WNC criminal justice program prepares students for rewarding careers

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Greg Sly is Western Nevada College’s new full-time criminal justice instructor and program coordinator within the college’s Professional and Applied Technology Division.

Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

Western Nevada College is gearing up partnerships throughout the community to promote public safety, preparing students to meet future needs and leadership roles throughout the criminal justice system.

Now and into the future, Nevada will be seeking ever-increasing numbers of applicants to meet a growing need for job placements in policing, corrections, community corrections, law and the courts. These jobs include excellent pay, benefits, and retirement during rewarding careers, with great opportunities for advancement for those applicants with college degrees.

WNC plays an integral role in this effort, preparing students for readiness to meet this demand. Western has selected Greg Sly to lead this criminal justice focused effort starting July 1. Sly is WNC’s new full-time criminal justice instructor and program coordinator within WNC’s Professional and Applied Technology Division. 

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Sly is not new to WNC, having worked at the college since 2014 in support of grant-funded, job-placement programs and also teaching criminal justice coursework. 

In 2013, Sly retired as a chief probation officer, following a rewarding 29-year career in law enforcement, corrections, community corrections and the courts. Sly relates that his career experience in many areas of the criminal justice system, including Air Force law enforcement, California Highway Patrol, juvenile and adult probation services, and the courts, will support his goal to assist students in determining which part of the system will best meet their individual needs and interests.

“I enjoy helping students prepare for the exciting and rewarding careers that await well-prepared students when they complete their college studies,” Sly said.

Students studying criminal justice at WNC can earn Certificates of Achievement, an Associate of Applied Science Degree or an Associate of Arts Degree-Criminal Justice major pathway, leading to a transfer to the university level to earn a bachelor’s degree. 

Students may study on campus or through online learning as they complete their educational goals. Coursework includes studies in policing, corrections, probation/parole, juvenile justice, investigations, criminal law/procedure, evidence, courts and criminology.

“College studies are important in preparing students to meet the future needs throughout the system, both at the entry level and later upon promotion to levels of leadership,” Sly said.

Sly will be assisted by an experienced pool of criminal justice adjunct Instructors who he describes as extremely effective in preparing tomorrow’s leaders in the criminal justice system.

“These criminal justice Instructors come from all areas across the system, including police/sheriff, corrections, juvenile probation services, attorneys, courts and rehabilitation services,” Sly said. “Each student is exposed to instruction and experience-based learning supported by this vast level of experience as they complete the degree programs.”

Sly reports that students constantly tell him of the importance they place on having instructors who are or have actually worked throughout the system. Each of WNC’s CRJ Instructors meet these criteria. 

In preparing Western Nevada College’s Criminal Justice Program to meet the needs of Nevada into the future, Sly is building a community-wide collaborative team of system partners, community leaders and students — each providing input to design of curriculum, areas of instruction and connecting students with agencies needing qualified applicants. 

“The CRJ program at WNC includes opportunities for students to complete internships in corrections, juvenile services, and Parole and Probation,” Sly said. “There are also law enforcement-related experiences like tours and ride along opportunities.”

In the past 10 months, Sly has met with Northern Nevada CRJ system agencies, regional high schools and 1,350 high school students, gaining valuable input to support the program.

For the Fall 2022 semester, Sly plans to initiate “CRJ Connections,” a new student association at WNC that will promote events connecting criminal justice students throughout the campus with CRJ agencies throughout the region. 

For interest or more information about the Criminal Justice Program at WNC, please contact Greg Sly at gregory.sly@wnc.edu or visit Western Nevada College CRJ at https://www.wnc.edu/areas/criminal-law/.

PHOTO CAPTION:

Greg Sly is Western Nevada College’s new full-time criminal justice instructor and program coordinator within the college’s Professional and Applied Technology Division. 

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