Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Writing and Arithmetic

Last night I was invited to the ITT Technical Institute Program Advisory Committee meeting, sitting with advisors and the program chairman for their School of Criminal Justice. It was an interesting experience. There were representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, Cook County Probation, and a private security company at our table for the discussion.

While the chairperson did discuss the program as it is and what sets it apart from other criminal justice programs, the bulk of the information being sought may be surprising: stuff regarding writing and math skills. I have said it before (somewhere in this blog) and in response to questions of what an investigator needs to work in our field (the Coroner business), communication skills (written and verbal) and at least some basic math skills are of critical importance.

The chairperson was looking for ways to “test” writing skills and input into how math is used in our fields as a tool in teaching math skills. Hopefully we gave him at least some usable stuff to pass on to the instructors. It is great to see that that is a focus of his program. While it isn’t as glamorous as the stuff you see on TV, the ability to write (communicate) and do relatively common math “problems” is critical to working effectively in the Coroner’s business, criminal justice, and, quite frankly, just about any walk of life.

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