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December 5, 2012
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Sierra College | Bringing real world expertise to the classroom

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - California Community Colleges educate 80 percent of the law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians and firefighters that serve the state, and U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics' projections consistently show growth in positions requiring skilled workers with postsecondary education at the sub-baccalaureate level.

The Sierra College, Tahoe-Truckee campus welcomes Adam McGill, Truckee Police Department Chief of Police, on campus for spring semester. McGill will teach "Introduction to Administration of Justice" from 6:15 to 9:20 p.m. on Wednesdays. The intro class touches on the history and philosophical roots of the U.S. justice system, addresses the expectations of professionals as perceived from within and outside of the system and includes discussions about crime, punishment and rehabilitation theories.

McGill holds a master of science in emergency services administration from California State University, Long Beach and a bachelor of science in criminal justice administration from the University of Phoenix where he later taught in the undergraduate and graduate criminal justice programs.

"In order to provide the best education possible, our Administration of Justice (AJ) program is constantly modified and updated based on industry standards and best practices," said Sierra College Department Chair Nick Willick. "One way we stay up to date is by hiring qualified instructors with real world experience who are also skilled in teaching." Sierra College's AJ program prepares people for entry-level jobs with police agencies, private security companies, corrections, courts, investigations, forensics and other positions serving the community.

Q-and-A with Adam McGill

Q: What do you hope students take away from your class?

The intro class is always exciting. Usually it is students' first exposure to the criminal justice system and related careers. The course offers a 30,000-foot view of this comprehensive and complicated system. Students can find out "Is this where I want to take myself and my career?" and make a more informed decision about what they want to do. Some students may not want to pursue this career and that is OK, too. We want people to have a career they enjoy.

Q: You've been described as an energetic and passionate educator. Describe your teaching philosophy or approach.

I offer real insights from the field, and this enhances the learning experience for students who appreciate hearing about real world experience. There is a lot of two-way communication. Students like an instructor who is engaged daily in the subject matter. Since I'll be teaching a night class, I'll be able to reference things that happened three hours earlier.

Q: Who should take your class?

Anyone interested in gaining insights on the criminal justice system and considering a career in administration of justice.

Q: What else would you like to add?

I'm excited about the chance to interact with students and bring clarity to any issues. This is a great opportunity for the police department and town to partner with Sierra College. It's another example of working together and an opportunity to hear students' perspective on law enforcement.

In addition to the intro class, the AJ program is strengthened by instructors Jeff Granum and Michael Fox who bring a wealth of real world experiences into the classroom. "Police Field Operations" will be offered for credit during the spring semester. Students who enroll in this Tuesday evening class will learn about the history and development of patrol philosophy, field activities including patrol, complaints, requests for services, searches, arrests and other community and criminal incidents.

Academic Enrichment (AE)

Nearly 100 ninth through 12th-grade students take advantage of Sierra College's Academic Enrichment program each year to experience college-level courses while they are in high school. The AE program admits high school students from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District for $1 per credit hour (the majority of classes are three credit hours).

"Sierra College provides the support and academic rigor to help students identify, achieve and often surpass their academic goals. We accomplish this through exceptional faculty members and by offering a variety of classes, certificates and associate degrees," said Dr. Kim Bateman, dean of Sierra College, Tahoe-Truckee.

The Tahoe-Truckee campus also offers career and technical education courses in business administration and accounting, early childhood education, EMT I and EMT continuing education, Mechatronics, photography, intro to digital imaging, spreadsheets and nutrition.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 5, 2012 07:24PM Published Dec 5, 2012 07:14PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.