The School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
The School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA), housed within the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS), has long been recognized for the strength of its undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. The undergraduate program, founded in 1969, was designed to meet the needs identified by the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control Act for a better-educated and trained police force. The program soon grew to be one of the premiere undergraduate law enforcement programs in the United States. For the past several years LEJA maintained an enrollment of about 1,900 undergraduate students. Established in 1976, the graduate program had grown to include not only students from across the State of Illinois, but also students from as far away as Africa, Europe and Asia. The graduate program has certified more than 100 criminal justice executives and graduated more than 450 students. As of Fall 2008, 170 students are actively pursuing graduate degrees. The School offers undergraduate and graduate level courses at the Quad City Campus as well as offering graduate courses on the Macomb campus and five other sites. The School has approximately 12,000 alumni with a significant percentage working in some capacity within the field of criminal justice.
The mission of the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration is to provide quality, broad-based, interdisciplinary courses which provide students with the educational tools necessary to meet the challenges of the criminal justice system. The School also provides expertise to the criminal justice field through research, service, and technical assistance. The School offers a rich blend of theoretical, administrative and practical knowledge as well as valuable research skills. Our students are learning how to apply their knowledge.
The LEJA program at WIU is the largest undergraduate law enforcement program in the region and the 4th largest in the nation. The program is designed to provide professional knowledge, understanding, and skills for criminal justice and develop an educational base for further success in staff and administrative criminal justice positions. The program allows the student ample flexibility for a liberal and professional education to meet the anticipated needs of the criminal justice network. All majors in the program participate in an internship for one academic semester to gain firsthand experience with criminal justice agencies at the federal, state, county, and local levels.
The School offers four minors: Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; Security Administration; Fire Administration (offered via Internet reaching practitioners nationwide), and Homeland Security. LEJA offers the undergraduate and graduate courses at the WIU Quad Cities Campus in Moline , Illinois. Graduate courses are also offered at Springfield , and four locations in the Chicago suburbs. A limited number of courses are offered over the Internet.
LEJA offers a Police Executive Certificate Program designed to help prepare future law enforcement executives and enhance current executives’ performance. Many students achieving this certificate continue to pursue the Master of Arts degree in LEJA.Recognized as a Signature program at WIU, LEJA is the largest department of 44 departments on campus and accounts for 45 percent of the COEHS. Approximately 80 percent of LEJA graduates secure employment within 12 months of graduation and have been highly successful in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and as Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, prosecutors, and in higher education as professors.