Bergen Community College has received a $35,000 grant that allows the school to broaden its criminal justice program to include more humanities. Integrating the study of film, art, music and literature into the school’s existing criminal justice program will ultimately better prepare students to work with diverse communities as a law enforcement officer one day, college officials believe.
Richard Kuiters, criminal justice department chair, said, “We are taking and offering a humanistic approach to policing. The community wants highly aware law enforcement who have strong communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills.”
Kuiters, along with assistant professor of English Eileen Fitzgerald, worked to secure the funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to launch the classes during the summer semester.
“We are confident that this combination of integrated academic experiences and practical hands-on application will benefit our criminal justice students, and by extension, our criminal justice system and our society as a whole,” Fitzgerald, said.