Meredith College has named Bianca Harris the director of its new online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program, which will launch in Fall 2020.
Harris, who brings more than 20 years of professional experience in the criminal justice field, will coordinate the new graduate program. Her responsibilities will include teaching courses, recruiting students, and supervising an advisory board made up of top professionals in the field.
“Bianca Harris has extensive experience in the field of criminal justice management, having served as warden of North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women before moving into the position of district manager of the Division of Alcohol and Chemical Dependency unit of the state Department of Public Safety,” said Sarah Roth, dean of Meredith’s School of Arts and Humanities.
Harris’s specific areas of expertise are particularly suited for the Meredith program's emphasis on substance use, gender, and juvenile justice. She has strong connections with the private security industry, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and police and sheriff's offices throughout North Carolina.
“These connections will help our master's students gain internships and fieldwork placements in the area of their choice within the criminal justice field,” said Roth.
Harris holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master of Criminal Justice from Boston University. She also completed a graduate certificate in strategic management in criminal justice from Boston University.
The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice is a 36-hour online graduate program that also includes two certificate options. The program is flexible, allowing students to pursue the program at the pace that works best for them.
Graduate certificate options are the 18-credit hour Criminal Justice Graduate Certificate, for those interested in gaining more skills and knowledge to further their careers within the criminal justice sector, and the 12-credit hour Criminal Justice & Substance Use Disorder Certificate, which prepares criminal justice managers to more fully understand addiction and its effects on the field of criminal justice.
Meredith’s program is designed to provide both the academic knowledge and the practical skills criminal justice professionals need. Content courses will be taught by practitioners in the criminal justice field who have a solid research-based background and practical experience. The program will also include a focus on writing, an essential skill for the field of criminal justice, since a significant amount of policing involves writing reports and media messages, as well as keeping accurate, detailed, and clear field notes.
Meredith’s criminal justice programs are suitable for those who are already working in the field as well as those who are pursuing nontraditional pathways to careers in corrections and criminal justice.