has little respect for law enforcement.
This college-curriculum course focuses on the Criminal Justice System - Policing, Adjudication and Corrections. Students analyze crime scene investigative procedures as they relate to our personal civil rights. The study of specialized governmental services, the functions and rules for criminal and civil court procedures, “mock trial”, sentencing guidelines, UCR/Victim’s Rights Survey Data and trends, forensic reporting, forensic analysis in coordination with private security and the correctional system, effective communication skills (expert testimony), occupational hazards, the mental and physical health of 1st responder, AZ penal codes; criminal intent, law enforcement duties and forensic steps and techniques in response to crime/arson/fire and explosion investigations.
Typical Week Case analysis, direct instruction, class discussion, Labs, Field trips, Expert Guest Speakers, Mock trial, Superior Court felony trial viewing, correctional system examination, Serial criminal case research, documentation, presentation, and “real time current events” examination and discussion.