RCBC Criminal Justice Program Brings Real-World Experiences to the Classroom
Wednesday, Feb 07, 2024

The Criminal Justice program at Rowan College at Burlington County blends professional law enforcement experience, the compassion of social services and classroom theory to give students a thorough understanding of the scenarios they will face in their future careers.

One example occurs in the Police Operations Class, where students are assigned a project to volunteer either at the Ladle of Love Food Pantry or local narcotics and alcoholics anonymous meetings. This experience teaches them how to deal with non-emergency situations while gaining real-life experience, helping establish a foundation of collaboration with community members and removing assumptions and preconceived notions. 

One RCBC student, Nick Binik, reflected on the experience, “What surprised me the most about the experience was that the demographic and the number of people that came were different from what I expected. I saw many young couples with their kids with what I assume were both spouses. I was not expecting to see young couples with lots of kids and having two parental figures present in their lives. I felt proud to know I made a difference in many lives, even though it was just a short time.”

Before joining RCBC, Assistant Professor Dr. Amber Ciccanti worked in various industries, performing private investigation, dispatch, police and detective work. Her practical experience gives RCBC students a unique advantage, as they are taught by someone who categorically understands the real-world scenarios they may encounter in their future careers. 

Ciccanti ensures that RCBC students have practical, hands-on experiences and utilizes her industry connections to increase the probability of students graduating with bona fide internships or job opportunities.

Ciccanti's biggest advice is, “Utilize the opportunities and resources the department and the college offer. We hold Law Enforcement Career Day each year and then smaller meet and greets throughout the semester. Last year, five students were selected and hired by different agencies because of those experiences. But you’ll miss these opportunities if you don’t show up.” 

Interested in learning more about the RCBC Criminal Justice Program? Visit rcbc.edu/criminal-justice/associate-science.