Experiential Learning

The Winona State Criminal Justice program relies heavily on experiential learning to make sure our graduates enter the workforce with the skills that employers want. Our program provides you opportunities for hands-on experience both in and out of the classroom.

The Criminal Justice program believes that students learn best through experience and by doing. We focus on building communication skills, decision-making skills and critical thinking skills throughout our programs.

Learning in the Classroom

Our courses are centered around the idea that we are preparing future criminal justice professionals to enter a variety of different occupations.

Forensic Interviewing

We offer training in the methods and practice of interviewing children who have been victims of a crime. Our course Forensic Interviewing of Children features scenario-based training with mock interviews centered around the most recent forensic interviewing protocols.

Verbal De-escalation

You will have the capability to not only examine verbal de-escalation practices like Verbal Judo, but also participate in mock verbal de-escalation scenarios. Verbal de-escalation allows you to practice basic communication skills while learning an important skill for all criminal justice professionals.

Report Writing

Criminal justice professionals routinely state that writing is one of the most important skills for working in the field, and the Winona State Criminal Justice program ensures that our students learn the technical writing that is necessary for success in criminal justice.

The Criminal Justice program offers training in case summaries, pre-sentence investigations reports, arrest and incident reports, and many other types of writing common to the field.

Data Analysis

The future of criminal justice is going to be driven by data, and we offer our students foundational data analysis skills.

You will learn how to analyze data, conduct research and use statistical software when making data-driven or evidence-based decisions.

Offender Assessments

Our corrections majors learn how to conduct and analyze common assessments like the LSI-R or LCSMI-R. Students then utilize those assessments to make informed decisions and craft management plans in different scenarios.

Mock Interviews

The first step in landing a policing job is to have a successful job interview. Our Police Science students complete mock interviews during their senior year to help them succeed in their interviews as they enter the field. The interview panel features former and current police officers to better prepare the student for future interviews.

Learning Outside of the Classroom

The Winona State University Criminal Justice program believes that students need exposure to practice in the field to adequately prepare for working in criminal justice.


We require every student to complete a semester-long internship in either corrections, justice services or policing based on the student’s interest and major.

The internship allows the students to work in criminal justice in a supervised environment. Internships also allow students to form professional connections that may lead directly to job offers upon graduation!

Field Trips

Our instructors bring classes and groups of students on many different exciting field trips. Criminal justice students have visited the Medical Examiner’s Office at the Mayo Clinic, jails, prisons, courts and many other places. Our instructors are always looking for exciting new site visits for our students.

Internship Fair

In the fall semester, the Criminal Justice program hosts an internship and career fair at the Winona State University campus. Over thirty organizations and employers attend the fair, and students can meet with these criminal justice professionals to talk about internships and careers.