Assessment for Academic Programs
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The ACJS Assessment Committee developed this section of the website to provide ACJS members with information on Program Assessment. The section is divided into two parts.  The first part provides a wealth of resources regarding assessment. Although the information is not exhaustive, it is designed to give a good foundation for use at any stage in the assessment process. The second part is the ACJS Assessment Forum. The forum contains scholarly peer reviewed articles related to assessment of criminal justice programs.

The resources web pages were developed by members of the ACJS 2007-2008 Ad Hoc Committee on Assessment (Barbara Peat, chair; Doug Davenport, Kathy Johnson, and Pamela Tontodonato), with the assistance of Reid Toth who joined the new Standing Assessment Committee for 2008-2009. We welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement of these pages and submission of any resources you would like to contribute.  Please send all comments and contributions to

The material on assessment is divided into seven sections. To learn more, click on the link to each topic below.     

What is Assessment? What isn’t Assessment?

Why do Assessment? What are the benefits?

What to Assess

Developing Program Assessment Plans

Course-Embedded Assessment

ACJS Certification Standards and Assessment

Assessment Resources

How can I get involved with the ACJS Assessment Committee?  


ACJS ASSESSMENT FORUM:  The ACJS Assessment Forum is a collection of papers that focus on a variety of assessment topics. The goal of the ACJS Assessment Forum is to provide a space where academics can share their work related to assessment.  Of particular interest are papers that address the use of assessment techniques in criminal justice, criminology, and closely related programs.  The forum welcomes papers that reflect both national and international assessment efforts in academe. 

All manuscripts submitted to the Assessment Forum undergo a blind review process with review by two members of the Assessment Committee.  Authors could expect to go through a revise and resubmit process as decided by the Chair of the Assessment Committee who serves as the editor of the Assessment Forum.  When applicable, revised papers will be reviewed by the Assessment Committee Chair to ascertain adjustments in accordance with reviewer suggestions.  The decision about whether to post the manuscript to the Assessment Forum rests solely with the Chair of the Assessment Committee. 

It should be noted that although the Assessment Forum is not an established journal under the umbrella of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, manuscripts submitted to the Assessment Forum do undergo a review process (as discussed above).  Each author’s institution will need to decide how posted papers should be listed on the curriculum vitae’.  

Please direct all inquiries to Erin Orrick, Chair of the ACJS Assessment Committee (, and current editor of the Assessment Forum.

 "Developing Research & Thinking Skills through Active Learning and Assessment in Undergraduate Criminology Core" by Janine A. Bower, Keuka College. (posted January 2015)

 "Improving Attainment of Education Goals in the Introduction to Criminal Justice Course: A Comparison of Traditional and Computer-based Instructional" by Tammy L. Anderson and Kevin Ralston, University of Delaware. (posted July 2012)

 "Improving Student Outcomes by Instituting a Standards-Based Curriculum: Lessons Learned" by Jennifer Capps, Metropolitan State College of Denver and Michelle Emerson-Lewis, Kennesaw State University. (posted April 2011) 

 "“Fixin’ a Hot Mess”: Using Multiple Drafts and Rubrics to Improve Student Writing" by Emily Lenning, Fayetteville State University and Elizabeth Quinn, Fayetteville State University. (posted March 2011)

 "How Assessment Informs Teaching and Learning: A Case Study in Criminal Justice" by Brian J. Gorman, Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice, Towson University and Catherine J. Wynne, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, State University of New York: Suffolk County Community College. (posted February 2011)

"Bridging Formal and Informal Approaches to Increase Understanding and Decrease Anxiety in Research Methods Courses" by Jennifer C. Gibbs, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland, College Park and Amanda J. McIntosh, Montgomery College. (posted December 2010)

"What Are We Assessing? Program Goals Assessment and Senior Assignment Projects in Criminal Justice" by Trish Oberweis and Erin Heil, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. (posted May 2010)

"Lessons Learned: One Criminal Justice Program’s Steps (and Missteps) for Developing an Assessment Program" by Christine Tartaro and Marissa P. Levy, Criminal Justice Program, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. (posted May 2010)

"Toward Enhanced Criminal Justice Employability: Linking Internships, Curriculum Content and Assessment" by Mary Ann Eastep and Ross Wolf, Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, University of Central Florida. (posted May 2010)

“Decoding the Complexities of Assessment Strategies in Criminal Justice Education” by Diana Bruns, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Savannah State University and Jeff Bruns, Division of Business, Bacone College. (posted September 2009)

“Using a Self-Report Survey to Understand How Undergraduate Criminal Justice Students Approach Their Education” by Michael P. Brown and Gregory B. Morrison, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Ball State University. (posted August 2009)

“Assessing Activity-Based Learning in Criminal Law:  A New Model and Novel Game Based on Metacognitive Theory” by Katherine Pang, Department of Social Sciences, University of Texas at Tyler. (posted August 2009)