Brookdale Community College’s Criminal Justice Program is gaining acclaim for its innovative teaching approach, which incorporates real-world experiences into its curriculum. Through a series of field trips and hands-on activities, students gain invaluable insights into the various facets of the criminal justice system.

Last week, an Intro to Criminal Justice class had the opportunity to witness proceedings at the Monmouth County Courthouse, specifically Recovery Court. This excursion aligned with the chapter on Courts and Judiciary. Following the court session, The Honorable Richard W. English, J.S.C., engaged with the students, providing them with a firsthand account of the legal proceedings and answering their questions about careers in the court system.

This isn’t the only immersive experience for Brookdale students in the Criminal Justice programs. Earlier in the semester, students studying policing visited the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, and those in the Introduction to Corrections class will tour East Jersey State Prison and interacted with inmates serving life sentences.

The program’s commitment to experiential learning also extends to various other courses. Students enrolled in the Police Role in the Community course visit local police departments to interview officers and participate in active shooter simulations at the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office STARS (Situational Training And Response Simulator,) Facility. Meanwhile, in the Forensics class, students process mock crime scenes to understand investigative techniques.

In a recent development, the Introduction to Homeland Security class embarked on a tour of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the New Jersey State Police Ballistics Lab. This excursion gave students insights into homeland security and emergency management careers.

Professor Jacquelynn Seely, who oversees the program, emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning in preparing students for their future careers. “Our goal is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system by exposing them to real-world scenarios and interactions,” says Professor Seely.

The program’s success is reflected in its graduates’ ability to secure employment or continue their education at four-year institutions. University agreements allow graduates to seamlessly transfer to Georgian Court, Stockton University, Monmouth University, Rider University or Kean University, opening further opportunities for advancement. Students may also transfer to Rutgers University and obtain their BS in Criminal Justice right here on the Brookdale campus. 

If you are interested in learning more about Brookdale’s Criminal Justice programs or wish to visit the campus, please contact Professor Jacquelynn Seely at

Brookdale Community College’s Criminal Justice Program continues to set the standard for excellence in experiential learning, preparing students for successful careers in various fields within the criminal justice system.