– Ivan Santiago, Class of 2015
MS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Criminal Behavior
Things aren’t always what they seem. For our society to be better, we must understand its people. You can develop expertise in the psychological causes of crime with classes that focus on trends and major crime problems and statistics, the nature and causes of crime, justice agencies and personnel, and the changing features of the American legal system and criminal justice agency management. Our grads have gone on to become behavioral health specialists, mental health workers, and social services managers.
Graduate Program Tabs
Bringing The Real World Into The Classroom: The MS, Criminal Behavior Concentration
Tiffin University’s Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice (MS), with a concentration in Criminal Behavior, is an outstanding example of how the real world meets the classroom experience. Our faculty members have all been working professionals in the field, and our students are also working professionals, which provides for an exciting dialogue and a dynamic education filled with connections. This is as real as it gets!
What Is TU’s MS in Criminal Justice?
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS) is a professional practical degree program that attracts skilled managers, agents and clinicians from many components of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. Combined with the faculty who direct and facilitate the educational experiences in the MS program, the school's talented and multifaceted students complete the mixture and create an intellectual synergy that’s found in very few graduate programs.
Our faculty bring years of executive, operations-level, clinical, academic and research experience in criminal justice to the graduate learning process in a way that sparks debate, fosters insight and elicits innovation. Joint student-faculty collaboration on learning projects is a common occurrence.
The Criminal Behavior Concentration
The Criminal Behavior Concentration is designed for students interested in examining the relationship between Psychology and the Criminal Justice system. Students will develop an understanding in crisis intervention, counseling, psychopathology, personality assessment and research methods. The Criminal Behavior concentration is offered in the three-semester format and is only available online.
Note: The ability to practice as a professional psychologist or as a professional mental health counselor—is highly regulated in all states. TU programs (with the exception of the on-campus Addictions Counseling program) do not directly prepare one for practice as a counselor, psychotherapist, or psychologist.
Criminal Behavior Concentration 30 hours
- JUS510 Contemporary Criminal Justice: Issues and Trends
- JUS515 Research Design and Analysis
- JUS520 Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice
- JUS525 Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
- JUS630, 631, 632 Pro-seminar (1 credit each)
- PSY512 Introduction to Forensic Psychology
- PSY548 Mental Health Law
- PSY552 Criminogenic Psychopathology
- PSY615 Drug Abuse and Society
- PSY626 Advanced Psych Assessment Theory
- PSY636 Cultural Competence in Professional Practice
Total MS 33 hours
This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.
Online - Offered in two 7-week terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October
Contemporary Criminal Justice: Issues and Trends (JUS510) - Provides a contemporary overview of the criminal justice system with a focus on current trends, major crime problems and statistics, crime control issues, the nature and causes of crime, justice agencies and personnel, key decision-making by justice agents and the changing features of the American legal system and criminal justice agency management which impact the quality of service to community residents.
Research Design and Analysis (JUS515) - Examines various research design models applied to the study of crime and agency administration issues. The course concludes a discussion of the philosophy of scientific inquiry, the discovery and conceptualization of research questions (descriptive, relational, and casual), the operalization of project concepts and variables, conduct of the study, data analysis, formulating conclusions and generalization of findings. This course will allow students to analyze various research designs such as historical, legal, action, quasi-experimental, experimental, content analysis, polling, meta-analysis, data mining, citation analysis, policy analysis, investigative reporting, action research, comparative method, observer, participant-observer, micro history, ethnography, oral history, symbolism, photographic analysis, geographic information systems, program evaluation, evaluation, survey research and other designs and methods. Students will also read and practice policy decisions from report research.
Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice (JUS520) - Explores and applies practical statistical methods to the relevant work of criminal justice agents, managers and executives. The course will focus on statistical methods to prepare students to be intelligent consumers of reported research, to apply appropriate statistical analysis to various types of research designs, to report criminal justice agency performance results and to identify and use various criminal justice statistical data sources in print and electronic form.
Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice (JUS525) - The course examines ethical systems/models and their application to the multitude of criminal procedure, ethical, and civil liability issues in criminal justice such as substantive/procedural justice, legal paternalism, moral paternalism, punishment of the mentally ill/juveniles/white collar criminals, authority, power, discretion, duty, discrimination, gratuities, on-duty use of drugs/alcohol, graft, sexual harassment, excessive/deadly force, undercover work, media, investigation/interrogation, loyalty/whistle-blowing, professionalism and corruption.
Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice I (JUS630) - The Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice is designed to provide graduate students in criminal justice the opportunity to hear, interact with and critique the ideas of major executives, managers, leaders, and scholars in criminology, law and criminal justice. Presentations of two featured speakers will be done primarily online or in-person at designated locations. Students are required to critique the ideas and commentary of leaders in criminology, law, criminal justice and/or related fields.
Jonathan Appel, Ph.D.
Dr. Jonathan Appel has worked in the field of behavioral health for almost three decades. He has worked with individuals, groups, families, and organizations as a counselor, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, director of behavioral health services, consultant, researcher, department chair, and educator. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, within the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at Tiffin University.
Dr. Appel studied Media and Communications at Cleveland State University and did some work in college Radio at WCSB (Cleveland State University) and WKSR (Kent State University) and has since dabbled in internet radio.
Dr. Appel received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kent State University, a Master’s Degree in Community-Clinical Counseling from Kent State University, a second Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice/Homeland Security Administration (Tiffin University), and a Ph.D. in Counseling (sub-specializing both in Marriage and Family Therapy and Organizational Psychology) from The University of Akron. He also has received a Graduate Certificate degree from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
Dr. Appel is a Diplomate in Psychotherapy and is a Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Career Counselor, an Approved Clinical Supervisor, as well as an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Professional. He has also received training as Certified Red Cross Mental Health Disaster Worker and a Behavioral Health Disaster Responder to State Disaster, Emergency and Terrorist Events. He is certified in the Psychology of Terrorists by the American Psychotherapy Association.
Dr. Appel is also currently licensed as an Independent Marriage and Family Therapist, a Supervising Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor, a Supervising Professional Clinical Counselor, and had been licensed as a Social Worker.
Dr. Appel has worked with a diverse range of populations/problems which include persons diagnosed with developmental disabilities, severe mental illness, and substance use disorders. He has designed, managed, and worked in clinical programs that have included services for the severe mentally ill, child, couple, and family therapy interventions, substance abuse assessment and treatment, dual diagnosis, forensic treatment, NGRIs (not guilty by reason of insanity), sex offenders, court-ordered mental health, addiction, anger management /violence prevention services, career counseling, community crisis/trauma response team interventions, and employee assistance program (EAP) services. He also has assisted in training police officers as part of Community Involvement Training (CIT) -- a joint mental health and criminal justice practice initiative. He has also provided counseling and psychotherapy in a private practice setting.
Dr. Appel’s professional memberships have included the American Psychological Association, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), the International Association of Addiction and Offender Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Forensic Counselors, the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, as well as a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. He also has been an executive board member of the National Organization for Human Services, serving as its Education Chair.
Dr. Appel has presented papers and training sessions regionally, nationally, and internationally in such topics as workplace violence, family violence, mindfulness, substance abuse & mental illness, the psychology of terrorism, and Therapeutic Jurisprudence.
He has also taught at The University of Akron, Old Dominion University (Virginia), and as part of a faculty exchange program at The University of Kitakyushu in Kitakyushu, Japan. He has done research and/or applied work with organizations around stress, trauma/violence in the workplace, family violence, employee burnout, issues related to family-work balance, and the applications of “mindfulness” to psychotherapy.
Dr. Appel also has co-authored a training curriculum in Domestic Violence for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is currently on the editorial board for the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, and is a peer reviewer for the Family Relations Journal and the Open Social Sciences Journal. He has been published in such peer-reviewed publications as the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, the Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, and the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. He has also co-authored numerous book chapters. His research, scholarship, and presentations have included such topics as Therapeutic Jurisprudence, family violence, workplace violence, the mentally ill offender, the psychology of terrorism, the psychology of religion, personality development, creativity, cultural competency, and international issues in behavioral health.
Dr. Appel has done extensive travel and research in Asia.
For his undergraduate, Steven went to Lake Erie College, a small private liberal arts institution where he obtained his BS in psychology. After that, he received his masters degree from Bowling Green State University with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience. Once grad school was over, Steven went to work in the Lab of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience in Boston University School of Medicine where his focus was on autism research. Everything changed once he had the opportunity to teach a few classes for Bay State College and loved it. His journey then took him to Anne Arundel Community College as a full time faculty member in psychology. After four years at AACC, Steven came across a new venture in learning at Tiffin University that he could not pass up.
Steven's philosophy is that he and his students are on an educational journey together. He's there to be their guide and to provide them with the tools they require to get where they need to be. He does take his classroom and the learning environment it provides very seriously and wants to create a space to give everyone the opportunity to grow. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline but the rewards are great.
Elizabeth Athaide-Victor, Ph.D.
Dr. Victor began her career with a plan to consistently combine academics and applied service because she truly believes that one cannot teach without "doing". As a result, she has been able to monitor both the extension of her field in academia, as well as its application in the real world. She feels this best enables her to educate her students, and prepare them for the challenges they will encounter in their careers. During all levels of her own education, Dr. Victor has worked in the field.
Born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts, in the late 1970s she started working for the Department of Youth Services (DYS) for the States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. After leaving DYS, she worked in Boston for a suicide prevention center. During college, both undergraduate and graduate, Dr. Athaide-Victor also worked for a juvenile lock-up facility, a hunger-relief program, and volunteered in programs specializing in mental retardation, autism and in substance abuse rehabilitation programs.
As part of her pre-Doctoral program, Dr. Victor studied with Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg at Harvard University, doing research on moral reasoning and attribution of responsibility. Dr. Victor also worked for several years at a Sleep Disorders Center, a Community Mental Health Center, and a Sexual Disorders Center, all located in Toledo.
Dr. Victor joined the faculty of Tiffin University in 1989. She has conducted abundant research on jury behavior, jury cognitive processing, child sexual abuse litigation, toxic tort litigation, juror competence, and juror bias. Dr. Victor was the first Dean of the School of Criminal Justice. She belongs to several professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the Association for Women in Psychology, the Association of Hispanic Psychologists, and the American Society of Criminology. She is a Board Certified Forensic Examiner.
Matthew Bereza, Ph.D.
Dr. Bereza is an Associate Professor of Psychology within the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. Before joining Tiffin University, Dr. Bereza worked with bilingual students and clients in Ohio and his native New York. He has several years of clinical experience working with Spanish-speaking populations both in and out of the helping professions. In addition, he has worked with area mental health agencies as a social worker, translator, emergency mental health therapist, and licensed counselor.
During his time at Ohio State, Dr. Bereza worked as a graduate assistant for the Office for Disability Services, where he counseled and assessed students with learning disabilities. In addition, he has worked for several years as a Psychologist's Assistant both in schools and clinics.
Dr. Bereza's teaching interests include honors psychology; Peace and Social Justice; Latin American Studies; abnormal psychology; social psychology; drugs and society; history and systems of psychology; qualitative research methods; professional practice and the writing process in psychology; and developmental psychology.
Currently, Dr. Bereza is conducting research on how psychology and nutrition intersect to promote community health. He is a proponent of innovative research methods such as collaboration with individuals from across the academy to present the scientific method as open to all students and community members. Presently, Bereza is working with a certified organic farm to study how Direct to Vendor routes influence positive community health, and has presented these data nationally and internationally. In addition, Dr. Bereza actively researches and studies in Latin America, bringing first-hand data from the field to the Tiffin community.
On campus, you can find Dr. Bereza working as faculty advisor to the Latin American Student Organization; chairing the University's Green Committee; taking part in the University Curriculum Committee; and assisting on the Institutional Review Board for research and ethics at Tiffin University. When not working he enjoys music, volleyball, baking, and riding his bike.
Steven Hurwitz, Ph.D.
Dr. Steven Hurwitz is originally from New York and grew up on Long Island. He earned a Bachelors in Psychology from Queens College and, after a two-year break working as a sportswriter, went to Syracuse University where he earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Social Psychology. Dr. Hurwitz began his professional career in 1982 as an instructor in the Syracuse University Inmate Higher Education Program at Auburn Correctional Facility. After two years in the program, he went to work at Hutchings Psychiatric Center conducting program evaluation research and developing computer applications for Quality Assurance Monitoring from 1984 through 1987.
Upon leaving Hutchings, Dr. Hurwitz joined the staff of the Psycholinguistics Research Corporation where, from 1987 through 1992, he conducted quantitative and qualitative research in forensic psycholinguistics. Most of this research focused on the analysis of threatening communications to determine demographic and psychological characteristics of the author as well as assessments of their potential for violence. This work was done for the FBI, Department of Energy, and other federal, state and local agencies. In 1989, Dr. Hurwitz again returned to Auburn Correctional Facility in an expanded role of instructor, tutor and academic counselor. He remained at Auburn until1993. Immediately prior to arriving at Tiffin University in 1994, he spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Oswego.
Since joining the faculty at Tiffin, Dr. Hurwitz has been actively involved in the local community. He has been involved with, and conducted projects for, such agencies as the Tiffin City Police Department, Seneca County Sheriff: Family and Children First Council, Seneca County Sexual Assault Coalition, Seneca County Domestic Violence Coalition and Tiffin City Schools. Dr. Hurwitz's research interests are varied and have included expert testimony, juror decision-making, media influences on social perceptions, police use of Tasers, social media, the psychological effects of terrorism, and perceptions of privacy. He has made presentations at regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Hurwitz likes getting students involved in many of these projects as well as mentoring them to conduct their own, original research. Among his many roles on campus, Dr. Hurwitz serves as the Campus Liaison for The Washington Center Internship Program. He was recognized by The Washington Center as the 2012 Liaison of the Year.
Erin P. Dean, Ph.D.
Prior to coming to Tiffin University in 2006, Dr. Dean taught courses for Bowling Green State University and Kent State University. In addition to her teaching experience, she served as the Project Director at Kent State University (KSU) for a $3.5 million dollar National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) HIV prevention program for inner-city women grant. Dr. Dean is also a supervising licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC-S) in the state of Ohio. Over the past 16 years, she has had a variety of community mental health experiences including work with couples, families, and children at Family Solutions in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS at AIDS Holistic Services in Akron, Ohio, and with clients with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) at Harbor Behavioral Healthcare in Toledo, Ohio. In addition to being full time faculty at Tiffin University, Dr. Dean continues to see clients one evening per week in her community.
Her research interests and areas of specialization include HIV/AIDS, sexuality and gender issues, and working with clients with a dual diagnosis. She has served as a reviewer on a Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia to evaluate the scientific merit of grant proposals received in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for community based HIV prevention programs and as a reviewer for proposals submitted for presentation at the American counseling Association (ACA) annual conference.
Her passion for clinical work, ensuring that clients receive the highest level of care, and her desire to mentor students, are the driving forces behind her decision to transition into the academic community. In her decade at TU, she has served as the first Director of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the faculty advisor to SPECTRUM, as a faculty sport sponsor to the women's soccer team, as the chair of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment Committee, as a member on various other university committees, and currently, as the department chair for the seated undergraduate social and behavioral sciences department. Above all else, she enjoys her role as a counselor educator and helping to train ethical and competent future addictions counselors.