Beginning with the fall 2019 semester, Northwest will offer an Associate degree in forensic science, according to college officials. The program will only be offered at the DeSoto Center currently. The program will prepare students to develop a career in forensic science, forensic medicine, forensic drug analysis, forensic toxicology and DNA analysis, criminalistics or computer forensics. Forensic scientists can work in forensic investigation and service labs and crime and drug investigation and enforcement labs in federal, state, or county government agencies.
Some of the careers students completing the program can look forward to are police officers, paralegal officers, correctional officers, private investigators, fish and game warden officers, fire inspectors and investigators, crime scene technicians and bailiffs.
According to Dr. K.N. Thimmaiah, DeSoto Center chemistry instructor, forensic science plays a vital role in the criminal justice system by providing scientifically based information through the analysis of physical evidence. Forensic science may well be one of the most important subfields in the field of criminal justice. Prosecutors, investigators, and judges rely on evidence collected by forensic scientists to figure out the intricacies of their cases.
During an investigation, evidence is collected at a crime scene or from a person, analyzed in a crime laboratory and then the results are presented in court. Forensic science is used in the legal or justice system to support and uphold the law. The field of forensic science draws from a number of scientific branches, including physics, chemistry, and biology, with its focus being on the recognition, identification, and evaluation of physical evidence.
“We are extremely excited to begin the forensic science program at the DeSoto Center. Dr. Thimmaiah and the science department have worked very hard to put together a comprehensive program that will prepare our students for immediate employment upon graduation. The program will also provide the necessary framework for students to successfully transition into a bachelor’s degree forensic science program at a university,” said Dr. Josh Filtz, assistant dean, DeSoto Center.
For more information on the DeSoto Center, visit the college’s website at northwestms.edu/desotocenter.