Forensic Science Program Featured in College of Science Newsletter
When you walk through the front door of the house at 110 University Drive, on EKU’s main campus, you find a scene in the upstairs bedroom that may take your breath away. A victim lies on the floor with a plastic bag over his head and appears to be deceased. Clearly you have walked into a crime scene. Fortunately, it is only a mock crime scene.
If you are one of over 170 Forensic Science majors in EKU’s Forensic Science program, you will walk into one of several crime scenes staged by the program’s faculty as part of the Forensic Science Capstone course (FOR 499).
Next, the students analyze the evidence in EKU’s state-of-the-art forensic laboratories located in the university’s new science building. According to Dr. Wilson, “The students design analysis schemes and analyze the evidence using what they have learned in their foundational courses.”
The capstone experience concludes with mock expert witness testimony in front of the forensic faculty in the program’s expert witness room. The experience, Dr. Wilson added, “Is just one example of the practical, hands-on experiential learning that is the hallmark of EKU’s forensic program. Faculty evaluate student’s performance in the capstone experience to ensure the students meet the broad learning objectives of the program.”
The forensic science program, housed in the Department of Chemistry, is one of the largest programs in the College of Science. The program includes a large number of out-of-state students, 75% of whom are female. The Bachelor of Science degree offers two concentrations. The forensic chemistry concentration provides a strong foundation in chemistry and laboratory techniques and prepares students for a career in crime labs in both the public and private sector. The forensic biology concentration offers a strong core academic curriculum in chemistry, but also offers a sound background in the biological sciences, making it the perfect concentration for those interested in DNA and biology work.
Students in the program have the option of living with their peers in a Living and Learning Community for forensic science majors. This arrangement promotes a community of individuals with similar interests, provides an environment for students to build relationships with their peers, and develops their interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Forensic-oriented events are held every month in order to engage students in the field of forensic science. Events are academic and social in nature, including forensic movie nights, tours of the forensic facilities in Frankfort, and events held at the EKU Crime Scene House.
Students are also encouraged to attend the “Sherlock” lecture series. This series invites alumni to present lectures, meet with our current forensic science students, and discuss what life as a forensic scientist is about.
Graduates of the program continue on to graduate school or find employment across the country in both the public and private sectors.
The Forensic Science program is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) and EKU students are featured prominently on the website http://www.fepac-edu.org.
This article first appeared in the February 2017 College of Science Newsletter.
Published on February 05, 2017