- Course Number:
- CJA 215
- Course Title:
- Forensic Science and Criminalistics
- Credit Hours:
- Lecture Hours:
- Lecture/Lab Hours:
- Lab Hours:
- Special Fee:
Course DescriptionExplores how scientific principles help in crime detection and solution. Familiarizes students with analysis of fingerprints, DNA, body fluids, and other evidence that may be contained at a crime scene. Prerequisites: WR 121. Audit available.
Addendum to Course Description
This course provides a broad survey of forensic science applications in criminal investigations. Those areas of sciences that are applicable to crime scene investigations will be covered: geology, biology, chemistry, physics, serology.
Information will be provided on recognizing evidence, how evidence is classed by its value
(class vs. individual), how evidence is submitted to a crime lab to ensure its integrity, and what tests the evidence undergoes in the lab. Students will practice evidence recognition and processing skills, detail-oriented skills by observing and identifying evidence through magnifying glasses, public speaking skills by explaining their processes and results to others, and observation and writing skills by describing a mock death scene and evidence.
This course is designed primarily for those interested in criminal justice as a career and/or desire to learn more about the scientific investigative process. It is required for the Associate°s Degree in Criminal Justice at Portland Community College. Course work will include textbook reading, worksheets on the textbook reading, practical demonstration exercises, lecture/group discussions, videos, student presentations, guest speakers, instantaneous quizzes, and pre-announced multiple choice, true/false, and short essay examinations.
Intended Outcomes for the course
- Recognize and collect crime scene evidence
- Analyze evidence using scientific reasoning
- Properly sketch a crime scene
Outcome Assessment Strategies
Examinations, practical exercises.
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)
This course will address topics including, but not limited to:
- Definition and scope of Forensic Science
- History of Forensic Science
- Crime Lab Capabilities
- Crime Scene searching, analyzing, processing, sketching
- Legal considerations at crime scenes
- Definition of physical evidence
- Comparison and identification of physical evidence
- Class vs. individual evidence
- Metric measurement
- Glass, soil, hairs, fibers, and paint evidence
- Fingerprint evidence recognition, methods, and processing
- Ballistics, tool marks, shoe-sole impressions
- Blood evidence, DNA and other areas of Forensic Serology