May 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Crime Scene Technology, Certificate

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Degree: Certificate
HEGIS Code: 5505
Curriculum Code: 1933.CST
Campus location: North
Business and Public Service Division

Program Description

With the sudden dramatic expansion of the field of crime scene investigation and simultaneous technological changes in criminal investigation, a serious void exists in educational opportunities for students who want to prepare for a career as an evidence collection specialist.

Erie Community College intends to assist in providing police agencies and other criminal justice or investigative organizations that need crime scene technical assistance with qualified investigators.

The Crime Scene Technology Certificate Program is designed to provide education and training in crime scene technology focusing on the collection of evidence, crime scene photography, and the processing of fingerprints. The student will learn to compare fingerprints properly and to prepare and present evidence in the courtroom.

The program may include criminal justice students, police officers, security officers, emergency responders, or individuals interested in the field of crime scene technology or forensics.

The design of this certificate program recognizes that students interested in criminal justice may not be interested in becoming a police officer, but are interested in the field of solving crimes with the use of physical evidence. This program has been designed to fulfill this desire by introducing the student to criminal justice with specialized study in the field of crime scene technology.

This is a 31-credit program designed for full- or part-time study. The first half of the curriculum includes composition and occupational communication, introduction to criminal justice and related fields in public safety.

Students have the option of transfer into the two-year Criminal Justice Program after certificate completion.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with this certificate, the graduate will be able to:

  • display an understanding of criminal justice vocabulary and meaning of terms used frequently;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the historical background in the three parts of criminal justice: law enforcement, courts and corrections;
  • exhibit an understanding of composition and occupational communication in classroom discussion;
  • explain how science can be used to examine evidence and search for answers to the unknown;
  • illustrate the proper methods for locating, photographing and collecting evidence at a crime scene;
  • exhibit the process for examination of crime scenes for fingerprints, photography and other physical evidence, classification of finger prints and connectivity to a suspect;
  • illustrate the proper method of crime scene measuring and developing a crime scene matrix;
  • demonstrate the proper method of presentation of evidence, photographs and charts in the courtroom;
  • explain the proper use of a digital camera, flash and close up photography; and 
  • display knowledge of use of the Photoshop software program to print, enlarge and photograph crime scenes and evidence.


Total Degree Credits: 30

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