Students in Lone Star College-Montgomery’s Crime Scene Investigation class (CRIJ 2314) took part in an unconventional final this semester when they worked together to professionally process a mock crime scene. In this case, it was a holiday party gone badly.
Adorned in white lab coats, plastic gloves, and face masks, the team of 12 students scanned the lecture-lab-turned-crime-scene for evidence, neutralized threats, took photos and made sketches, completed impression casting and latent finger print processing, performed fake firearms analyses, and more—similar to how professionals might process a crime scene in the field.
“It’s a practical exam allowing them to apply what they’ve learned in class this semester, which is a step-by-step method for processing crime scenes,” said Mechelle Branch, a criminal justice faculty member at LSC-Montgomery. Branch has more than 13 years of experience with county-level law enforcement, the Department of Public Safety, and the FBI.
“I teach the same way I was taught so students learn to perform under all conditions,” said Branch. “It’s a strong marriage of academia and practical application. Students seem to enjoy it, and when students leave my class, they’re equipped to apply at departments as crime scene analysts.”
LSC-Montgomery offers a field of study associate degree in criminal justice that prepares students for a career in the criminal justice field including in areas such as police, parole, probation, corrections, and juvenile offender programs. The field of study curriculum is designed to satisfy the lower division requirements for a bachelor's degree at four-year colleges in the state of Texas. All criminal justice classes at LSC-Montgomery are fully transferable to any criminal justice program in Texas or as electives to most other university programs.
LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call 936.273.7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery .
With 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit www.lonestar.edu.