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Criminalistics Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOS) and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOS)


PLO 1 Knowledge: Demonstrate a broad knowledge base and application of fundamental forensic science concepts, theories, and principles   

SLO 1.1: Identify major concepts and apply them to relevant categories of evidence

SLO 1.2: Demonstrate the legal context and constraints in evaluating forensic evidence

SLO 1.3: Demonstrate the integrated nature of the sub-disciplines within the forensic sciences      

SLO 1.4: Explain the scientific and empirical basis of forensic science investigative and analytical methods


PLO 2 Scientific Inquiry: Acquire technical and analytical skills for qualitative and quantitative reasoning applicable to scientific inquiry in the forensic sciences.                                             

SLO 2.1: Perform laboratory-based analyses using instrumentation and techniques appropriate to the forensic sub-discipline

SLO 2.2: Perform experiments using appropriate controls to demonstrate data validity and reliability 

SLO 2.3: Demonstrate the correct interpretation of appropriate forensic science evidence within a case context          

SLO 2.4: Apply recognized forensic standards in documenting and reporting laboratory data

SLO 2.5: Demonstrate the ability to reconstruct circumstantial evidence and recognize the associated limitations                        

SLO 2.6: Demonstrate the appropriate analytical approach when analyzing forensic samples      

SLO 2.7: Explain the implications of contextual bias in evidence analysis


PLO 3 Communication: Develop competence in oral and written forms of scientific communication, including testimony in an adversarial legal system and thesis writing                 

SLO 3.1: Critique peer-reviewed journal articles in a written report

SLO 3.2: Document scientific observations and reports that comply with forensic standards     

SLO 3.3: Create oral presentations appropriate for lay and scientific audiences


PLO 4 Reasoning: Draw appropriate scientific conclusions from evidence and experimental data

SLO 4.1: Critically evaluate current biological, chemical and physical knowledge and recognize the significance of the scientific process in problem-solving to develop a valid research approach

SLO 4.2 Determine and compose appropriate conclusions based on scientific evidence


PLO 5 Information Literacy: Demonstrate effective use of resources to promote scientific information literacy and lifelong learning strategies to prepare for professional forensic science careers    

SLO 5.1: Effectively utilize recognized scientific literature databases and distinguish primary and secondary sources

SLO 5.2: Recognize and correctly apply software tools and techniques to problem-solve technical instrumentation issues

SLO 5.3: Recognize and correctly integrate software tools to search databases for investigative and statistical interpretation


PLO 6 Awareness & Engagement:  Analyze how forensic science policy and practice is influenced by law, history, and contemporary politics in the local and national contexts and demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and professional responsibilities of a forensic scientist          

SLO 6.1: Describe the role of ethical issues inherent in the forensic sciences

SLO 6.2: Apply ethical standards to practical forensic science scenarios                         

SLO 6.3: Explain the relationship between quality assurance management and ethical standards and practices within the forensic sciences                         

SLO 6.4: Explain the role of forensic science in a social justice context          

SLO 6.5: Oriented in the professional values of a practicing forensic scientist                                     


PLO 7 Scholarly Inquiry: Create innovative responses to forensic science research, policy, and practice           

SLO 7.1: Analyze ethical issues in the context of human subject research

SLO 7.2: Explain the application and contribution of novel scientific knowledge to the resolution of justice  

SLO 7.3: Demonstrate integration of knowledge and skills through a capstone research project