Friday, May 2, 2014

Integrating Crime Victims' Issues into University and College Curricula

On May 1, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) announced the release of "Integrating Crime Victims' Issues into College and University Curricula," a series of multidisciplinary educational model materials designed to broaden college and university students' exposure to and awareness of criminal victimization and its impact on victims and teach them about helpful responses when encountering victims. This free online resource (available at: consists of curriculum kits and teaching materials, including class exercises and sample assignments; a faculty involvement guide with steps for creating a supportive learning environment for students and responding to student experiences with victimization; and templates of internship agreements to increase undergraduate and graduate student placements in victim services. The overall goal of the curriculum is to provide comprehensive and quality education and training materials to educate future victim service providers and allied professionals by integrating victims' issues into the Nation's educational system and to professionalize the field of victim services.

The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University is ahead of the curve in several respects. Victimology is a required course for our undergraduate criminal justice majors, recognizing that individuals working in all areas of the criminal justice system interact regularly with victims and should have some understanding of victimization and related issues. SHSU is also one of very few universities to have a specific undergraduate degree in Victim Studies, as well as a master's degree program designed for victim service professionals (MS Victim Services Management online). You can find more information about SHSU's Victim Studies/Services programs at

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