Whether you’ve known you wanted to be a lawyer since the fifth grade or aren’t even sure where to start, McKendree University’s sociology/criminal justice degree program is broad enough to prepare you for a career in any number of desired fields. “Our program caters to students who are undecided about their career path,” said Dr. Neil Quisenberry, professor of sociology. “Once they start, we work with them individually to narrow it down, whatever their interest is. You don’t have to come in knowing exactly what you want to do yet.”
McKendree offers small class sizes and caring, experienced faculty who tailor your university experience to ensure your needs are met. “We can accommodate students so much easier than a larger school,” said Dr. Quisenberry. “I know my students by name and what they want to do. We know what classes and internships they need to get where they want to go, and we pass along those opportunities. That kind of thing doesn’t stop when they graduate.”
McKendree alumnae Sheree Davis is an assistant attorney general with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. She credits McKendree’s sociology/criminal justice program with providing her the resources she needed to prep for law school and ultimately her legal career. “Two of my professors at McKendree still support all of my endeavors, check in on me, and are always eager to speak on my behalf,” she said. “They taught me the importance of having a strong support system and having people in your life that really want to see you thrive. They helped me gain access to experiences and resources that have forever altered my life.”
McKendree has built a history of strong relationships with area law offices, police departments and social service facilities that seek out our students in particular for internships and jobs. From city law enforcement to the Illinois State Police to the US Marshals, our students have gained real world experience as interns on local, state and federal levels. McKendree professors also share opportunities with students based on their specific interests. For example, local police departments often call our faculty when they need student volunteers for simulations or tests, such as attempting liquor buys under 21 or taking part while SWAT officers practice clearing a building. Each of these experiences give McKendree students unique connections to professional organizations and roles that help guide their future.
According to alumnus Keith Jackson, an accident reconstructionist with the Collinsville Police Department and co-founder of the Metro East Crash Assistance Team, the internships he participated in and the analytical and research skills he developed at McKendree prepared him for his current job. “As a student, I interned with the Illinois State Police and St. Louis County Police and was invited to attend the Police Academy in St. Louis as a direct result,” he said. “My advice for interested students is to keep an open mind on where McKendree’s sociology/criminal justice program leads you and take advantage of the great internship program.”
Many of McKendree’s sociology/criminal justice students go on to become lawyers, police and probation officers, children and family service counselors, drug enforcement officials, and agents for the FBI or US Marshalls. No matter what area strikes your interest, you’ll gain the knowledge and experience to land a job in your perfect career field.
For more information, visit McKendree University's website: mckendree.edu