Southwestern Adventist University is dedicated to helping students prepare for their futures. One way the University accomplishes this is by offering a wide variety of degrees to give students the opportunity to explore and build upon their passions. This drive to provide quality education for a variety of student interests and career paths led Southwestern Adventist University to reintroduce the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree in 2020.
Officer Ryan Wilmot was able to explore topics he was passionate about while gaining the knowledge and skills he needed to be successful in his career. Wilmot graduated from Southwestern Adventist University in 2005 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a job offer. He now serves as a police officer in Waxahachie, Texas.
Wilmot shares that halfway through his senior year, he began looking and applying for jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. While in his Criminal Justice Administration and Management course, the instructor asked him if he had thought about what he wanted to do when he graduated. Wilmot explained that he wanted to serve as a police officer. The instructor, who was also the Police Chief of the Waxahachie Police Department, smiled and told him that Waxahachie was hiring and recommended he apply. Even before he graduated, Wilmot was asked to join the team at Waxahachie; he began police academy the following June.
Now, Wilmot gets to live out his passion while on patrol, training new officers as a field training officer, or collecting evidence as part of the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) team. Wilmot says he loves his job and “it is definitely not boring. There’s always something new and you never know what to expect”.
When asked about what he found most beneficial about the program, Wilmot surprisingly responded that he considered his writing classes to be some of the most useful to his career. “People don’t understand how much paperwork is involved in police work. I spend a majority of my time writing,” Wilmot explained. Written communication skills, a key component of the liberal arts curriculum at the University, are extremely important in his career. “When writing my reports,” Wilmot said, “I have to be able to develop a good narrative from the evidence we collect. I have to convey the information well enough so people can visualize the crime scene even though they were not there to see it.”
Officer Wilmot was glad to hear that the University decided to offer the degree again saying, “I enjoyed my time at Southwestern Adventist University and I’m glad that the students have the opportunity to study criminal justice while getting a Christian college experience.”
The Criminal Justice program is offered by the History and Social Science department and also includes an option for a criminal justice minor.