There has been an increasing interest in the field of forensic science due to the development of forensic techniques that efficiently help in the solving of crimes as well as the growing infatuation over media publicity (National Institute of Justice, 2007) in the form of television shows and documentaries. These may be just some of the reasons for the increased interest of individuals in pursuing a career in forensic science. For the forensic field, this is a benefit. However it is also faced with drawbacks that need to be addressed.
The publication points out the main problem that schools with forensic science related academic programs face today: the lack of a “standard academic curriculum”, as well as the lack of measures to evaluate the current forensic science programs being offered. These cause a burden on the crime laboratories during the application process. It was observed that a system for program evaluation is needed to ensure that students are getting adequate knowledge and skills that will prepare them for their career in forensic science (National Institute of Justice, 2007).
According to the publication, many students with undergraduate degrees in forensic science need more training for work in the crime lab. Because there is no standard curriculum for forensic science programs, the students are not equipped enough for a job in the forensic lab. Employers find that applicants are not up to par as they don’t have the competence to get the job done. This puts the pressure on crime laboratories, as experts in the laboratories have to provide the necessary training applicants lack.
The crime laboratories are then forced to sacrifice their own funds and time to train applicants to demonstrate quality forensic work (National Institute of Justice, 2007). Because hired individuals will still undergo another round of training, the productivity and contribution they can offer is significantly compromised. The purpose of the study was to improve the condition of forensic science education through devising a means by which forensic science programs can be assessed and thus improved (National Institute of Justice, 2007).
By developing a mechanism of evaluation, courses that will be greatly favorable and relevant to the enrichment of students will be placed. An operational definition is the depiction of something through the method by which it can be obtained. In this publication, one operational definition is the actual mechanism or guide which will assess forensic science programs, specifically the accreditation system. The publication does not explicitly say what the accreditation system is is. However there was an explanation on how this was obtained. The mechanism began by the production of a guide.
The guide was conceptualized and formulated by a team of experts. Upon documentation and publication of the guide, the next step was the formation of forensic science academic accreditation program. This was spearheaded by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), which created a committee on that launched . the Forensic Educational Programs Accreditation Commission. The same committee also set the criteria for a system of assessement and accrediation of college-level academic programs that can eventually make way for a degreee in forensic science.
An accreditation is a symbol of exceptional quality in an establishment (National Institute of Justice, 2007). As such, only those with helpful and effective forensic programs will be accredited. The publication says that the accreditation system has been going well and has been very helpful as a motivation to the improvement of curriculums. The accreditation system has also helped in attracting more students to undertake the programs. Moreover, the accrediation system helps employers in evaluating and accepting applicants who are up to par.
The publication has detailed that the mechanism is advantageous not only to the students and faculty but also to the employers. The publication presented the concept in a systematic and understandable fashion. From the title, what the publication would address was clearly seen. It was good that the problem was clearly defined. There was also a brief background that indicated the root of the problem, and identified the “shortfalls” that forensic science education is undergoing (National Institute of Justice, 2007). These provided supportive information to the problem at hand.
However, it would have been systematic if the background were presented at the beginning, so that it would lead to the problem. Though the problem was definite, there were no specific research questions stated. It would have been clearer if the problem were stated in such a form, with main problems and sub-problems, to be more concise. Despite this, the problem was answered as the main solution was clearly stated and further explained. The solution was explained well since it was supported and justified by showing the bearing of the accreditation system and how it has helped in the improvement of forensic science education.
Not only that, it was also able to show how the accreditation system improved the situation of all the parties involved: the students, the educators and the employers. In conclusion, the publication has given the readers a means by which the underperformance of forensic education can be dealt with. The problem and solution were evident. Moreover, a short background supported the problem, while the effects of the solution detailed its potential. The way the publication presented the concept was satisfactory as the solution was able to alleviate the problem at hand.