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John Jay Wins U.S. Department of Education 5-Year Development Grant

Funding To Support Forensic Science and First-Year Experience Initiatives

October 5, 2010, New York, NY – John Jay College of Criminal Justice will receive an annual amount of $637,563 for the next five years under funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. John Jay was one of just six institutions, including five CUNY colleges, to win the competitive Title V grant. The funding will support both the College’s Forensic Science curriculum and its First Year Experience program.

According to Professor Anthony Carpi, interim Chair of the Department of Sciences and a Principal Investigator on the grant, “The federal money will be used to support the curricular development of lower-level courses within the Forensic Science major, such as biology and chemistry, as well as a non-major introductory course on science and society. The aim, he said, is to make these classes more “research-oriented and inquiry driven.” At the upper level, the grant will fund stipends for students engaged in undergraduate research, including those in John Jay’s Program for Research Initiatives for Science Majors (PRISM).

“Funding for the First Year Experience will be used to support the development of a comprehensive seminar program for incoming freshman,” according to First Year Experience Director Katalin Szur. “A curriculum supplement will be created that would include syllabi, teaching notes and other materials that new faculty who are considering teaching a seminar would have instant access to via a web site.”

“We would also like to develop a peer mentoring program for freshmen where First Year seminar courses would be supported by upper-class peers who would help with the transition and adjustment issues when freshmen arrive,” said Szur.

There is also some support within the grant for the Office of Undergraduate Research (O.U.R.). Headed by Professor Nathan Lents, a Department of Sciences faculty member and Senior Personnel on the grant, funding will provide non-science majors with travel stipends to professional conferences, just as it will for PRISM students and others in the Forensic Science program.

“The broader goal was really to take several of these core initiatives at the College – the First Year Experience, our undergraduate classes, PRISM and more broadly, O.U.R. – and move them more towards a research-focused curriculum,” said Carpi.

Other institutions that were awarded Title V grants include Bronx Community College; New York City Technical College; City College; La Guardia Community College; and Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.