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Criminal Justice Field Practicum CJ-4800 (6)

The Criminal Justice Research Field Practicum (CJRFP) course, CJ-4800, provides criminal justice students at the University of Winnipeg with an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of criminal justice. Through supervision by criminal justice professionals, students acquire competencies in justice-related knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The CJRFP is an unpaid practicum experience that provides students with 6 credits towards their degree. The course runs from September to May and includes a weekly class component, as well as a field component. For the field component, the University of Winnipeg Field Practicum Coordinator (UW Coordinator) works with an on-site criminal justice agency contact (i.e., the Practicum Supervisor) to supervise and support practicum students.

How can I register for the practicum program?

CJ-4800 Criminal Justice Research Field Practicum: This applied course will give students the opportunity for service-based learning. Students will spend eight hours per week at a previously arranged field site and engage in research and service.

Unlike other courses, you require departmental approval to register for any of these courses. Approval is granted through the following process:

  1. Verify that you meet the eligibility requirements for each course (listed below)
  2. Interested students should email the department chair, Dr. Kelly Gorkoff k.gorkoff@uwinnipeg.ca with their student number by April 30 to advise of their interest in finding a placement. 
  3. Students will be contacted by Dr. Gorkoff in early May and provided with a departmental permission slip to register for the CJRFP for the fall and winter semesters.
What is the eligibility criteria for the practicum?
  • Students must be in the CJ Honours program
  • Completion of CJ-1002 (Introduction to Criminal Justice), CJ-2100 (Foundations of Criminal Justice), CJ-2101 (CJ Research Methods), CJ-2130 (Criminal Law), and CJ-3205 (Professional Ethics in Criminal Justice)
  • Completion of 6 credit hours in other CJ courses (e.g., policing, corrections, or victimology)


What happens after I register for the course?

In May, you will begin your interviews and security screening for your desired practicum. Each organization has different selection and security screening criteria, so this step will differ depending on where you are placed. The UW Coordinator will put you in contact with the organizational contact to answer any questions you have about the interview and screening procedures. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all security procedures are completely promptly so that the student may begin their practicum in September.

Where could I be placed?

Our students have held placements with various law enforcement agencies (e.g., the Winnipeg Police, the RCMP, Canadian Boarder Service Agency and the Downtown Watch), correctional institutions (e.g., Stoney Mountain), community agencies (e.g., the Elizabeth Fry Society, John Howard Society, The Link: Youth and Family Supports, Toba Centre for Children and Youth, inc.), legal help clinics and justice organizations (Manitoba Justice). You can also propose your own placement.

What will I be expected to do once I begin my placement?

As a participant of the CJRFP program, each Practicum Student is expected to:

  • Participate in any interviews or selection procedures requested by the agency;
  • Inquire about and successfully complete any security procedures required by the placement agency or requested by the Practicum Supervisor;
  • Complete 160 hours of work at their placement agency between the period of September and May (typically, this works out to Practicum Students completing approximately 7.5hrs/day, one day a week, allowing for exceptions during university study breaks); and
  • Bring any issues that arise that may pose an obstacle to completing their practicum duties to the attention of their Practicum Supervisor and/or UW Coordinator.
Is there a class and coursework in addition to what I do at my placement?

Yes. In addition to your 160 placement hours, each course has course readings and assessments you must complete that go towards your grade for the course. With the exception of a small number of in person meetings scheduled in advance, your coursework and assessments will be completed using Nexus, the University of Winnipeg’s digital learning platform.

What will I gain from the CJ field placement?

The CJRFP is a unique learning experience. It provides an opportunity to observe and practice Criminal Justice work in a practical and professional setting. The CJRFP is an opportunity to develop knowledge within a professional setting that is transferrable to the workplace. Students will be able to integrate knowledge learned in the classroom with hands-on experience and focused skill-building in an out-of-classroom environment. The CJRFP is the best opportunity for a university student to gain experiential learning. Additionally, the in-class component of the CJRFP will allow for student reflection on their personal skill building process through the placement, allowing an opportunity for critical self-evaluation to further development workplace skills and competencies.

What is experiential learning?

Experiential learning (EL) can be defined broadly as learning through experience, and by critically reflecting on experience. It positions lived experiences and hands-on learning as foundations for acquiring new knowledge and critical thinking skills.

EL can encompass a very wide range of common course components, depending on whether the focus of interest is on enriching education in ways that deepen knowledge and insight, or helping students acquire transferable skills so that they become ‘job-ready.’

I am ready to apply. Who do I contact?

At the present time the staff position of coordinator for the CJ-4800 Field Practicum is vacant; you may send your interest in applying, or questions regarding the program, to Criminal Justice department chair, Dr. Kelly Gorkoff: k.gorkoff@uwinnipeg.ca or 204.786.9104.

Who can I contact for more information?

Dr. Kelly Gorkoff k.gorkoff@uwinnipeg.ca 
Department Chair

Department of Criminal Justice
University of Winnipeg


Student Testimonial

“In the 2019/20 school year, I held a student placement position with the D Division RCMP Major Crimes Unit (MCU) where I was an assistant to the Crime Analysts. My role was to collect, collate, and analyze data and create reports for dissemination to the Superintendent of the MCU. I was given professional training on Microsoft Excel and the RCMP’s database, both useful for my continued academic work and future career. This position gave me the opportunity to develop professional relationships, practice collaborative skills, practice ethical handling of sensitive data, further my data collection and analysis skills, and further develop efficiency in a workplace setting. I will always value this experience as it helped me to develop a practical set of tools that are only available through practice. This setting was a nice contrast to the typical academic work. Between the training I received and the experience of the placement itself, this opportunity has proved to be an asset on my resume and in both my academic and practical work. The coursework itself provides a good balance between the academic setting and the professional setting. The assignments are designed to help develop your professional skills and reflect on the experience you have had in the professional setting. In this sense, the placement is a great opportunity to not only gain professional and practical experience but critically reflect on your experience and further develop your competencies. Importantly, the placement experience allowed me to apply my academic knowledge. The students also have the benefit of having a fantastic course instructor in Dr. Heath.”

- 2019/20 CJ Placement Student