INA, Ill. (April 11, 2014) – An innovative new certificate for Information Technology and Criminal Justice students at Rend Lake College will begin enrolling this fall. Cyber Forensics is a 24-credit hour occupational certificate through the Applied Science and Technology Division that prepares students to work in the criminal justice field dealing with cybercrime.
The new curriculum blends the areas of computer technician with criminal investigator. Students will be taught the legal and technical limits of a forensic search of a digital system. State-of-the-art software enables students to retrieve information from personal computers, cell phones, tablets, and many other kinds of electronic devices.
Prerequisites for the certificate will be offered this summer for those looking to enroll in the fall. The two courses, Introduction to Computers (CSCI 1101) and Hardware and Operating Systems (CNS 1212), will help get Criminal Justice students and Information Technology students on the same page.
“Intro to Computers is a class that’s already in existence, and nearly everyone on campus has to take it,” said Chris Nielsen, Dean of Applied Science. “Hardware and Operating Systems is really important for anybody who is going to be dealing with computers, because you’ll have to deal with the operating systems to retrieve information.”
Ron Meek, Criminal Justice Associate Professor, added the CNS 1212 class will be one for Criminal Justice students to take, as it is not a requirement for the current program. Computer Networking Professor Ricky Robinson said both courses are covered in the Information Technology program.
The certificate will also train students on Encase, a top-of-the-line software used by the federal and state governments, the Secret Service, and many local law enforcement agencies.
“This software is what the students will actually see when they get out to the workplace,” said Robinson, who is getting trained on the program this summer. “The certification itself can open up opportunities for IT Systems Specialist students who want to expand their job skills to make them more marketable. They will be able to advance more quickly in the forensics field since they have advanced computer and networking skills.”
Meek added, “Students who have this certification will certainly stand out on the resume and application process for hiring. This will be a big benefit to an agency which can hire someone who has this knowledge base so they won’t need on-the-job training. This certificate will also benefit those who want to be in private industry as well as public agencies. It will allow students to stand out over their counterparts who do not have this specialty training. Cyber Forensics is going to only increase. Technology such as cell phones, smart phones, tablets and laptops aren’t going away.”
The certificate classes include Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRJS 1201), Criminology (CRJS 1202), Computer Forensics I (CRJS 1207), Criminal Procedures (CRJS 2206), Cyber Crime and Investigation (CRJS 2216), Cyber Crime and Law (CRJS 1205), Computer Forensics II (CRJS 2217), and Criminal Law (CRJS 2209).
For more information about the Cyber Forensics certificate, contact the Applied Science and Technology Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1261.