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Law Enforcement and Justice Administration 

I am majoring in law enforcement and justice administration and feel that it is necessary for me to get a college education in my field of study. I chose this major because I felt that I would do well at keeping things under control. It would mean a steady job in the near future, and I enjoy working with other people to achieve one common goal — which in this case would be safety. 

Being at Western Illinois University for only one year has taught me more than I would have ever expected to learn about my major. Each of my law enforcement classes have been really interesting and hands-on because students are taught the same material active police officers are using. Also, it helps greatly to learn all this information from professors who have already served as a police officer or have been involved in criminal justice. It is comforting knowing that you are learning facts and strategies from someone who has used trial and error on the job.

I have used some information that I learned here already when I went on a ride along in Waukegan, Ill. I got to use code lingos and strategies when going on calls and traffic stops. 

I plan on using the information I have learned, and future information to be learned, as a tool to excel in my career choice of being a police officer. I feel that my education is important because it will help me do my job right and keep not only me safe, but civilians as well. 

— Josh MacKenzie


Law enforcement and justice administration is a field that is not only important to me, but it is very significant to our society. It is a field that one can be passionate about and make a difference with.  I feel it would be a huge honor to serve and protect the community I grew up in as a police officer.  

My research and projects in core classes have allowed me to strengthen my analytical, communication and leadership skills. Specifically, research in my Organization and Administration in Criminal Justice class has given me the opportunity to examine lawsuits against a police department and how those lawsuits are linked to the police department’s administration problems. This type of research gives me a better understanding of how I can ensure I am running an effective administration as a future leader in law enforcement.  

Set to graduate in May with upper division honors at 20 years old, I have taken the initiative to apply as an intern for the police department in the town I grew up in, received a contingent offer of employment from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will be applying to the University of Chicago’s emergency management graduate degree program, and I have expressed my interest in an internship with various other federal agencies. 

Although I am barred from applying to certain municipal departments because of my age, I am confident that I will take advantage of one or more of the many other opportunities available to me to pursue a career and further education in this field.

—Arturo Vera


Athletic Training

Choosing athletic training as my major has never been a question. It allows me to surround myself in an athletic setting while being able to make a difference in a medical way. After receiving my formal admittance into the program, the opportunities on furthering my education outside the classroom have become endless. 

Each semester, I get to work with a different athletic team at the University and continue to practice everything that I have learned, as well as gain new perspectives from my supervising athletic trainers. This major is very demanding because it’s constantly challenging. However, it prepares its students for the real world. 

We’re not just taught how to fill water bottles or tape ankles; we’re taught to be professional adults that can adapt and thrive in any situation that we are presented with. I plan to use my degree to become an athletic trainer for the United States Army. I decided that I wanted to use my degree in this way after one of my beginning athletic training classes. It is a fast growing area of athletic training, and it is one that is very close to my heart because many members of my family have been or are members of the military. 

At the end of my four years I know that the invaluable knowledge and experience that I have gained from Western Illinois’ athletic training program will have me more than prepared for not only my future career, but any other challenge I’m faced with. 

— Melissa Fitzgerald

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