Dr. Steven Wray can't help you learn to fire weapons, but if you're interested in working in law enforcement, he's your man for the other training you need. "If you graduate from our program with a B or C average," he says, "you'll be scoring right at the top of the entrance tests that police academies give. Written tests, not shooting."
The best part is, even though the first course in criminal justice is a junior-level offering, Wray offers a Crime Scene Investigation class … to freshmen.
"I use actual crime cases, with great photographs, from my [forensic] work in New York," he says, "and the students walk through things virtually, looking for clues left and right. They learn what it takes to conduct an investigation successfully."
Sociology plays a role, as well, he says, "Sociology is the place where data collection and analysis in criminal justice come from. Also, all police departments desperately want to hire people who can write that way, with training in sociology."
Wray says that at least six Averett graduates have gone on to the FBI. Some did basic police work first, then served as detectives and then went to the FBI. Another graduate was also in the aviation program and now is in the FBI, flying the Texas border. "We have a lot of aviation students — many in criminal justice want to fly, and we learned that the FBI thought it makes sense to hire agents who already knew how to fly. So we've put together that double major."
He adds that one recent female graduate did a double major, criminal justice and sociology, and she's now working with a federal crime program pursuing serial killers.
With his extensive background in crime investigation — and an irrepressibly wicked sense of humor — every Wray class will be interesting, no matter what your major is.
Post Graduate School of Medicine, forensic death investigation, New York University